City of the Walking Dead (1980)

   

Directed by: Umberto Lenzi

Written by: Antonio Cesare Corti, Luis María Delgado & Piero Regnoli

Starring:

Hugo Stiglitz .... Dean Miller
Laura Trotter .... Dr. Anna Miller
Maria Rosaria Omaggio .... Sheila Holmes
Francisco Rabal .... Major Warren Holmes
Mel Ferrer .... Colonel Murchinson
Sonia Viviani .... Cindy
Eduardo Fajardo .... Dr. Kramer
Stefania D'Amario .... Jessica Murchinson
Ugo Bologna .... Mr. Desmond
Sara Franchetti .... Liz
Manuel Zarzo .... Colonel Donahue
Tom Felleghy .... Lieutenant Reedman

Release Dates: Theatrical: 1980 (Spain); December 11, 1980 (Italy); December 19, 1980 (West Germany); June 23, 1982 (France); November 18, 1983 (USA)

Rating:

 

An unidentified army airplane lands as an army airforce which carries a radiation and a group of blood drinking zombies emerge armed with knives, guns and teeth killing their way through as they need constant transfusions of fresh blood from living victims as they go through the town of Italy to feed their hunger through TV stations and hospitals.
The army needs to put a stop to these blood sucking freaks but somehow they keep growing more and more when they contaminate others.

 
There is a good shot on an army plane landing with certain people all cornering the plane demanding them to step out as it gives you a chilling feeling that the living dead couple possibly be in the plane.
The zombie's attacking and shooting people coming out of the plane was not at all convincing and very hokey.
Nice funky moments on a TV station filming some sort of women doing an aerobics dancing and then later we spot a guy murdering some of the crew members as this makes you wonder as to why they are doing this. Then after we spot this there's good shots on the zombie's attacking a TV station as it explains things better as we spot good shots on the gruesome results as none of this looked pretty site to watch and a must for gorehounds who love horror violence even if it looks dated in today's standards.
An average focus on Colonel Murchinson having a discussion with his troupes on what's happening as well as showing a corpse of a zombie and exlaining about extra terrestrial events which seems to grab your attention but however when we keep watching to see about alien encounters it doesn't reveal any of it and seemed to be a case of bad writing.
Nice brief discussion with Dr. Anna Miller being plesaant to one of her patients as this seemed to strongly draw you in and things seem to look well focused between the two of them.
Good strong moment when Major Warren Holmes calls his wife Sheila and telling her to stay locked in her home as this gives you the chills as well as her looking outside and seeing a lawnmower going by itself making you wonder if the nieghbor was killed by a zombie or not.
Nice angle shots on Dean Miller speeding in his car and zombie's trying to cling on to his vehicle.
The discussions during many spots of the film are boring and uninspired too about what is going on.
We have a nice moment by Anna in a hospital with freaked out expressions and zombie's attacking her in a hospital with her running away and freaking out. There's good moments this time with zombies coming in to try and trap her giving it a good spooky vibe.
Plus a good zombie invasion outside of the hospital with nurses running amuck and one of them attacking which looked pretty intense.
Effective and creepy situations when Sheila and her friend are trying to get away from zombies in a cellar as this looked perfectly done as well as a n artsy look on one of them doing a slaughtering to one of them. Certainly a good italian horror moment for the fans of this type.
We also have a nice shot on Sheila Holmes turning around with a possessed feature on her face holding a knife.
Perfect situation with both Dean and Anna going in a church to talk to a preacher with the side of his head turned and is silent as you get the creepy feeling he's an infected zombie himself.
Powerful and creepy moments when they are struggling away from zombie's while locking themselves in an abandiones gas station with one of the zombies looking at them through a window as well as a nice shot on a car exploding with the zombie's surrounding it.
There's good shots on
Dean and Anna running away from zombie's at an abandoned amusement park climbing up a roller coaster rail. Plus a great suspenseful situation when they try to climb a rope from a helicopter and Anna is struggling to hold on which keeps you watching in terror wondering if she will be able to climb it or fall off in which it looked strongly done and imagining being high in the air.
Bottom line: I saw footage of this on Terror On Tape and it looked pretty bad but wanted to check it out regardless.
The zombies looked amateurish as the make up effects looked like total Toxic Avenger. Also it was hard to know if they were zombie's as they do alot of fast action gunfighting but these filmmakers probably wanted to make it different than other living dead films. Well folks, they don't succeed. It was almost like a ripoff cross between a George A. Romero and Ted V. Mikels flick combined into one. However like mentioned had the odd amusing moments but doesn't save it from being average.

The acting is hard to judge as it was overdubbed by American actors but it looks pretty bad to say the least. I will try to dig up the cast worth mentioning which were basically the main one's here .... Lead actor Hugo Stiglitz (Dean Miller) doesn't pull off his part too well like he should be doing as he bored me half to death.Seemed to try and show energy while struggling away from the terror as well as showing anxious expressions but yet doesn't seem to do the trick at all when we watch him with his energised attitude.
However, Laura Trotter (Dr. Anna Miller) who played his wife seemed to do a fine job with her scared emotions and great expressions along with losing her mind during the terrors happening as she seemed convincing enough to portray a character actress. Also shows a nice warm attitude during the beginning of the story since she seemed to come across as a good doctor in her hospital. Had the right looks for this role too.
Maria Rosaria Omaggio (Sheila Holmes) had the okay looks for someone whom is a bit sleazy into all that she did here really getting into her lustful mode. Also knew on how to come across as kinky too. Plus showed nice concerned expressions. She shows it off with her freaked attitude when the terror strikes her as well as doing a good job acting insane at the end of her performance.
Francisco Rabal
(Major Warren Holmes) had the perfect rough and rugged looks for the part he was portraying as he seemed to fit this role well as well as coming across as serious and tough. Does well with his commandments along with showing some decent energy into all that he did here. Shows off well onto the camera with all that he did here.
Mel Ferrer (Colonel Murchinson) also looked impressive with his seriousness in explaining on what is going on as well as showing nice worrysome expressions and does a good job stressing stuff. Offers a good mellow type of personality when he's talking about stuff but being on the ball which stood out well too.

We have a breast shot on a woman in a bedroom when a guy slips off her top and makes a move on her
A woman nurse has her top torn off by a zombie
Another woman is topless while being cannibalised

An arm is sliced off
Heads are shot or torn open
Eyes are stabbed
Heads are
stabbed

Stelvio Cipriani seems to do the job for the film as he has great drum thumping sounds with some funky suspenseful piano music too. There's some quivering music too which gives it a nice zombie feel too. Plus we have some guitar bass thumping in many of the scene's as it was very catchy. The italian composers for horror flicks is very different compared to the typical classical playing that we often hear in North American horror flicks.