You had better have a strong stomach if you’re going to watch the five best Italian zombie movies. If you’re really daring, you’ll do it in one night. All you need is a girl and some grub; the gore you’ll get for free. So here’s a list of films to chew on:
“Zombie 2/Zombie”(1979). This gorefest directed by horror legend Lucio Fulci is one of the five best Italian zombie movies ever made. This simple story about the discovery of an island overrun be the walking dead, who later attack New York City, is effective for its filmmaking and its graphics. The film was even banned in several countries but continues to be a popular cult favorite in Europe and the United States.
“Nightmare City”(1980). Also known as “City of the Walking Dead,” this zombie exploitation flick directed by Umberto Lenzi doesn’t waste any time getting to the good parts. A reporter waits at an airport for an airplane. It lands and a bunch of zombies pile out. Run, baby, run. It’s one of the pure midnight grindhouse greats and one of the five best Italian zombie movies you’ll ever enjoy.
“City of the Living Dead”(1980). Alternatively known as “The Gates of Hell,” this was the beginning to Lucio Fulci’s famous horror trilogy. Not technically a traditional trilogy the master horror maker simply decided to make three horror movies and exploit the fruits of the exploitation genre. At one time unrated, or carrying the once dreaded “X” rating, this classic still lasts on many a late night and is definitely one of the five best Italian zombie movies.
“The Beyond”(1981). This is the second film in Lucio Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy. Also known as “Seven Doors of Death,” it is a cult horror classic. What makes it one of the five best Italian zombie movies is that it doesn’t follow traditional zombie mythology, being more about the idea of death and what one will do to avoid it.
“The House by the Cemetery”(1981). The third film in the “Gates of Hell” trilogy, this little puddle of gore mixes zombie lore with the traditional ghost story. It begs the questions, “Is she dead or isn’t she?” As gory as the rest of Fulci’s films, it’s a must-see to complete the series and right in line to take its place as one of the five best Italian zombie movies.