Posts Tagged ‘Mel Ferrer’

 

Exploitative and cheesy, now over 30 years old, this often overlooked gem by respected Italian director Umberto Lenzi (Cannibal Ferox, Black Demons) is a forerunner of the running infected “zombie” film. Born from a producers desire to ride the Italian zombie splatter cycle, and marketed as such on later DVD releases, Lenzi wanted to differentiate the film and base it roughly on the Seveso disaster of 1976, an industrial accident which saw the local population exposed to a chemical outbreak, although any references or thoughts on this are submerged by the sheer zombie-esque action and preposterous scenes. In fact, even director Lenzi doesn’t see this as a zombie movie. Neither do we, considering this poor excuse for make-up, which you too will going to see soon.

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When politically principled and fashion-unconscious TV reporter Dean Miller (played by Hugo Stiglitz) turns up for work one morning, he’s sent to the airport to cover the arrival of a certain Professor Hagenbeck in order to interview him about a recent nuclear spillage that iz hitting the headlines. He is told to take one of the station’s best cameramen with him. As the pair arrive at the airport, a military transport plane that refuses to respond to calls from the control tower comes in to land with no obvious sign that there’s anyone on board. As military personnel gather round and tactfully ignore the presence of Miller and his hesitant cameraman, Professor Hagenbeck emerges and promptly stabs the officer who has stepped forward to meet him. He’s immediately followed by a band of wild-eyed men with radiation-burn faces, who launch an all-out assault on the assembled soldiers. Despite being armed with machine guns, the military men are slaughtered by this manic and seemingly bullet resistant group of blade-wielding ghouls, who hungrily drink blood from the wounds they inflict. Luckily they completely ignore Dean and his cameraman, who after watching on for long enough for the horror to soak in, beat a hasty but hardly panic-stricken retreat.

 

Meanwhile, on the local TV Channel 5, Miller interrupts some aerobic show with news flash related to slaughter which had occured earlier that day. After it was over aerobic show continued like nothing had happened at all. Soon after that zombies, who obviously don’t like publicity, emerged into station armed to the teeth and slaughter each and everyone of employees. Well only Miller somehow managed to escape again, leaving his coworkers on their own.

 

Faced with this sort of crysis millitary decides to develop a strategy. The authopsy results of one of the zombies excluded them from being extraterrestrial. Well at least they know something now. Colonel from Atomic Institute explained to them that, after being exposed to extremely high value of atomic radiation, people in the plane developed superhuman strength and ability to regenerate themselves, as long as they are getting fresh blood. So his solution is to shoot them to the brain in order to kill them (wow you really need to be a rocket scientist to come up with such an idea). So thats what you get when you expose people to radiation – bloodsucking superintelligent zombies. I am not sure now how Japan lost the war. Anyway, turned out that their plan wasn’t so bulletproof as it seemed Later that night mutant zombies invaded millitary base, sabotaged it and achieved one of the greatest victories in the history of warfare.

We have been invaded

We have been invaded!

After winning the battle now it is time to finish the wounded. Local hospital is their next target! Ha! No survivors! It seems that they can infect other people too now. Mutants attack doctors and personel who turn to sucking blood of their patients. Miller was again on the scene and escaped yet again after the first signs of danger. For one news reporter he is often too eager to leave the place of happening. At least now he remembered to take his wife Dr. Anna Miller (played by Laura Trotter) with him. While driving away they heard on the radio that millitiray declared state of martial law. Having nowhere to go
they decided to come by to nearby gas station and help themselves with a cup of instant coffiee. They don’t mind bodies laying around. Meanwhile, Sheila Holmes (played by Maria Rosaria Omaggio) and her maid Liz (played by Sara Franchetti) are baricaded in house. One mutant managed to smeal through cellar and stab Liz into her boob then pop her eye out. What an overkill!!!

You got something in your eye. Let me take it out for you

You got something in your eye. Let me take it out for you

Sheila’s husband Mayor Warren Holmes (played by Francisco Rabal) came home to check on her, after failed millitary plan to release a nerve gas. He arrived just in time to find her infected by cellar mutant. He had no other option that to blow her head off (literally). Yet in the next scene Sheila is laying on the floor with the head on her shoulders. I guess she gor increased power of regeneration.

 

Attracted by smell of coffiee mutants invaded gas station so Dean and Anna were forced to look for sanctuary in a church. There they find infected priest who tries to beat them to death with a huge candle. Dean answers the challenge with a candlestick. This looks like paper, rock, scissors fight.

 

Dean and Anna are now in amusement part though now there isn’t anything that can be found amusing there. They fight their way to the top of a huge rollercoaster where Mayor Warren is waiting fot them in his helicopter. Dean and Anna grabbed onto the rope hanging from the helicopter. Anna should have paid more attention to the rope climbing lessons in elementary school gym class since she couldn’t get into the chopper. Doll representing her body falls down, breaking it’s spine, arms and legs while falling between rollecoaster bars. You can’t blame Mayor for that. Decision to pick them up from a rollercoster was completely in place since this movie is a real rollecoaster of awesomeness!!!

 

Dean could only watch his beloved wife dying without any trace of dignity. Let’s face it, it is not heroic death. He starts screaming repeatedly and he screams himself awake in the bed, next to his wife who is sleeping soundly. That’s right, everything was just a beatyfull dream! Or was it actually? When he received a phone call to interview famous Professor Hagenbeck he dressed up quickly and ran there immedieatly. It seems that he hasn’t learned anything from his dream because…

Nightmare

Conclusion: Nightmare City is the perfect movie for horror fans who need a fix of gory horror that just doesn’t care about making sense, it just wants to be an all-out zombiefest. In many ways Nightmare City conforms to the Italian exploitation horror archetype. The acting is uneven, the cast multinational, the plot liberally peppered with logic holes, the subtext gossamer thin, the violence bloody, and women seem to suffer more horribly than men. Surprisingly, given the film’s country of origin, the Italian dub is often an even bigger mismatch to the actor’s mouths than its English equivalent, on which the English-speaking Mel Ferrer comes off the best. As for the poor zombies, aside poor makeup, they are not quite zombies at all. They are not acctually dead they are organised, intelligent, oftenly well armed and they are RUNNING AND DRINKING BLOOD of their victims. Nightmare City is let down by a dreadful cop out ending, which ruins the, well, not-so-awful work the rest of the movie had done.

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