Monday, October 12, 2009
October Horror Fest #12: NIGHTMARE CITY
This might not be much of an endorsement, but Nightmare City is by far the best shitty zombie movie ever made. It treads that fine line of cheesy and awesome that a lot of horror movies hover around. To most, it won't seem that much different than any other bad foreign zombie film of the 80s...but it is. There aren't too many plots for this kind of movie; in this case, a plane exposed to radiation gets the undead rolling. Plane lands, zombies attack, city is...nightmarish!
Yes, you'll be laughing through a lot of this, but that doesn't take away from it at all. These zombies run, know kung fu, and can use machine guns. I repeat: kung fu and machine guns. If you have a problem with that, I don't want to know you. They're more like vampires in that they go after blood instead of flesh, and they still have control over most motor skills (One of them manually lowers an office elevator!).
There's extremely little in the way of story or character development once the blood starts flowing. There's a news reporter/doctor couple on the run, and a general's wife holed up in her isolated mansion. Everything else is pretty much "run away from zombies". The zombie makeup is noteworthy for its shitiness: the blood-sucking goons look like they stuck their faces in a pot of hot oatmeal. There's a hint of some kind of social commentary, how there are "monsters creating monsters" or something, but a Romero movie this ain't.
Later films, especially the Dawn Of The Dead remake, would utilize zombies that do more than stagger around, so you could say this was a precursor. But really, these zombies can drive cars, sneak around, pretty much everything but talk, so it's one of a kind. I recommend picking up a 6-pack of Samuel Adams Octoberfest and settling down with Nightmare City. By the end of the last beer, you might love this movie as much as I do.