Lamberto Bava, son of the Italian horror legend and giallo
godfather Mario Bava, teamed up with modern master Dario Argento (cowriter and producer) for this slick gorefest, a triumph of style and special effects over movie logic. Set in a refurbished German movie palace, our hapless soon-to-be victims arrive for a sneak preview of a horror movie only to see the gore unfold in the audience, as well as onscreen. While the exposition remains murky, one patron finds that an infected cut leads to a gooey transformation, and every one of her victims follows suit until the snaggle-toothed monsters outnumber the humans. The survivors, trapped in the tomb of a theater, must fend off attacks à la George Romero's Night of the Living Dead
. Borrowing liberally from films such as Dawn of the Dead
and The Tingler
also anticipates Scream
in its cinema-savvy references, not to mention its undeniably Neve Campbell-ish heroine. The blaring heavy-metal-hard-rock soundtrack and the carnival horror-house atmosphere helps remind us that this is all just stupid fun. Despite the overwhelming body count, excessive gore, and rivers of green demon pus, the cartoonishly grotesque killings avoid the sadistic edge of many Italian horror films. By the climax of the film the premise is long forgotten in a ghoul apocalypse, but who's watching this for the story anyway? --Sean Axmaker
Horror Erupts In A Movie Theater As The Patrons Of A Film About Nostradamus Begin To Transform Into Slavering, Bloodthirsty Things From The Depths Of Hell. Aren'T You Glad You'Re Watching This At Home? Gore-Drenched Effects And A Great Heavy Metal Score Mark This Shocker From Producer Dario Argento, Who Co-Scripted With Director Lamberto Bava. Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey Star. 88 Min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English (Dubbed) Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo; Audio Commentary; Behind-The-Scenes Footage; Theatrical Trailers. Dubbed In English.