Sorry about the lateness of this post but this Italian 'zombie' movie required a second viewing just so I could be sure that I hadn't missed anything. Luckily I am not succumbing to dementia and this movie indeed has an indecipherable beginning, middle, and conclusion.
The plot of the film is that when Father William Thomas hangs himself in his church's cemetery of Dunwich, it allows a break in the seal of the gates of hell. The reason we know all this is because in New York City while the good Father is preparing to engage in the knot dance he is being spied upon psychically by Mary Woodhouse and and three others as they hold a seance. Making contact with the Father as he dies causes a Mary to literally die of fright.
I will spoil this bit, Mary is not dead. Nor did she really die...nor was she embalmed...but she IS buried and if not for the fortunate arrival of a nosy newspaper man she would have asphyxiated. What happened to her? Why didn't the paramedics realize she wasn't really dead? Did she actually come back from the dead? Who know? Apparently its not important to the story.
All we need to know is that in three days the gates of hell will swing wide open and transform the world into the City of the Living Dead. What you also need to know is that since this is an Italian 'zombie' flick you need to be prepared for a few things:
1) Everything is dubbed and that includes the American actors. 2) You must not eat anything while watching this movie.
The zombies in this movie aren't actually that scary and for some reason these are special undead as they have gained the ability to teleport all over the place, a useful talent to posses if your plan is to pull the brains out of the back of your victims noggin...which they do.
Though with that special ability they have also gained a weakness. If you want to kill one you need merely stab 'em. No, not in the brain or anything but just stick 'em in the gut and they'll fall over dead. Why? Who knows?
I like Lucio Fulci's Zombie. It's gross but it is a true zombie flick and does have a scene where a zombie fights a shark underwater...which gets an automatic win for just that. However I really have to say that you need to pass on City of the Living Dead. Unless you need to see an actress vomiting up sheep guts.