Arrow Video in the UK has now released another Blu ray of the Lucio Fulci gore film, City of the Living Dead but this time from a new 4K remaster.
A medium has a mysterious vision of a priest hanging himself… A seemingly dead woman awakes screaming in her coffin… And in the sleepy New England town of Dunwich, a local girl vomits up her intestines … These grotesque visions punctuate a skeletal storytelling of a reporter (Christopher George) and a psychic (Catriona MacColl) who must race against time to prevent hordes of rotting corpses spewing forth from the gates of hell…
Yes, the synopsis does not make much sense but neither does the film which bypasses a good script for gross-out gore which is typical of the director’s movies. The widescreen photography looks very good in places and there are a few moments of real tension such as when a woman is buried alive in a coffin and is trying to be rescued but overall its a sloppy and at times laughable movie. If its gore you’re after then you will have plenty to keep you occupied but if you want anything else, look elsewhere.
This film as well as many others on the old video nasties list received a cult following because it was forbidden fruit in the UK. If not banned they were heavily censored but now, thanks to a more liberal BBFC most are now uncut and you see most of them for what they are, poorly made exploitation films with not a lot in them to recommend.
Lucio Fulci had his moments as a director, Zombie Flesh Eaters is his best movie and you can see glimpses of his creative talent it’s just a shame that he just went for the gore factor and forgot about the plot and acting most of the time.
This is the second time Arrow has released the City of the Living Dead but this time from a new 4K remaster. The difference to my eyes is very minimal but its a solid transfer with plenty of film grain and solid colours. Audio gives you a number of options, Original uncompressed 1.0 mono and optional 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio in English or Italian with English subtitles.
Extras are plentiful but slightly different from the previous release, with some new stuff but some not transferred over which is odd.
- Audio commentary with star Catriona MacColl and journalist Jay Slater
- Audio commentary with star Giovanni Lombardo Radice and writer Calum Waddell
- We Are the Apocalypse, new interview with writer Dardano Sacchetti
- Through Your Eyes, a new interview with Catriona MacColl
- Dust in the Wind, a new interview with cameraman Roberto Forges Davanzati
- The Art of Dreaming, a new interview with production designer Massimo Antonello Geleng
- Tales of Friendship, a new interview with cinematographer Sergio Salvati
- I Walked with a Zombie, new interview with actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice
- They Call Him “Bombardone , a new interview with special effects artist Gino De Rossi
- The Horror Family, a new interview with father and son actors Venantino and Luca Venantini
- Previously unseen interview with composer Fabio Frizzi
- Archival interview with actor Carlo De Mejo
- Building Fulci s City, a new video interview with Stephen Thrower, author of the definitive tome, Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
- Reflections on Fulci, a new appraisal of Fulci s Gothic period by actor, writer and director Andy Nyman (Ghost Stories)
- The Dead Are Alive!, a new video essay by Kat Ellinger on Lucio Fulci and the Italian zombie cycle
- Behind the scenes, 8mm footage with Roberto Forges Davanzati audio commentary
- Alternative US Gates of Hell opening credits
- Original trailers and radio spots
- Extensive image gallery featuring over 150 stills, posters and other ephemera from the FAB Press and Mike Siegel archives
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- 6 Double-sided lobby card reproductions
- Limited edition 60-page booklet
A great package and as usual with Arrow full of great extras.
FILM: 5 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 6 EXTRAS: 10