Nightmare City aka "Incubo Sulla Citta Contaminata" (1980/Blu-ray/Raro Video) Review

Nightmare City is a film that I originally ran across a few years ago when in the search for some Italian Horror films. At the time for whatever reason I seemed to of overlooked it and focused my time more on Argento and Fulci films. Since I got this release of it I finally got to see what I had missed out on. What I got was something different than I really was expecting. Lets get into this autopsy and see what Nightmare City has to offer!

As reporter Dean Miller (Hugo Stiglitz) is getting ready to do an interview with a scientist things go from calm to chaotic as an unknown military cargo plane does an emergency landing. With everyone from police to military waiting to see who is aboard they get the surprise of their lives when they are overrun by homicidal mutants. Dean tries to warn everyone of their impending doom, but no one seems to want to listen until they also get overrun by the infected. Is it too late to stop this plague from death consuming the city or are they all doomed?!
After making it through this film I will say that I simply loved it. It has rampant gore and violence, bizarre looking makeup, and a very different take on the vampire genre. Yes I said vampire genre. At first I did see this film as a zombie film, but after watching the interview with director Umberto Lenzi and having him even say that the mutants are vampires made sense. The reason they make sense is because they are not just mindless killers, they actually hurt the victim then they suck the blood from the person. They do not go after brains or even try to eat their flesh. One thing I do wanna say is that the vampires look like family members of the Toxic Avenger.
One of the shining points of the film was that of the acting from Hugo Stiglitz, and from what i gathered he has one hell of a filmography that is composed of a ton of films. As much as he looks familiar I can't quite remember what all other films I have seen him in. He does a fantastic job of playing his character. In some odd way he kinda reminds me of Kevin McCarthy's character from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)". The rest of the cast is great as well, but really they are quite disposable in my opinion. I really only cared if Dean Miller survived.
The gore is alot of the time pretty campy, but there is a couple of scenes that are quite vicious especially when there is a scene of a woman's eye being ripped out that goes well with the eye scene from Lucio Fulci's Zombie. I really did like the makeup on the infected, they looked all scabby and grotesque and like I said before some did look like family members of the Toxic Avenger which is awesome in my book. the only gore that really was not the greatest was alot of the times when someone was cut or stabbed and it left a smear of blood. Nonetheless this film does have some good gore and campy but great makeup!
Since I have not seen this film on any other format i cannot compare it to say the DVD. I can say that I thought this release look excellent. The picture was well cleaned up and restored, but not to the point of destroying the film or making it look too polished. The clarity is great and the film grain is still intact. I think they did a fantastic job on this release and it does give the film justice. Now if you don't like a cleaned up Italian Horror film then you may wanna stick with your old DVD copy that is filled with digital artifacts due to compression. Along with the great presentation you also get some great special features that includes a nearly 50 minute long interview with the director Umberto Lenzi!

I give this film a solid 4 out of 5 scalpels!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Lead Actor/Actress: Hugo Stiglitz
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 1980
Time Length: 91 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Region Code: Region A
Release Company: Raro Video USA
Website: www.rarovideousa.com