Monday, June 01, 2009

Nightmare City (1980) Review

Well, well, well. This weekend I saw a movie that made me want to write a good old fashioned long review. What movie was it, you might think? Was it "Choke"? Was it "The Ruins"? Was it "Let the Right One In"? No, it wasn't any of these, although I saw them all - and actually felt like reviewing The Ruins just to really dwell on how impossibly dumb it was. The movie I saw that made me want to spend a few minutes writing in the internet about it like anyone actually cares was... Nightmare City.


Nightmare City is an Italian horror movie, also known as Incubo sulla città contaminata, City of the Walking Dead or, my personal favorite, Invasion by the Atomic Zombies. Being a lesser known Italian zombie movie, you know you have to expect horrible acting, atrocious dubbing, muted colors, and lots of gore and boobs, and this movie delivers on all of this. If you're not yet convinced that this movie is an awesome pile of cheese, check out the tagline:

"An airplane exposed to radiation lands, and blood drinking zombies emerge armed with knives, guns and teeth! They go on a rampage slicing, dicing, and biting their way across the Italian countryside."

If by now you still don't want to see this movie, go away. We can't be friends anymore.

Directed by Umberto Lenzi, Nightmare City begins when a reporter and his cameraman head to the airport to interview a very famous nuclear scientist, who is about to arrive there. The plane he's traveling in does not respond to the airports requests for identification, so the crew prepares a landing strip for an emergency landing. The plane lands, and immediately the airport's security heads there, shouting to the pilot to open the doors to the plane and to come down and explain why he didn't respond to the control tower. They eventually notice there is no one in the cockpit, and in a matter of seconds a whole military squadron is in situ (as well as the reporter - who happens to be our hero - and the cameraman). There is still no answer from inside, even though now there is some high patent military guy shouting to the plane. After a few minutes of shouting, the door of the plane starts descending, and... out bursts a gang of, I guess, zombies, armed with machine guns, knifes, revolvers and whatever else, and they just start butchering the military (which is ridiculous, because these military dudes, supposedly expert shooters and what not, can't kill a zombie for shit. Really, they just don't hit them! Shoot them, you fuckers, geesh!!). You have realized by know that these are not ordinary zombies, because they are really fast, they punch you, shoot you, strangle you, and stab you instead of just gutting you with their teeth or whatever zombies usually do. They run, plot and scheme. They also drink blood, which makes them a weird mix of zombie and vampire. But they don't eat the victims, they just leave their dead bodies on a trail through the airport. I guess these zombies aren't very hungry, they crave blood instead of brains.

Since we're on the topic, I'll take this chance to say that this has to be the worst zombie make-up I've ever seen. In most of the cases they just look like some mud (best case cenario) was thrown on their faces, and in most of the cases their hands don't even have make-up, so you're looking at a bunch of dudes with brown faces and clean hands. It's just stupid.

Back to the plot, the reporter and his cameraman manage to escape the maiming, and head to the TV station, where some sort of dancing program is being broadcast. I think the director was really gung ho on making sure we knew there was a dancing program going on, because there must be about 5 whole minutes of just these guys and girls dancing in blue spandex, to the sound of some of the cheesiest music I've ever heard. The show has no host whatsoever, just these guys and girls dancing on a stage. Fascinating. At one point, they stop dancing and actually talk to each other, which I found hilarious because the movie is dubbed in english, but the dubbers somehow found it was necessary to try and make voices with Italian accents!

Well, when the reporter gets there, he orders some guy to interrupt the Dancing broadcast because he needs to make an emergency news broadcast. The guy obbeys and the reporter starts saying that some shit went down on the airport, but his job description apparently didn't include "interrupt the awesome Dancing show", because 10 seconds in, his annoucement was cut again and the TV was back to broacasting the Dancing show (to the delight of thousands of viewers, I'm sure). He goes around shouting for a while, until his boss, along with another dude from the military, tell him that he shouldn't cause panic in the population until they were sure of what was going on. DAMN THE GOVERNMENT!
Our brave reporter (who, by the way, is one of the worst actors I've ever seen in my life - his emotional range is zero, I've seen cardboard boxes with more emotional versatility than this guy) thinks the public had the right to know, he resigns his job because he is all badass and the government can't tell him to do, and then decides to go look for his wife so they can flee to the countryside. And so, the movie goes on.


I won't describe the whole movie here because that would probably ruin any pleasure you might derive from watching this, but what happens is probably what you're guessing - the zombies just go around killing while the survivors try to escape the overun city. Yeah, pretty much that. I won't even describe the ending, but I can tell you you'll probably want to stab the director in the eyes with a fork, because it's so outstandingly lazy and lame.

This movie is filled with vapid, one-dimensional characters trying to act natural but appearing fake as hell. There is a lot of moralizing dialogue about how we cause all this crap by living in out concrete jungles or something, but it all falls in deaf ears because by this point the movie is so utterly devoid of plot and coherent dialogue that you just have to laugh at the drivel the characters spill out from time to time. It also stars the most incompetent military I've ever, ever seen. It's hilarious.
The soundtrack is another remarkable source of cheesyness, it's so bad that some of the times I didn't even know if we were listening to the "music" or just to shit falling around on set.

All in all, this movie really has to be seen to be believed. I don't think you can tell how cheesy and bad this flick really is just by a blog post - you need to go out and get it. Bad as it was, it's awfullness was hilarious and actually entertaining - which is more than you can say for some big budget horror movies of these days like, oh I don't know, The goddamned Ruins. And if you are at all a fan of zombie or cheesy flicks, gather around a bunch of friends, pop this on and I guarantee 100% that you will have a laugh riot. Me and my boyfriend sure laughed a lot :D

1 comment:

Black Math said...

hahaha aww adorei tanto ler isto haha, adoro as tuas reviews.. adorava ver aqui uma do troll2.. mas não por outro lado nao quero fazer-t lembrar do filme d novo... O_O