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City of the Living Dead (The Gates of Hell, 1980) – Episode 145 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“All I know is the air in Dunwich is getting awful thick. Soon as I can find somebody to buy my shop and my house, I’m vamoosin’. You can bet your ass.” Much to Crystal Clevelenad’s delight, some of that “thick air” in Dunwich is created by fog machines. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they take a viscera-filled trip to Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 145 – City of the Living Dead (1980)

In the small New England town of Dunwich, a priest commits suicide by hanging himself in the church cemetery which somehow opens the gates of hell allowing the dead to rise. Peter, a New York City reporter, teams up with a young psychic, named Mary, to travel to the town where they team up with another couple, psychiatrist Jerry and patient Sandra, to find a way to close the gates before All Saints Day or the dead all over the world will rise up and kill the living.


Bill chose this film and recounts how Fulci’s work has risen in his estimation over the years. He also emphasizes the importance of the production design by Massimo Antonello Geleng in creating the look of City of the Living Dead. Fog machines are Crystal’s thing so she’s all about the look of this movie as Fulci went for the “fog-everywhere-all-the-time” look. She also talks about the importance of the filmmakers having worked on several pictures together, building their mutual understanding of each others’ methods. Chad surprises the rest of the Grue-Crew by revealing that he saw City of the Living Dead first run, younger than he should’ve been to see the movie, by sneaking into the theater with his buddies. He is also enthralled by the idea that a priest committing suicide could open a gate of hell and cause the dead to rise. Jeff gets into Christopher George’s filmography and is thrilled at the opportunity to explore more Fulci films.

Originally titled Paura nella città dei morti viventi in Italy and first released in the U.S. as The Gates of Hell, City of the Living Dead is the first chapter in what is referred to as Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell Trilogy. The Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew are universally impressed with City of the Living Dead!

As you might have noticed, the Gruesome Magazine Decades of Horror 1980s is back from its hiatus with a completely new Grue-Crew. They plan to fit into the new Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1970s and hope they can live up to the standards set by the previous Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crews. 

Please let them know how they’re doing! They want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave them a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.