CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980)
a.k.a. Gates of Hell
Zombie, City of the Living Dead and The Beyond. One of the great trifectas in horror cinema. Fulci's now famous contribution to the Zombie genre, the aptly titled Zombie, was the first truly nasty zombie movie. Night of the Living Dead brought the atmosphere and sharply crafted the genre of the zombie movie by amalgamating everything about the undead that we saw previously and fitting it into social commentary. This continued with Dawn of the Dead. The zombies in a Fulci film are how I imagine a zombie should be. The plot is stripped down to its bare components. In other words, Fulci took what Romero did and pushed it in a more abstract territory. Something that City embraces and something that I dig.
It is with City of the Living Dead that Fulci was able to continue his streak of visceral horror. How does he do it? Introduce demonic powers. How cool is that? Throw in some of the goriest work he has done, which is saying a lot, and you have a demonic zombie treat of a film.
Fulci regular Catriona MacColl and Christopher George, known to exploitation aficionados for his roles in The Exterminator and Pieces, are the leads. Fulci also brings aboard his cinematographer Sergio Salvati whose camera work delivers thick, ominous dread and composer Fabio Frizzi.