Home Video | Review by Dan Taylor
Italian-Spanish coproduction (Dialchi Films-ROME/Lotus
Int'l Films-MADRID) is brought to us care
of Umberto Lenzi, and it's kind of a mess. Which
is disappointing, since I'd heard good things
about it during an extended Italian zombie
conversation with some fellow fans.
For the most part, CITY OF
THE WALKING DEAD is a standard DAWN OF THE
DEAD rip-off: Goblinesque credit score;
a radioactive spill at a nuclear plant causes
the dead to zombify; they attack and munch
on their victims; a husband and wife on
the run from the marauding mutants; and
However, unlike DAWN and its
many Italian counterparts (Lucio Fulci's
ZOMBIE, NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES), these aren't
your typical, lumbering Italian flesheaters.
These walking dead come out a fightin' with
guns blazing, knives slashing, and hand
tools doing whatever it is that hand tools
do. Then they munch out. This landmark plot
twist is the only thing that sets it apart
from the pack, and probably the only reason
it has a favorable reputation.
CITY's inspired beginning
features a tv reporter waiting at the airport
for an arriving physicist. An unmarked military
transport lands unannounced and is surrounded
by government troops. Zombies disembark
and all hell breaks loose! They attack the
live broadcast of a "Solid Gold"
style tv show, a hospital, and some people
The reporter and his wife
(a doctor) take off into the country in
an ambulance in an attempt to get away from
the carnage. The wife is a constant downer,
repeatedly saying things like: "It's
part of the vital cycle of the human race.
Create and obliterate until we destroy ourselves."
Thanks babe, you're really making this a
fun trip for everybody.
Some of the highlights include
a stop at a church where the hubby battles
a zombie priest, and a rousing battle at
a zombie amusement park. In the end though,
the flick isn't nearly gory enough, and
its moronic ending makes you wish it would
just go away. With a little work, some Romero-style
gore, AND the hyper zombies, CITY OF THE
WALKING DEAD could've been a classic. Too
bad that it lives up to neither its premise
or its reputation.