Nightmare City (1980)

Nightmare City (1980) movie poster

director Umberto Lenzi
viewed: 06/12/2014

Ah,foreign cinema!

This Italian/Spanish production is a good example, perhaps of how to learn to appreciate the grades of film-making and production between a B-movie and potentially a C or D movie.

Take director Umberto Lenzi’s nuclear radiation-poisoned “zombies” of Nightmare City against one of Lucio Fulci’s movies like City of the Living Dead (1980).  Fulci’s film, as muddled as aspects of it are, is a far more cohesive horror show with truly gruesome gore and a specific vision.  Lenzi’s Nightmare City, which also was released as City of the Walking Dead, isn’t as out-and-out a bad film as you might read elsewhere, but it’s a significant level drop from Fulci’s work.

A plane full of zombies (or at least irradiated people who kill and crave blood and seem to decompose primarily from the neck up) land in an unnamed city and attack everyone in sight.  They use knives, guns, their hands, machine guns even, to ransack society.  The military tries to tamp down news reports of the pillaging and terror, but it’s a pretty hopeless cause.

There are moments (flashes) of good bloody gore, in a film in which the make-up artist seemed to be barely keeping up with the cast.  Hugo Stiglitz leads a cast of people you’ve probably never heard of.

The film’s only real crime, I think, is that it turns out to all be a dream!  But then Stiglitz wakes up and the whole thing starts again!  Dream?  No, it’s a nightmare!  Nightmare City!

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