Gates of Hell Trilogy (1980 franchise)

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Promotional Images for the Gates of Hell Trilogy (1980 franchise)...

An unofficial "trilogy" consisting of three Lucio Fulci films:

  • City of the Living Dead (1980 film), AKA The Gates of Hell, Twilight of the Dead, and Paura nella città dei morti viventi
  • The Beyond (1981 film) AKA L'aldilà and Seven Doors of Death
  • The House by the Cemetery (1981 film) AKA Quella villa accanto al cimitero

Summary

  • CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD: In this gory Lucio Fulci splatter film, a reporter and a psychic race to Dunwich to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from the grave.
  • THE BEYOND: Louisiana's haunted Seven Doors Hotel has been home to a string of bizarre and supernatural tragedies, beginning with the lynching of a warlock in the hotel's cellar in 1927. When a young woman tries to re-open the hotel, she inadvertently opens one of the "Seven Doors of Death", allowing the dead to return to Earth.
  • THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY: A plot that revolves around a series of murders taking place in the Oak Mansion – a New England home which happens to be hiding a particularly gruesome secret within its basement walls.


Details

  • Release Date: 1980-1981
  • Country/Language: Italian, dubbed in English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror (gore/zombie/splatter)
  • Starring: gory special effects and an assorted mix of English and Italian actors
  • Director: Lucio Fulci
  • Writer: Lucio Fulci, Dardano Sacchetti
  • View Trailer: (1980), (1981), (1982)
  • TVTropes: (1980), (1981), (1982)
  • IMDB: (1980), (1981), (1982)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (unrated) (rates at least an "R" for extremely gross gore and graphic violence)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • Ss___ (One and a Half Tentacles: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

THE BEYOND is supposedly a VERY loose adaptation of The Dunwich Horror (fiction) by way of a mashup with Clark Ashton Smith story, it would be difficult at best to detect this ancestry in the final film. Dunwich does appear in the film, and there is horror, and a priest who opens the gates to hell, but that seems to be the limit of any resemblance. The other films might similarly be said to be loose adaptations of "Dreams in the Witch House (fiction)" and "The Shunned House (fiction)", with connections to Lovecraft's work that do not extend far past references to The Book of Eibon and the Dunwich Whateley (family) family, and a vaguely Lovecraftian plot point here or there.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • BadMovieMarathon "Summer of Lovecraft", (link) - "...Really nasty, without any redeeming quality...."


Synopsis

In this gory Lucio Fulci splatter film, a reporter and a psychic race to Dunwich to close the Gates of Hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from the grave.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes

  • I've not seen these films, but these do at least sound like the ingredients for memorable Call of Cthulhu scenarios....
    • A priest opening the gates of "hell" and committing suicide, followed by supernatural events such as strange visions and nightmares, maggot rains, the dead rising from the grave, and gruesome and violent special effects, all set in or around the town of Dunwich and investigated by a reporter and a psychic