Over at Ferdy on Film the Invitation to the Dance Movie Blogathon is in full swing and lots of people are sharing their thoughts about their favorite dance moments captured on film and debating the merits of individual dancers. I’m currently writing a longer piece about one of my favorite dance movies that I hope to finish up soon. But in the meantime I thought I’d share one of my favorite dance scenes.

The following clip is from the 1980 Umberto Lenzi film Nightmare City, which was originally shot in 1979 and it features some of the worst dancing I’ve ever seen in any film. Thankfully I’m not alone in my dislike for the dancing showcased in Nightmare City. As the following clip will clearly demonstrate, zombies don’t care for bad dancing either and they proceed to dismember the female offenders and eat them alive. This clip is gory and not for the faint of heart. But if you can withstand the cheap special effects and Stelvio Cipriani’s electronic euro-disco score, you might enjoy it as much as I do!

Umberto Lenzi’s Nightmare City

19 thoughts on “Zombies don’t like bad dancing!

  1. This looks more like aerobics than dancing. I like the sentience of the zombies. They actually don’t seem that hungry, just offended by the amateurish show. It’s great how the entire scene is on TV as well; isn’t that just what we see on the nightly news–some cute duck and her chicks crossing a road, followed by an explosion in Baghdad?

  2. I’m not sure what they’re doing exactly but whatever it is, it’s bad! If my memory serves me right (I haven’t seen this movie in years!) The on set choreographer giving directions to the girls and the “Disco Music” sign hanging in the studio are supposed to make you believe that it’s some kind of dance instruction show. Sadly, in the late 70s and early 80s this is what a lot of “interpretive dancing” looked like.

  3. Arbogast – You may be right! It’s definitely one of the greatest zombie stories ever told.

    Whitney – Nightmare City predates Thriller. I think Michael Jackson may have borrowed some of his dance moves from this scene.

  4. Does it really count as a zombie movie if the zombies use weapons? A little to intense for my breakfast ritual!

  5. I like how industrious these zombies are. They’re like chimpanzees that have learned basic tool technologies. Unlike those other zombies who primitively bite the breast off, they’ve figured out the more efficient method of carving it off with a knife.

    I’ll take this over Thriller any day of the week.

  6. EXCELLENT selection! This is one of the suyperb moments in trash cinema. I love the fact that the dancers are barely in time with one another, like each one is dancing to music only she can hear… Great stuff.

  7. Peter – Zombies and coffee are two great tastes that taste great together!

    McCubed – You were warned above that this clip was “gory and not for the faint of heart.” Personally, the cheap special effects sort of take away from the shock value for me. And last but not least, when you’ve seen as many zombie flicks as I have you’ll discover that zombies come in all kinds of flavors besides slow and weaponless.

    Jonathan – These zombies are very industrious! They know that being on TV is the real way to get your message across.

    Kate – The dancers do seem like they’re hearing different music at times! My only complaint is that I wish there were a few close-ups of the spandex-clad male dancers. We can barely see them in the background and then they’re seen running around crazily.

  8. I loved how the TV cameras were still following the action when presumably the cameramen had say “fck this, I’m off”

    was there ANY plot reason for a bunch of fit, skimpy clothes wearing women to be spreading their legs and dancing??? I didn’t think so, but it worked, really tied the movie together, like the dude’s rug 🙂

    PS, loved the hatchet into the skull, and of course the nipple hacking off, who doesn’t like THAT 🙂

    great clip, keep them coming

  9. That is some pretty bad dancing. lol I love this movie. I watched it again not long ago. It’s some pure escapist fun. It can be quite cheesy at times. The bad makeup and bad acting just adds to the fun. This movie is a blast to watch.

  10. Kimberly this is HILARIOUS!! I can’t believe the level of Gore in this piece- did I just see a Zombie slice off a woman’s breast??!! I’m almost feeling guilty because I enjoyed it very much 🙂 And the dancing- I personally thought it was rather stimulating.

    Thank you for this unique piece- I’ve become a fan of your choice of cinema!!

  11. Thanks for the comments guys!

    Keith – I’m glad you’re a fan of the film too. It’s a lot of fun!

    Gautam – I’m happy you enjoyed the clip so much! I suspect that a lot of guys find the dancing rather “stimulating.” 😉 I hope you get the opportunity to see the entire movie soon. If you like zombie movies you’ll probably love Nightmare City.

  12. HA!

    I watched this movie last night for the first time and really enjoyed it. Great “dancing” clip! In an interview on the R1 NTSC Anchor Bay disc – I believe it’s also on the the new Blue Underground version – Lenzi says that it’s really not a Zombie film, that the deformed characters in the film are really humans contaminated with radiation. However, I still bet they’re the influence for Danny Boyle’s zombies in 28 DAYS LATER.

  13. That’s funny Michael! Thanks for sharing that info here since Nightmare City is regularly discussed as a zombie movie and featured in many books I own as a zombie flick. But it’s interesting to know what Lenzi thinks.

    I guess the creatures in the movie are “humans contaminated with radiation” who also just happen to die and return to life and then enjoy eating human flesh? 😉

  14. Even though that is a 1979 movie it really couldn’t have been filmed in any other decade but the 80’s!
    He must have been way ahead of his time to guess the high legs and electric blue.
    (I shudder to remember myself dress in a very similar and embarrassing way) All I can say is go zombies. girls dressed like that should think twice…

  15. Add me to the list of fans of this film. Funnily enough I just rewatched it again recently and found myself loving it even more. Lenzi is truly one in a million…

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