Blue Underground | Review by Dan Taylor
gore-meister Lucio Fulci was easily one
of the biggest influences during my development
as a horror and exploitation lover. His
flicks in variously cut and renamed
forms often popped up at the drive-in
and Philly junk cinemas. Fact is, I still
get misty-eyed when I reflect on Wednesday
afternoons spent watching HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY,
ZOMBIE and THE BEYOND (then called SEVEN
DOORS OF DEATH) with a collection of winos
CITY doesn't waste any time
getting started as the ponderous Fabio Frizzi
score lets us know that bad shit is gonna
happen. True enough, especially when a priest
decides that the best place to string himself
up is in a graveyard in Dunwich!
Cue to a séance which
leads to the death of a spiritualist who
kicks after seeing a "City of the dead!"
Which leads to an investigation by everybody's
favorite 80s horror icon Christopher George,
here playing grizzled journalist Peter Bell.
And we know he's grizzled 'cause he chomps
on a cigar.
From here on out the flick
runs over with some of the most memorable
moments in Fulci's power-packed filmography:
in a scene that never fails to spook me George rescues a woman who's been buried
alive; a woman's eyes bleed just before
she vomits her entire intestinal tract;
maggots storm; rats munch on skulls; and,
in a sequence that's drawn out in excruciating
fashion, a pissed off dad drills through
the skull of a kid he suspects of molesting
Do our heroes destroy the
sinister priest before All Saint's Day,
saving mankind from all hell breaking loose...
literally? Heck, I've seen it about a dozen
times and I'd be happy if somebody would
just tell me what happens at the end of
the damn thing!
While THE BEYOND remains my
fave of Fulci's head-scratching horrors,
CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD runs a close second
thanks to its almost non-stop onslaught
of "Best Of" moments.