***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
City of the Living Dead - 1 out of 5
Lucio Fulci has become an cult icon when it comes to the zombie genre. His films contain a lot of gore and have been quite controversial but, like all things that attain cult status, it doesn't make it necessarily good. Fulci films are filled with flat characters, bad acting and weak stories that are only put in place in order to get an excuse to cut to the next gore scene.
And City of the Living Dead is no different.
In my opinion, this film is the perfect representation of what a zombie film SHOULDN'T be. The focus is on gore and not the survivors. Read the comic The Walking Dead (or watch it because it is now a series on AMC, and it rocks, by the way), the story focuses around the survivors and each character is complex and develops are the peril they're in builds and changes them. The violence, gore and sex incorporated into the story is the icing on the cake--something sweet upon the foundation of great story telling. You won't see this in a Fulci film. Instead, it's just a weak story that takes us to the next gore scene. For example, this movie was about a priest who kills himself causing the gates of hell to open. Zombies are unleashed on an unassuming neighborhood and, literally, all hell breaks loose. There some nonsense about a psychic in there as well but the story is so forgettable, who really cares?
But that isn't the only thing that is forgettable...
For the life of me, I can't recall a single character's name in this movie because every single one of them is a flat, one-dimensional and are extremely poorly executed. Actors tend to either lifelessly deliver their lines or overact like their lives depended on it. But when your character is basically a cardboard cutout, you can't really blame the actors. The best scene that illustrates the problems that arose from the films writing has to be when a woman is killed and her body is found by another woman who, understandably, freaks out. Her husband (at least I think it is her husband, like I said, these characters are forgettable) tells her to calm down but a ruckus from the now reanimated woman causes her to freak out again. What makes this scene really funny is how the husband doesn't react at all to the sound of the disturbance and, instead, sits his wife down in a chair and tells her that he will figure out what is going on. I can tell you what's going on! There's something in the house, you flippin' idiot!
The story becomes even sillier as you find out that the zombies not only have super-strength, they also have mental powers to make a person vomit out their guts and the ability to teleport. Yep, this is the quality of horror film we are working with. It honestly felt like everything was being made up as the film progressed.
I read a review on Rotten Tomatoes on this movie (by the way, it only gets a 50% there) where one man suggested that if you don't drink, you'll be bored by this movie and if you do, you'll vomit because it's gross. Going against that review, I would highly suggest that you consume some sort of mind-altering substance before watching this movie and getting together with a bunch of friends and riffing it from beginning to end. Doing so is the only way one can walk away with any entertainment from this otherwise boring film.