A great horror movie makes more of an impression on the psyche than any other kind of film. Hell, even a bad horror flick can scar you for life. There’s a phrase that every seasoned horror fan loves to hear: “Have you ever seen . . . ?” For the next 31 days, John E. Meredith will unearth some of his personal favorites that fell through the cracks, that are not so obvious, the kind that might even sneak up on you while you’re trying to sleep. The Gates of Hell or City of the Living Dead 1980, Italy. Directed by Lucio Fulci. Written by Fulci and Dardano Sacchetti. Starring Katherine MacColl, Christopher George. “At this very precise moment, in some other distant town, horrendously awful things are happening . . . things that will shatter your imagination.” In the eerie, wind-ravaged town of Dunwich, a priest with desperate eyes walks through the parish cemetery. A rope is slung over the branch of a tree and the priest stares out through a noose. In a séance somewhere in New York, a psychic named Mary sees the priest hang himself and then she sees all the horrific things that will follow. Her visions are so hellish that they appear to kill her instantly. Elsewhere, a reporter named Peter Bell learns of Mary’s strange death and decides to follow the story. When he goes to her graveside he hears desperate cries from within her unburied coffin. With a pickaxe he breaks her out, narrowly missing her face. We learn that the town of Dunwich was built on the ruins of the original Salem witch burnings. According to legend, the priests suicide could fling open the gates of hell, unleashing the dead to destroy the earth. Together Peter and Mary must get to Dunwich and close the passage to the underworld before All Saints Day, lest the dead rise again. But they are already too late. It probably won’t shatter your imagination, but Lucio Fulci’s film (also known as CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) might stay with you for a while. I originally watched it on a rented VCR in a secluded cabin in the mountains, with fog closing in on all sides. Its creepy, gore-soaked incoherence haunted me for years. Yes, you can forget all about narrative logic here. This movie devoutly embraces the irrational, a kind of HP Lovecraft nightmare illogic. What you do get is a buried-alive sequence that was referenced by Quentin Tarantino in KILL BILL VOL 2. You get a great score by Fabio Frizzi and the gorgeous, stalking camerawork of cinematographer Sergio Salvati. Gore fans get to enjoy a drill ripping into someone’s skull and coming out the other side, zombies squeezing skulls until brains ooze out, and some poor girl vomiting up her own intestines. Apparently Fulci was taking it easy on us this time. You can also try to decipher the puzzling, yet somehow disturbing ending. It was not Fulci’s best, neither the ending nor the movie – both in this case would belong to THE BEYOND – but it is the one that has stayed with me the longest. See larger image City of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] “WOE BE UNTO HIM WHO OPENS ONE OF THE SEVEN GATEWAYS TO HELL, BECAUSE THROUGH THAT GATEWAY, EVIL WILL INVADE THE WORLD.” The Seven Gates Of Hell have been torn open, and in three days the dead shall rise and walk the earth. As a reporter (Christopher George of PIECES) and a psychic (Catriona MacColl of THE BEYOND) race to close the portals of the damned, they encounter a seething nightmare of unspeakable evil. The city is alive – with the horrors of the living dead! Directed and co-written by the legendary Lucio Fulci (ZOMBIE, THE BEYOND), CITY OF THE LIVIND DEAD features some of the maestro’s most shocking and controversial sequences of all time. Blue Underground proudly presents the definitive version of Fulci’s hallucinogenic masterpiece of horror: freshly transferred in brain-ripping High Definition from its original uncensored negative and loaded with exclusive new Extras! New From: $16.65 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.