“All I know is the air in Dunwich is getting awful thick. Soon as I can find somebody to buy my shop and my house, I’m vamoosin’. You can bet your ass.” Much to Crystal Cleveland’s delight, some of that “thick air” in Dunwich is created by fog machines. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they take a viscera-filled trip to Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead!
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 145 – City of the Living Dead (1980)
In the small New England town of Dunwich, a priest commits suicide by hanging himself in the church cemetery which somehow opens the gates of hell allowing the dead to rise. Peter, a New York City reporter, teams up with a young psychic, named Mary, to travel to the town where they team up with another couple, psychiatrist Jerry and patient Sandra, to find a way to close the gates before All Saints Day or the dead all over the world will rise up and kill the living.IMDb
- Director: Lucio Fulci
- Writers: Lucio Fulci (story and screenplay), Dardano Sacchetti
- Music: Fabio Frizzi
- Cinematography: Sergio Salvati
- Film Editing: Vincenzo Tomassi
- Production Design and Costume Design: Massimo Antonello Geleng
- Special Effects: Gino De Rossi, Franco Rufini
- Makeup Artist / Special Makeup Effects Artist: Franco Rufini
- Featured Cast:
- Christopher George as Peter Bell
- Catriona MacColl as Mary Woodhouse (credited as Katherine Mac Coll)
- Carlo De Mejo as Gerry
- Janet Agren as Sandra
- Antonella Interlenghi as Emily Robbins
- Giovanni Lombardo Radice as Bob
- Daniela Doria as Rosie Kelvin
- Fabrizio Jovine as Father William Thomas
- Luca Venantini as John-John Robbins (credited as Luca Paisner)
- Michele Soavi as Tommy Fisher
- Venantino Venantini as Mr. Ross
Bill chose this film and recounts how Fulci’s work has risen in his estimation over the years. He also emphasizes the importance of the production design by Massimo Antonello Geleng in creating the look of City of the Living Dead. Fog machines are Crystal’s thing so she’s all about the look of this movie as Fulci went for the “fog-everywhere-all-the-time” look. She also talks about the importance of the filmmakers having worked on several pictures together, building their mutual understanding of each others’ methods. Chad surprises the rest of the Grue-Crew by revealing that he saw City of the Living Dead first run, younger than he should’ve been to see the movie, by sneaking into the theater with his buddies. He is also enthralled by the idea that a priest committing suicide could open a gate of hell and cause the dead to rise. Jeff gets into Christopher George’s filmography and is thrilled at the opportunity to explore more Fulci films.
Originally titled Paura nella città dei morti viventi in Italy and first released in the U.S. as The Gates of Hell, City of the Living Dead is the first chapter in what is referred to as Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell Trilogy. The Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew are universally impressed with City of the Living Dead!
As you might have noticed, the Gruesome Magazine Decades of Horror 1980s is back from its hiatus with a completely new Grue-Crew. They plan to fit into the new Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1970s and hope they can live up to the standards set by the previous Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crews.
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