The Gates of Hell

1980 [ITALIAN]

Action / Horror

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Christopher George Photo
Christopher George as Peter Bell
Lucio Fulci Photo
Lucio Fulci as Dr. Joe Thompson
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
773.11 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.47 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Red-Barracuda7 / 10

Some inventive splatter horror from Lucio Fulci

A priest commits suicide in order to open a gateway to hell. This leads to a series of grim events, including several supernatural zombies.

City of the Living Dead is the second of Italian director Lucio Fulci's four celebrated zombie films from 1979-81. Each and every one of them was primarily famed for its graphic violence. In the case of City of the Living Dead it is most probably two gruesome set-pieces in particular that have established its infamous reputation - a nasty scene where a man is killed by a power drill through his head and a sequence where a woman vomits up all of her innards. Both are memorably grotesque. Add to this a maggot storm and several moments where zombies pull the brains out of their victim's craniums. Like other Fulci pictures of this period, this is an inventively grotesque film. But also like those other movies there is also a sustained creepy atmosphere. The fog encased town of Dunwich is quite an effective setting, while the Goblin inspired score from Fabio Frizzi adds a gloomy ambiance of dread to proceedings. There is also a notable macabre scene that doesn't involve any blood and guts, where a woman who has been buried alive is freed by a man hacking her coffin open with a pick axe, which just misses her head several times.

Lead actor Christopher George will be familiar to a few fans of early 80's splatter flicks from his lead role in the bonkers Spanish slasher Pieces. He's pretty decent here again. But, ultimately City of the Living Dead is a film most notable for its no-holds-barred gory violence and horror atmosphere. Although it is not among Fulci's best films, it's certainly a key entry in the Italian zombie film cycle of that time.

Reviewed by Woodyanders8 / 10

Lucio Fulci strikes again!

A priest hangs himself in a cemetery. This in turn reopens the gates of hell and causes the dead to come back to lethal life. It's up to macho newspaper reporter Peter Bell (the ever cool Christopher George) and spunky psychic Mary Woodhouse (the lovely Catriona MacCall) to close the gates before it's too late. Acclaimed Italian horror movie master Lucio Fulci ably creates his patented potently brooding gloomy'n'doomy creeped-out midnight-in-the-graveyard sepulchral atmosphere and stages the incredibly disgusting splatter set pieces with his customary gleefully sadistic protracted aplomb. Gino De Rossi's hideously graphic make-up f/x really deliver the grisly goods; the amazing scene where a hapless lass literally pukes her guts out in appalling slow motion qualifies as the definite stunningly revolting highlight. Sergio Salvati's beautifully crisp and agile cinematography makes especially nice use of prowling tracking shots. Fabio Frizzi's superbly moody pulsating score likewise does the trick. The poorly dubbed dialogue is often hilarious (favorite line: "I'm afraid Mary's dead"). The lethargic pacing casts a strangely arresting and dreamlike spell on the viewer. Giovanni Lombardo Radice gives a sensationally sleazy performance as Bob, a twitchy degenerate pervert idiot who winds up having an enormous spinning drill rammed through his head. A good'n'ghastly fright flick.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca7 / 10

One of Fulci's creepiest movies

Yet another Fulci zombie film, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD has a number of differences from Fulci's other zombie flicks in order to make it enjoyable even for those who are familiar with his work. THE BEYOND was a dream-like fantasy, ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS was an old-fashioned adventure romp, while CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD is a detective story mixed in with typical zombie mayhem. Even those who are fans of Fulci's other films tend to criticise this one for its shoddy production values. In this case I am forced to disagree. I found this to be an atmospheric, intriguing film with characters I cared about (they're more fleshed out here than in other similar slices of celluloid) and at times I would even call the film scary. Firstly though, the criticisms.

There were a number of elements which were uncomfortably similar to the same director's ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, especially when the music began a slow beat and a zombie came out of the ground, which was almost exactly like the previous year's effort. The film was also rather dark which was in some cases annoying, but it wasn't too bad. The special effects weren't as pronounced as in Fulci's other films, in particular the zombies looked like they were covered in makeup instead of the fantastic, undead Spanish Conquistadors from ZFE. There was also a noticeable lack of gore (for Fulci that is - to a mainstream viewer, this would appear as sick as hell),apart from the two infamous "vomit" and "drill" scenes, and all around the special effects aren't used as well here as in Fulci's other 'masterpieces'.

What we do have in the film's favour is an excellent second half, with the disappearing zombies playing tricks on our minds. These scenes are truly unnerving, especially the dead zombie in the kitchen. A very chilling scene. The acting is also good all round for a change. Catriona MacColl plays much the same type of character - a woman caught up in evil around her - as she did in THE BEYOND, but it's impossible to deny that she is a very warm and likable actress. Christopher George, star of countless cheap horror and exploitation films (THE EXTERMINATOR for example),is excellent as the typical American detective, I loved his performance. Carlo de Mejo (THE OTHER HELL) is bearded and sometimes unintentionally hilarious as the psychiatrist, and John Morghen (described once, by John Martin I believe, as the "whipping boy" of Italian horror) is creepy as the town weirdo. Michele Soavi, the guy in the mask from DEMONS, has a small role too.

I don't know why this film gets so much criticism, really. It may be clichéd with all the shock scenes but they are very effective and enjoyable. I was also actually scared by some moments, which is rare for me in a horror film. To the film's credit, there are a couple of times Fulci tries something a little different from his usual formula. The death of Emily's parents is made more horrific as Fulci only suggests it by having blood dripping through the ceiling. He could easily have set up some rubber corpses but it's made all the more worse as he leaves the deaths to our imagination. Another scene - the maggot storm - appears to have been borrowed from Argento's SUSPIRIA, but it's much more over the top and effective here.

There's a heavy, claustrophobic atmosphere, helped once again by Fabio Frizzi's excellent score, which is a little reminiscent of his work for ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS but otherwise stirring. The film suggests the decay - both moral and physical - of small town life very well, and has a scary, unpleasant atmosphere where nobody is safe from the zombies. Well worth seeing, this gets a thumbs up from me.

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