Incubo sulla Citta Contaminata
Invasión de los Zombies Atómicos / City of the Walking Dead / Gorssangriff der Zombies / Invasion by the Atomic Zombies
Diego Alchimede, Luis Méndez for Dialchi Film, Lotus Films
directed by Umberto Lenzi
starring Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter, Mel Ferrer, Maria Rosaria Omaggio, Francisco Rabal, Sonia Viviani, Eduardo Fajardo, Stefania D'Amario, Ugo Bologna, Sara Franchetti, Manuel Zarzo, Tom Felleghy, Pierangelo Civera, Achille Belletti, Antonio Mayans, Fiamma Maglione, Alejandro de Enciso, Maria Tedeschi, Frank Clement, Carmen Martínez Sierra, José Yepes
screenplay by Antonio Cesare Corti, Luis María Delgado, Piero Regnoli, music by Stelvio Cipriani
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Reporter Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz) witnesses the landing of an
unmarked plane on the airport that turns out to contain an army of zombies
who immediately take care of the welcoming committee, consisting of police
and military - yet when he wants to report the zombie attack on
television, his transmission is cut off by orders from General Murchison
(Mel Ferrer), who sees to it that the whole incident is properly hushed
up. As if to punish the television station and its turncoat boss (Ugo
Bologna) though, the zombies attack the station itself the very next day
and feast on the personnel and a group of young dancers.
Miller realizes how desperate the situation is and wants to fetch his
doctor wife Anne (Laura Trotter) from the hospital to make a clean getaway
- only to find the hospital swarming with zombies, who kill pretty much
everyone in sight. Someho, Miller manages to save Anne nevertheless, and
they snatch an ambulance and drive to the country where they think
themselves safer - which quite simply is not the case, as they have to
learn at a gas station, where they are attacked by a group of zombies, and
the only way of getting rid of them is blowing up their ambulance - which
in turn leaves them to flee on foot.
And while back at army headquarters, General Murchison has to more and
more realize how hopeless the situation is, Anne and Dean make it to a
fairground which seems safe - until the zombies come out of their hiding
and corner them atop a rollercoaster ... when an army helicopter flies by
to pick them up. But unfortunately Anne can't hold on to the rope on which
she's hanging on the helicopter and falls to her death, when ...
The alarm goes off, and Dean wakes up in his bed next to his wife Anne.
It was all just a dream. The next thing though is that Dean heads off to
the airport for an assignment when an unmarked plane lands and ...
While no match to George A.Romero's zombie classics Night
of the Living Dead and Dawn
of the Dead or Lucio Fulci's Zombie
Flesh Eaters, Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City is
nevertheless one of the better zombiefilms to come out of Italy in the
early 1980's. True, Lenzi fails to create much of an atmosphere in the
film (which was never Lenzi's forte), but at least he knows how to handle
shocks, and while the film moves at a fast enough pace it also features
enough reasonably well fleshed out supporting characters to keep things
interesting, and apart from the ending, which is strangely reminiscent of Dead
of Night, the film also features a very stringent storyline.
Politically correct members of the audience however will probably be
annoyed by the macho attitude of the film.
By the way, it should be noted that this is one of the first films to
feature running zombies which many genre purists detest - but in
the context of this film, in which they also seem to be able to think
complex thoughts and arm themselves (with machetes as well as firearms),
running zombies make perfect sense.