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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Zombies > Monster > Italian > Hell Of The Living Dead/RATS: Night Of Terror (1980, 1984/Blue Underground Blu-ray Blood-Soaked Double Feature)

Hell Of The Living Dead/RATS: Night Of Terror (1980, 1984/Blue Underground Blu-ray Blood-Soaked Double Feature)

Picture: (both) B Sound: (both) B Extras: B Films: (Hell) B+ /(Rats) B

Despite the terrible dubbing job, this Blue Underground release is welcome and features two little known gems of Italian Horror Cinema - Hell of the Living Dead (1980) and Rats: Night of Terror (1984) - both directed by Bruno Mattei and look better than ever on Blu-ray disc.

I will start with my review of Hell of the Living Dead:

Featuring a excellent soundtrack by Goblin (even using some musical cues from Dawn of the Dead) this gore soaked adventure takes us to exotic locations full of zombies that show no mercy. This time the Zombie outbreak is due to an accident at a chemical plant where the virus is unleashed and rapidly infects the workers. The facility is known as the Hope Centre and may or may not be a total Government secret. An elite four-person SWAT team is sent to New Guinea to investigate and end up face to face with the walking dead. The film's low budget nature works to its advantage, giving us not only a fun story but a film with heart. It also has gone by several names internationally such as Virus, Zombie Creeping Flesh and Night of the Zombies.

Along the way they come across a sexy reporter who just happens to practice nude anthropology... but she soon becomes a blood soaked vixen as they uncover a shocking government secret that could threaten the very population of the world. The outcome of the film is hopeless and brilliant with one of the most gruesome deaths of a main character maybe ever seen on film. The SFX makeup isn't spectacular but it gets the point across and really echoes the imagery seen in the Romero Living Dead films. Though not as much gross-out gore as Lucio Fulci's Zombie, Hell of the Living Dead is an EXCELLENT zombie film and a fun time from frame one to conclusion. Highly recommended for Zombie fans!

Rats: Night of Terror

Rats: Night of Terror is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in a world full of red eyed vicious RATS! Indiana Jones would not be too pleased. After a nuclear war has devastated the planet, society has been reborn into two factions; the underground society and the scavengers above in the barren wastelands not unlike the Road Warrior. Despite the presence of numerous horribly mutilated corpses, the adventurers decide to settle in town after discovering a large amount of food, a greenhouse with various fruit trees and a reservoir of drinking water. The following night hundreds and hundreds of hungry genetically mutated rats are ready to attack them one by one. The film is also known as Blood Kill and of course was directed in 1984 by Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso.

Much like Hitchcock's Birds, the Rats are busting through ceilings, walls, everywhere imaginable and flocking together to overcome the wimpy humans. The film has some great moments yet is a little dated and not without some sub par acting. Visually not on the same scale as the Mad Max films, it does succeed in grossing out the viewer and crafting some scenes with great tension featuring the furry little buggers. In one scene, a Rat comes out of the corpse of a young girl's mouth after attacking her in a sleeping bag - in short, some pretty intense moments here. This would be a great date movie!

Presented in crystal clear 1080p high definition in a standard anamorphic 16 X 9 widescreen aspect ratio, this release very brings out the colors and textures never before seen on a previous DVD release. Though there are scenes with considerable grain, this is understandable seeing that it reflects the original negative. The audio is fantastic with a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 1.0 Mono track its age that takes you back in a time capsule. Subtitles are in English, French, and Spanish.

There are some great special features on the disc including:

Also on the disc is Bonded By Blood - Interviews with Co-Writer/Co-Director Claudio Fragasso and Stars Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo, Ottaviano Dell'Acqua & Massimo Vanni

Hell Rats Of The Living Dead - Interview with Director Bruno Mattei

Theatrical Trailers (Italian and International Versions)

Poster & Still Galleries

In short, these are two very fun Italian horror films that are definitely worth checking out as a double feature on this great release by Blue Underground!

- James Harland Lockhart V



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