BluRay/DVD Reviews

NIGHTMARE CITY

By • Jan 6th, 2014 •

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First things first. The package sleeve into which the BluRay box fits has a wonderfully lurid poster of a blonde woman screaming as the bottom half of her face starts to melt, while three ominous, hazmat-suited people stand below her in the bottom left-hand corner. Once you remove this sleeve, you find a different poster on the box itself, and while it is also creative art-work, it’s a shade too dark and not as much fun. So don’t throw out the sleeve!

During the interview with director Lenzi, he aggressively protests the film being called a zombie film. Some of his human creatures move fast, and the interviewer suggests that fast zombies go against the Romero mythos. Lenzi insists that his creatures aren’t zombies. And he’s right, in the technical sense. We know why they became sub-human – radiation contamination. We never were privy to that information in Romero’s films. And it’s from a government faux pas that all this chaos ensues, so if these menacing monsters are to be compared with Romero’s work, it should be with THE CRAZIES.

NIGHTMARE CITY is good, exploitative fun. At times scary, often admirably creative, but it also has sequences that fail to scare or thrill, and appear as if the director just abandoned them when he saw they weren’t working. In balance, it’s a worthwhile way to spend some horror-targeted time. Performances are good, some of the terror situations are flecked with pathos or tragedy, and certainly with irony. The narrative unfolds while avoiding obvious clichés: a plane lands, a reporter is assigned to do an interview, and out the ravenous horde pours. It’s an effective and fresh opening salvo.

The BluRay quality is quite good. I don’t have past incarnations to compare it with, but I was happy with the clarity, color-range, and sound. Inside the box there’s a booklet containing a knowledgeable, if flippant essay by Fangoria honcho Chris Alexander.

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One Response »

  1. A zombie by any other name is still a zombie! Fun shlock film (I have an original Japanese WS vhs of this) and I am sure this new release is (I have to say it!) “Finger-lick’in Good!”

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