CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980) Review by Steve Kirkham



Paura nella città dei morti viventi
4 stars
Arrow Video. Limited edition 4K UHD

This is one of those “how many times am I going to buy this movie” releases – I remember having it on VHS and back then being amazed that I ever got to see it – however bad it may have appeared on that format, we didn’t care … because we got to view it. Kids of today don’t know how good they have it!!

Now Arrow brings us CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, a classic from director Lucio Fulci, on spanky new 4K in both English and Italian versions. Having not actually seen it in full since those early tape based days, I was immediately taken back to those heady and exciting days from the opening titles in the graveyard overlaid by Fabio Frizzi’s music.

I don’t suppose many readers need introducing to this supernatural horror – called rather descriptively THE GATES OF HELL in the USA. Basically it’s the tale of a priest in the small village of Dunwich in England who commits suicide by hanging himself – which opens a gateway to hell, releasing its denizen. Reporter Peter Bell (Christopher George) teams up with psychic Mary Woodhouse (Catrina MacColl) and they travel there to try and close the portal.

Plentiful gross out gore ensues – including chucking your insides up, heads ripped open and a drill to the skull. Fun for all the family!

The film looks fine in 4K, though not spectacular, this is the best it’s going to turn out considering it’s low budget origins. Of course, we always assume that folks will be double dipping when movies like this get various re-releases – forgetting it is equally possible buyers are coming to this for the first time. If so you are in for a treat!

EXTRAS 4 stars
This is absolutely rammed with extras – all lifted through from other releases as far as I can see. Either way this is loaded to the gunnels, too much to list here – go check out Arrow’s website.

Steve Kirkham