By Ray Schwetz
Laser Paradise: The Red Collection. Region 0.
"Nightmare City" is the funniest, stupidest Italian zombie flick I've ever seen. Fans of this little subgenre of horror films know that this is a bold statement. With films like "Zombie," "Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue," "Night of the Zombies" "Let Them Die Slowly" "Dr. Butcher MD," et al, it's pretty hard to nail just one as the stupidest and funniest.
What sets this Italian zombie film apart from the ones above and countless others is the fact that there is not one competent moment in the entire running time. Most of the films mentioned above have some quality to them that make them seem like a relevant horror film; convincing gore effects, decent script, decent acting, real animal killings, stylish direction. "Nightmare City" has NONE of this!
Basically, the plot runs like a typical disaster flick. It intercuts between the stories of several different characters and how they deal with (or become victims of) an outbreak of zombies. They include: a reporter and his wife, a general and his family, and a dance troupe that make the guys from the Fatboy Slim "Praise You" video look good! All this and the great Miguel Ferrer scraping the bottom of the barrell!
The zombies in this flick fly planes, shoot guns, use machetes, and they wipe their face clean on their sleeve after every bite (we wouldn't want to spread an infection)! In consideration of the male viewers, the zombies also tear off the girls' tops (even the undead need to go on a panty raid every now and then)! The zombie makeup affects are the absolute worst I have ever seen. Most look like they smeared mud on their faces!
The video presentation is below average. It's advertised at 2:35.1, but the aspect ratio doesn't seem that wide, and it's not anamorphic. It's watchable, but the the print is faded and the colors are extremely washed out. The mono audio doesn't fare much better.
There are no extras, but there are six German trailers for other releases, including Mad Max.
This German Region zero DVD can be played on most DVD players. The film is certainly not for all tastes and being an import DVD, it's an expensive proposition (I paid $45 but if my wife asks, it was $20). It's hard to find an English version of the DVD, due to a very limited pressing.
There's enough gore and nudity to satisfy most gorehounds. Personally, I thought this film was an unintentional laugh riot. I would not call this a good film, and for most it's not worth the hefty price tag, but it's not as boring as "The English Patient!"