Review: City of the Living Dead

Blu-ray: City of the Living Dead (1980)

When a priest hangs himself in the small town cemetery of Dunwich, his actions open the gates of hell and allow the dead to rise.

Peter (Christopher George), a reporter from New York, pairs with young psychic Mary (Catriona MacColl) and they travel to Dunwich where they meet psychiatrist Gerry (Carlo De Mejo) and his patient Sandra (Janet Agren).

Together, they must find a way to close the gates before All Saints Day, or the dead worldwide will rise up and claim the earth as their own.

Written and directed by Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci, City of the Living Dead follows his usual style of twisting (sometimes confusing!) narrative and regular dollops of gore…non-more so than in one particular scene where a woman literally ‘throws her guts up’.

But it is ‘the drill’ scene with Giovanni Lombardo Radice that always gets the fan plaudits, and rightly so. No matter how many times I’ve watched Giovanni scream in pain as the inevitable clash of metal vs flesh ends in a bone splintering knockout blow, it STILL makes me wince. Kudos to effects artist Gino de Rossi.

Put aside the sometimes incomprehensible narrative, the dodgy dubbing, and the questionable acting, and feast yourselves on the wonderful visuals and haunting soundtrack as you’re swept along on yet another nightmare from the mind of Lucio Fulci.

This release from Arrow films comes PACKED with special features that add layers of depth to the City of the Living Dead that cannot be derived from just watching movie alone. Set aside some time to work your way through them all.

A horror classic, that although may not appeal to everyone, certainly delivers the goods for all Fulci fans.


  • Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative by Arrow Films
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed 1.0 mono and optional 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Original English and Italian soundtracks
  • Newly translated, optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • 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, new interview with Catriona MacColl
  • Dust in the Wind, new interview with cameraman Roberto Forges Davanzati
  • The Art of Dreaming, new interview with production designer Massimo Antonello Geleng
  • Tales of Friendship, new interview with cinematographer Sergio Salvati
  • I Walked with a Zombie, new interview with actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice
  • They Call Him “Bombardone , new interview with special effects artist Gino De Rossi
  • The Horror Family, 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

City of the Living Dead is released on 8th October 2018 and you can buy it by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Fetch Publicity.