Of Fulci’s Zombie "trilogy", City of the Living Dead (aka Gates of Hell) is usually considered the red headed stepchild of the bunch. The dialogue is often hilariously bad; the plot is almost nonexistent and the ending is a terrible, tacked on mess. Still, I like this more than The Beyond or Zombie—-mostly because this one lacks the slow spots of those films. It also, because of its non-linear plot, maintains an effectively illogical and nighmarish tone from start to finish. And give Christopher George some love here. Saddled with some uncomfortably bad dialogue, he still makes for a charismatic hero. That is, until he gets his brains scooped out. The only thing that bugged me about this is the fact that the zombies are even more of an afterthought here than in the Beyond, with most of the scary set pieces revolving around the reanimated/ghostly Priest. Also, they are more "ghosts" than actual zomibes—with the ability to appear and disappear at random. Curious also that these "ghost zombies" aren’t cannibalistic, but instead get their kills in by scooping out the brains of their victims with their hands.
About Gates of Hell (2003)
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Charlie Sheen, Marin Hinkle, Holland Taylor, Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Darryl Sivad
Director: Andy Ackerman
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