where the grass is green and the girls are grody

You guys, I'm not really sure what to say about Nightmare City (1980). You know how it is with those movies that don't make you feel strongly in any particular way. It's over and you can take comfort in the fact that if someone asks, "Have you seen Nightmare City?", you can respond with a resounding "Yes!" It is the small things in life, I suppose, that ultimately provide one with pleasure.

The zombies of Nightmare City are zombies of the 28 Days Later ilk, meaning that everyone calls them zombies but they're not undead. Here they're not victims of some virus but of radioactive contamination. No one gets a Silkwood shower fast enough after the exposure and because of this, the victims turn into meatball-headed killers constantly in a search for fresh blood to keep them alive. Hmm. I guess the zombies of Nightmare City are actually zombies of the vampire ilk.

4 out of 5 meatball heads chew Dentyne sugarless gum

So, the meatball heads run around wreaking deadly havoc, turning the city into a total nightmare city (SEE WHAT I DID THERE). It's all quite fun for a time, certainly. Even if you consider this a straight up zombie flick, there's novelty to these villains as the actually wield all manner of weaponry- from guns to machetes- in their search for blood. Though there's ample gore (including some really gnarly breast and eye trauma), I guess it wasn't as extreme as I was expecting, especially considering that the film comes courtesy of director Umberto Lenzi, the man behind the notorious Cannibal Ferox. Overall, Nightmare City is not even Fulci-level grody.

that's alotta meatball heads

I'd call the lengthy aerobic dance scenes gratuitous, but then, can an aerobic dance scene ever truly be gratuitous? Really, every movie should feature one. I mean, think of how much better On Golden Pond would be if Jane Fonda randomly put her aerobics skills to use at some point. It's a foolproof notion!

this is never gratuitous

Nightmare City's first half hour or so is energetic, chaotic, and had me swooning. Things slow down, as I suppose they must, and the fact that Hugo Stiglitz is an incredibly dull leading man doesn't help matters at all. Just as it truly wears out its welcome, however, there's a terrific finale atop a rollercoaster that includes a sequence I had to watch three times in a row. Then it's all over, and here we are.

Nightmare City? Why yes, I've seen that!

the gun is way more exciting than he is, trust me