2011
02.01

EP37: City of the Living Dead

The night of the dead has begun. The Gates of Hell have been opened wide and the dead will rise up in hopes of taking over the Earth. Time is running out for humanity and the only ones who can re-close those gates are… Matt and Jason? Scary, to be sure, but also your only salvation. So, one and all, sit around the séance table, hold hands, and listen by candlelight to our commentary on the 1980 zombie apocalypse known as City of the Living Dead. During your trance, expect otherworldly divination of drive-in sexcapades, Matt’s vocal stylings, advice for necrophiles, party snack obsessions, debunking Fulci’s bad rep and other revelations from the grave. After the gates are finally shut, M&J will enlighten you with what DVDs they’ve recently seen. Amo il lasagna!

Lucio Fulci | Ardmore Is (In) OK | Are YOU Every Woman In The World… To Jason? | MGP’s Bordeaux Choice of the Episode | Smock Me! | …And Your Little Dog, TOO! | Blame It On The Twinkies | Vampire… Shots? | It’s BOTH, Jason | Hey, Eva! Break A Leg… Off | Born To Live Forevermore… | Just Let Matt Rock | Gonna Have A Clem-bake | The Book of Enoch | Savannah Stops Smiling | Wonder Woman vs. Hamlin Rule | Hitch-Hike | What The F**k IS Goofy? | The Lurking Fear | Dan Seagrave

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  1. Fulci!

    Actually, I don’t personally include Zombie in Fulci’s de facto trilogy. My reason being that although the zombies in Zombie don’t travel interdimensionally as they do in CotLD, The Beyond, and HbtC. In zombie, the zombies are treated more as a biological problem than a metaphysical one. They get get from their graves, shanble around and eat the living, but they lack they sheer malevolency of the “zombies” from his other big three films.

    Also, Zombie lacks the Lovecraftian overtones of the other three as well. This is probably because Zombie was made to cash in quick on the DotD craze and that Fulci didn’t really have that much input into the plot/script as he did later on on the others. CotLD, being set in Dunwich, gives off the most most overt Lovercraftian vibe. The Beyond has a more refined sense of the Lovecraftian, being less overt in that repsect than CotLD, it still has that overall sense of Lovecraftian fatalism/doom. HbtC is, by contrast, a much more stealthier kind of homage to the Old Gent’s work. If you read his story He, this becomes more apparent.

    Also, as I’d previously mentioned to Jason, Fulci is a truly original voice in the horror field. His films are incredibly bleak, especially in comparison to Bava and Argento. And whereas Bava and Argento are, above all, stylists, Fulci is much more concerned w/ beating his audience over the head w/ his oppressive nihilism/pessimism. This is also probably why his films feel so genuinely Lovercraftian.

    • You hit the nail on the head, RW. I think one of the real strengths of Fulci’s work is his utterly confrontational approach to his audience. As you said, he literally smothers the viewer in a choke-hold of unrelenting pessimism. His compositions are like garish snapshots from a nightmare which promises no escape and, ultimately, a death most unkind, but beyond that they manage to capture a beautiful and haunting resonance which is why we are still singing his Hosannas 40+ years later. I would even posit that Fulci was one of the few filmmakers brave enough to show us the grandeur and beauty inherent in our own mortality. I cannot think of another filmmaker who even remotely dared to approach their material in such a confidently nihilistic manner. In short, he was the fucking man and will out-span most all.

      Fulci Lives!!

      • While Romero’s zombie films, w/ the exception of NotLD, feel more like a Michael Moore documentary, Fulci’s “zombie” play like a meditation on slow decomposition and decay. I wasn’t aware that Fulci’s wife committed suicide, but that may explain his nihilism/pessimism to a degree. Perhaps his wife’s death was the catalyst that opened his psychic floodgates to open and fully release all his pent up sadistic and nihilistic urges?

  2. I enjoyed this one. I was a fan of Zombi 2 and now I have an entire other Fulci trilogy to watch. While we’re on the topic of Zombies, have you gentlemen (the hosts) thought of doing The Return of The Living Dead on an upcoming episode of Terror Transmission?

    • As mentioned an episode or two back, we have a list 15 months long (about 28 movies) to get to. And it might be fair to imply that The Return of the Living Dead perhaps made it to said list some time back. If so, it could be a while down the line, though, so stay tuned.

      BRAAAAAAAAAIIIINS!

      • Thanks and I’ll surely continue to listen.

        SEND MORE PARAMEDICS!

    • It’s a comin’ sir!

  3. The VHS copy I rented in the late 80′s I believe had different artwork. A great scary film- as well as another top notch episode!! Cheers TT!

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