Nightmare City title

AKA: City of the walking Dead, Incubo Sulla Citta Contaminata, Grossangriff Der Zombies,
Invasion by the Atomic Zombies, La Invasión de los Zombies atómicos

Tag line: Now they are everywhere! There is no escape!

Nightmare CityOne of the more daftly bizarre, but highly enjoyable, Italian zombie films was this outing by infamous director Umberto Lenzi (Mr Cannibal Ferox himself) about toxic zombies running amok in the outskirts of an American city (actually Madrid).

The film starts off with a news report about a radioactive leak at one of country's main nuclear plants. The scientist in charge, professor Hagenback, is supposed to be flying in to give a TV interview, and so news reporter Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz) and a camera crew goes to the airport to meet him. They arrive in time to see the airport security forces rushing to surround an unmarked military carrier which has just landed, and so believing there to be another good story on hand, they go in for a closer look.

As the security forces attempt to gain entry to the plane, the doors suddenly burst open and a flood of radiation scarred zombies rush out, one of which being Professor Hagenback himself, completely overwhelming the surrounding police and army units.

The news crew capture the spectacular scenes of mayhem on camera, before escaping in one of army trucks. However, upon arriving back at the TV station, they are forbidden from showing the footage by the civil defence chief, General Murchison (Mel Ferrer). But before he can finish arguing the toss with the station executives, the zombies then attack the TV station in another gory rampage. Having just barely got out alive, he decides to get grab his wife and flee the city. He arrives at the hospital, where his wife works as a staff nurse, just as the zombies turn up and yet ANOTHER gory bloodbath ensues.

Miller and his wife Ann (Laura Trotter) manage to escape in one of the ambulances, but quickly fall foul of more zombies and end up fighting a series of running battles in their attempt to flee the city. Meanwhile the police and army continue to loose ground to the radioactive zombies in several spectacular battles as more public buildings and military installations become over run.

This is another one of those films that you either love or hate, zombie lovers and euro-horror fans will undoubtedly love it, whilst fans of mainstream American horror will undoubtedly loathe it (lets face it, it's no Dawn of the Dead). Don't be put off though, whilst the films relatively low budget is rather apparent (ill fitting uniforms, rough acting, poor dubbing etc...) it more than makes up for this with it's fast pace and graphically gory content in which we get to see zombies hacking at peoples faces with various gardening tools, gouging peoples eyes out with pokers, and hacking off women's breasts with kitchen knives. Great Stuff!!!!

Overall marks : 6/10

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line, "Don't get caught alive".

  • Mel Ferrer has had an extremely long running film career, spanning some 5 decades and covering some 80 films and TV series. He is probably best known for his role in the former US TV show Falcon Crest. Nightmare City was made during a period he spent appearing in European films during the late 70's/early 80's, his other euro-horror credits include "Big River Alligator", and Lenzi's "Eaten Alive" (aka Mangiati Vivi, Emerald Jungle).

  • Umberto Lenzi is undoubtedly best known for his vile cannibal movies, as he was in fact the man responsible for starting that sub-genre with the 1972 film "Man from Deep River" (aka "Deep River Savages"), although it is the film "Cannibal Ferox" he will best be known for. Nightmare City marked his first and only entry into the zombie sub-genre.

  • Lenzi actually makes a cameo appearance in the film as the news reporter during the films intro.

  • Apparently Umberto Lenzi wanted to use either Franco Nero or Fabrio Testi for the lead role, but the producers insisted on Hugo Stiglitz (despite his wooden performance) as he was well also well known in Mexico.

  • The early UK video release back in the early 80's on the VTC label was heavily cut by the distributors prior to release, trimming over 3 minutes of gore. Although never banned as such, as it was an unclassified filmworks, it was outlawed when the Video recordings act came into effect in 1984. The US R-rated video entitled "City of the Walking Dead" was similarly heavily censored.

  • The UK and US DVD release by Anchor Bay in 2002 were both of the full uncut version.

  • The full uncut version was also released on DVD in Holland in 2000 by both Italian Shock, and EC Entertainment. Red Edition/Laser paradise also released an uncut DVD in Germany which they'd ported over from a Japanese laserdisc (complete with burned on Jap sub-titles), initial copies were in English, but this was subsequently replaced with a German language only disc (rumour has it they were forced to do this following a rights dispute with another distributor).

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew

Cover Gallery

Buy Online.

Buy the UK DVD

Buy the book "Eaten Alive"
(the guide to Italian Zombie & Cannibal Films)

Buy it at Amazon.Com

Buy the US DVD.

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