Monday, May 3, 2010

"Paura nella città dei morti viventi"(1980)d/Lucio Fulci

Three years later,I'm finally covering one of the maestro's films over here.My chum Nigel has done and continues to do a bang up job tackling the genre films of mother Italy,specifically those of Fulci,so I really haven't been in any hurry to cover any myself.Some might say I go through periods where I'm not in any hurry to cover anything over here,but those individuals,frankly,are dicks.It takes one to know one,as the old addage goes.I touched base with some true genre fans at a party the other night,and in between partying into the wee hours,we shot the crap about a lot of movies,mainly Italian horror,and even threw in Buio Omega for some quality tit-sucking,entrail-fondling,neck-chunking fun before the smoke finally cleared.I had such a balls out good time that I decided it was high time we got down to some quality Fulci here at the Wop.
I was probably thirteen years old when I first saw tonight's entry,dumping fifty clams on the Paragon vhs at the local record store when they had a notably virtuous video section full of genre titles.With the Zombi 2 one-sheet still adorning my bedroom wall as a trophy of my first theatrical experience with Lucio years earlier,I called the boys down to the parlour,to share in my second unforgettable,gore-spurting run in.If you're near to being a scruffy old ruffian as I am,you'll remember Paragon's glorious trailers flashing across the screen before the feature began,and with craptastic titles like Boarding House,Hotwire!,The One-Armed Executioner,Necromancy,and Funeral Home being previewed(along with tonight's entry,under its U.S. release title,"Gates of Hell"),we were already well-entertained before strains of Fabio Frizzi's superlative score signalled the rollercoaster ride we were all in for.What followed,droogies,I'll interpret for you now...
A bit early in the season for a maggot storm,eh,Carlo?
After seeing Father Thomas lynch himself in a fog-engulfed cemetery in faraway Dunwich,purposely opening one of the seven gates of Hell and allowing the dead to rise and to squeeze the backs of the heads of the living until their brains bobble out like so much crumbled feta cheese, during a groovy seance somewhere in New York,psychic Mary Woodhouse(Catriona MacColl) eats psychic link-breaking heart stoppage death.The cops watch fire shoot from the floor to the ceiling and back again,then blame it all on the psychics' reefer smoking party.Luckily for Mary,an investigative reporter named Peter Bell(Christopher George)happens to be visiting her grave plot when she comes to inside her coffin,about to be buried alive.Oh yeah,and the fact they chose not to embalm her beforehand,for whatever reason...Bell hears wild stories about the city.The cursed city.The cursed city of the dead.The cursed city of the living dead,as described in the Book of Enoch,where he and Mary must travel to destroy the priest's body and effectively close the portal to Hell before All Saints' Day.Meanwhile,in Dunwich,all sorts of fucked up shit is already happening,and local rubber woman-enthusiast/creepy retard-pervert,Bob(Giovanni Lombardo Radice/John Morghen,the focal point for on camera abuse by many of the top Italian genre directors of the day),usually isn't too far away from the goings on.
Daniela Doria shows her true feelings about the new Wopsploitation header.
First,Bob witnesses the dead priest's appearance and subsequent worm n' mud face moosh of a girl named Emily,who abruptly dies of fright.Then two locals'(Michele Soavi and Daniela Doria) parked car petting session gets interrupted by Father Thomas' sudden materialization,causing the girl to bleed from the eyes,then upchuck all of her internal organs(I'm pretty sure I caught a heart and liver spilling out during the melee),before squeezing the grey stuff out of the back of her suitor's head,as a full-on zombie.Poor Bob,while looking for a place to sleep,gets busted smoking pot with a young girl in her garage by a furious father,who abruptly shishkabobs his head with a table drill.That'll learn 'im!For Gerry and Sandra(Carlo De Mejo and Janet Agren),things aren't much better after combining efforts with Peter and Mary,who've just arrived on the scene,as they get caught amidst one helluva indoor live maggot storm.Meanwhile,zombies capable of appearing and disappearing,levitating,and the aforementioned dome-squeeze are popping up all over town as the four frantically rush to the cemetery where the priest's body has been interred.Emily pops the skullcap of Sandra,who later pops Peter's loaf down in Thomas's family vault,leaving Gerry and Mary to deal with the priest himself.The unholy padre begins to make Mary's eyes bleed,foreshadowing an upcoming entrail-hurl,but is interrupted by Gerry,who runs the priest through with a large wooden cross to the labonza.As the zombies all around them catch fire and slump to the ground,the two survivors realize they've won the day.But,outside the tomb, as Emily's younger brother runs towards them,they begin to recoil in horror,as a freezeframe of the boy shatters to pieces.Whaaaaat?
Bob(Johnny Morghen)eats shiny,spinning,head-skewering,drill press death.
Originally meant to have a happy ending,Fulci encountered problems editing the film,which forced him to rush the head-scratching finale,forever adding it to the list of non-linear classics like L'Aldila(1979) and Argento's Inferno the same year.Despite what nonsense grit-eating freaks might type out of their asses about this flick on other review sites,this is among the maestro's creepiest,most atmopsheric work during his zombie period.Sergio Salvati's camerawork fleshes out a gloomy,foreboding landscape from which there is a harrowing feeling of no escape,to which Frizzi's stellar soundtrack only heightens.The performances are solid,and Morghen entertains,as always,as the lovably tragic kook.Though it may not sit atop a list of my favorite Fulci efforts,it remains a solid,and memorable ride,nonetheless,and well worthy of repeated viewings,which,you should have under your belt already if Italian horror films are indeed your bag.How about Stacie Ponder,though,huh?And to Lucio...Manco i tua cinematografo, io mi rammarico della tua morte troppo presto, e tu sei il maestro per sempre a me.
I wanted to squeeze the brains out of the back of Christopher George's head for years.


1 comment:

viagra online said...

hahahaha these Italian horror film at least can make someone laugh to death great post guy ! do you have more Italian films ?

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