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The 31 Greatest Horror Movies For Your 2005 Drunken Halloween Bash
(That Probably Cost Less To Make Than You Paid to Rent Out A Few Kegs*)
Horror Movie # 31:  City of the Living Dead

Halloween is a weird holiday. It's the only one where we celebrate spirits, reanimated corpses, and death (if you don't count Christmas). It's the one day out of the year where freaks can look normal and normal people go out of their way to look like freaks. And, best of all, it's a great excuse to pull out your stash of horror DVDs -- ranging from laughable low-budget garbage to quality low-budget classics -- and party like those dancing corpses in the Thriller video. Since many people consider a Halloween Party with the Scream trilogy and some Old Milwaukee a "smashing success," I figured I would put my unhealthy obsession with all things horror to good use and let the world in on the cinematic secrets to giving the best damn Halloween party ever! A new movie will be added daily, right through until the morning of October 31st! You can thank me later. Now, would be fine, too. Either way.

Keep it up, little missy, and
your face will get stuck that

City of the Living Dead
AKA: The Gates of Hell
AKA: Twilight of the Dead
AKA: The Fear
AKA: Pater Thomas
AKA: Fear in the City of the Living Dead

Review written by: Alex Sandell

The Story

Some Priest hangs himself in a cemetery, opening the gates of Hell.  A psychic, a reporter, a psychiatrist and a psychiatrist's patient must close the gates before All Saints' Day, or the dead will rise up and squish people's brains.  In the meantime, the dead are already rising up, which, when you think about it, doesn't really make any sense ("Look! The dead are rising up! We must close the gates of hell before they rise up some more!").

How Many Beers Should Be Consumed Before Watching?

This is a six beer flick.  Drink any less, you'll probably be bored with the nonsensical plot.  Drink any more, you'll probably vomit when you see a girl in the movie literally puke her guts out. 

Gore Score

Choosing between a score of "Light Bruising," "Recently Deceased," "Badly Decomposed" and "Puke-Inducing," City of the Living Dead gets a "Badly Decomposed" rating, closing in on "Puke-Inducing."  While there isn't the non-stop gore found in some movies that are gory non-stop, there are two scenes that are hard for even the sickest gorehound to get through.  One involves a drill to the head and another the aforementioned girl puking up her guts in a lengthy sequence that would be impossible for the squeamish to sit through.  Lucio Fulci loved making his audience nauseous.  Sort of like Nora Ephron. 

Would You Like Cheese With That?

Horror movies can be "Easy on the Cheese," "Regular Cheese," "Extra Cheesy" or "Instant Cheese Based Coronary."  Zombies that look like people with oatmeal smeared on their faces, music that sounds like a kid with a Casio, and a plot that makes about as much sense as setting Rosie O'Donnell up on a blind date with a man earn City of the Living Dead an "Extra Cheesy" rating. 

Drug Use 

With "Let Off With a Warning," "Pay a Small Fine," "Put on Probation" and "Go Directly to Jail" to choose from, City of the Living Dead gets "Let Off With a Warning."  Some detectives at the beginning mention past drug use and a woman asks a guy to smoke pot.  No drug use is shown on the screen.

Sex and the Psycho

Horror flicks and sex go together like romantic comedies and crap.  A terror movie can be rated "Nun," "Curious Schoolboy," "Chick After 8 Beers" or "Paris Hilton."  City of the Living Dead is a "Nun."  There's some PG-rated necking that lasts about 20 seconds before it's rudely interrupted by a ghost priest (they can't even let us have our fun, once they've passed on).

When Should it Crash the Halloween Party?

City of the Living Dead should arrive about 2 or 3 hours after the rest of your guests.  People should be drunk, but not passing out, vomiting or having sex with strangers in front of the other guests.  If there's more than 5 or 6 drinks in your guests' guts, the puke scene in the movie could cause a vomit chain-reaction that will make the pie-eating contest in Stand by Me look gentle, by comparison.  You've been warned.

Will You Hate Yourself in the Morning?

Waking up from a night of partying can be downright depressing.  Waking up with a cheap horror movie in your DVD player can feel like "Sex With a Hotty," "Sex With Someone in Your League," "Sex With Your Sister" or "Sex With a Sheep."  City of the Living Dead is like waking up realizing you had sex "With Someone in Your League."  Creepy atmosphere is dealt out in spades and the gore effects are top-notch for a film that probably cost less to make than your Halloween party cost to put on.  I doubt you'll rush to your television set daily to watch this one, but it could easily become an annual Halloween tradition.

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Fellow horror hound?  Have any comments on this film?  Recommendations for the list?  Email Alex!

*Not really.  But you get the idea.

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