“Nightmare City” (1980) Review

Nightmare CityBy Chris Wright, MoreHorror.com

“Nightmare City” (1980)
Directed By: Umberto Lenzi
Written By: Piero Mignoli, Tony Corti, Jose Luis Delgado

Starring: Hugo Stiglitz (Dean Miller), Laura Trotter (Dr. Anna Miller), Maria Rosaria (Sheila), Francisco Rabal (Major Warren Holmes), Sonia Viviani (Cindy), Eduardo Fajardo (Dr. Kramer) Mel Ferrer (General Murchison).

I never knew mindless killing could occur with no actual plot but apparently it really can! It is fairly difficult to defend this movie unless the movie watcher really likes incoherent films. This movie was released under numerous titles as well such as “City of the Walking Dead” and its Italian label “Incubo Sulla Cittá Contaminata.” This movie is not very well known and I found out why, the hard way.

The apparent plot is a news reporter named Dean (Hugo Stiglitz) is going to interview a scientist at a European airport about a recent nuclear incident. A random plane lands and hordes of zombies come out killing and eating anything in their path. The dubbing in this movie is passable but the acting in itself is atrocious.

All of the leads are devoid of any emotion and do not seem to be remotely frightened of these murderous Zombies. What makes this movie near painful is the sheer fact that these (as the director himself even stated afterward) aren’t even zombies! This was suppose to be a radiation poisoning reaction apparently. The plot with either context makes no sense. Zombies can fly planes and have common sense? People with radiation poisoning can turn others in to them and need to drink blood to stay alive? The way to kill these people is a shot to the head. If this was radiation poisoning, why wouldn’t any kill be lethal? Umberto Lenzi can’t possibly be proud of this mis-guided flick.

The positives were minimal. The gore is pretty realistic and steller at times. Two realistic pieces of gore I recall were the breast being bitten off and arms being ripped off. Clearly, not much going for this movie. I would deem this movie in the “So bad, it’s good” category but it was way too tedious for me to even go that far. I can’t even say the makeup on these zombies is great because it looks terrible. After seeing the ending, I felt like I wasted ninety minutes of my life with how much of a cop out it was.

I give this movie 1 out of 5 stars. By some chance of a miracle it has a 5.5/10 on IMDB, which is way too high for me. I would only recommend this if you are a hardcore “zombie” fanatic otherwise this movie deserves to be forgotten. I can’t figure out why this movie is so well liked.

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