And the Zombies are pretty!
Well, you can blame a bad promo disc for this rewind edition of Scary Film review. Unfortunately, not every disc I get sent works, and therefore the schedule gets a bit wacky. That's ok, here's a classic rewind look at Nightmare City, one of my favorite Euro-trash films.It was made in Italy, and it's got some chops.
I saw this video a while ago, but then I recently got a dvd of this film and instead of just throwing you a list, I'm going to review this film, then sending you through list hell for the three days following. This movie has a lot messed up things. There is a lot of different scenarios that are so unrealistic that you will laugh. The best part about this film is not so much the lack of story at times, it's the fact that the zombies are fast, they are smart, and they don't necessarily eat you. This is a great little Italian film that I enjoy, but not necessarily for the right reasons. So join me in a little review of Nightmare City.
Nightmare City is a 1980 Italian film by famed director Umberto Lenzi. The movie has been released in different names on video, including "Incubo Sulla Citta Contaminata" and "City of the Walking Dead" and of course Nightmare City. The movie immediately looks like an Italian movie, meaning that the distinct horror movie style that we have noticed in previous Italian Horror movies like "Cemetery Man", "The Church", and "The Night Train Murders", is again seen here. These "tells" of Italian genre horror is more than just terrible dubbing, it's olive tones, and muted colors alongside casual acting and panicking.
Here is a trailer for the 1980 Nightmare city:
The story is about a military plane that has emergency landed in an unnamed European airport, and the press is waiting for a scientist that is coming down. As the press and military await the plane's opening, something weird happens, it's not really explainable really, you just have to see the film. The doors open and out come fast zombies come busting out, stabbing and shooting people outside. This is insane, because the zombies don't really eat the victims, they jst kill them. They stab, shoot, and fight their way through people and magically, don't eat the victims.
The movie then slows down completely. you either love this portion of the film or you hate it. The movie slows down to a crawl and the story starts to take center stage and the film really doesn't make a lot of sense. The zombies also seem to show up at impromptu times, in odd places, an it just continues.
The makeup effects on some of the zombies is lackluster to say the least. The Zombies, at least some of them, have just black stuff on their face. There is a complete lack of attention to detail here, and it makes you kind of sad and/or mad. There are a lot of lazy moments in this film, and then the film pulls the ultimate lazy move...it restarts.
That's right, the end of the film is a restart of sorts. This will jolt you into a frenzy, and it is upsetting. I won't tell you the technique, but it's bad.
Is Nightmare City Scary? : No. This film is entertaining to me. However, there is nothing scary about it to me. Sure there are moments in other zombie films that are meant to be scary, but this film misses everything. Every point that you could possibly have to scare someone is missing in this film. This film is slow paced, and really only worth it for diehard fans of the genre.
I tried to think of the scariest thing for you guys, and the only thing that I could think of was the sub plot of the people stuck at the airport worried about their families. Yes, that can be scary, thinking that your family can be in the line of fire. Without technology, like cell phones, this movie makes a lot of sense and could be scary, only if you really think about that. The film is dated, it feels dated and really isn't worthwhile.
If you are a fan of the genre you might like this, otherwise you should just avoid it. Nightmare City is a nice little piece of film, however there are a lot of holes, and some obvious lazy film making. Nightmare city is scary, but not in the way you expect or want.