The City of the Dead

1960

Action / Horror / Mystery / Thriller

4
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 4461

Synopsis


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Cast

Christopher Lee as Alan Driscoll
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
559.27 MB
1280*714
English
PG-13
29.97 fps
1hr 18 min
P/S 3 / 4
1.17 GB
1920*1072
English
PG-13
29.97 fps
1hr 18 min
P/S 2 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Tweekums 8 / 10

Horror Hotel

Student Nan Barlow is fascinated by the lectures given by Professor Alan Driscoll on the subject of witchcraft in seventeenth century New England and tells him of her intention to spend a fortnight investigating the subject in the area. He suggests that she goes to the town of Whitewood in Massachusetts and stay at the Raven's Nest Hotel. She heads there and finds a particularly spooky town with constant swirling mists and strange locals. She explores and is warned to leave by the vicar. After that she goes to a shop run by the vicar's granddaughter, Patricia, and borrows a book. It tells of witchcraft and devil worship in the area… particularly of interest is the story of Elizabeth Selwyn who was burnt in the site of the hotel in 1692. Talk of what happens next would spoil one's enjoyment of the film!

This may be a low budget film from almost sixty years ago but it is still surprisingly creepy. It contains some good twists; including one genuinely shocking one. The town is very atmospheric… a fair portion of the budget must have gone on all the dry ice used to make the fog! There are some scary moments and a few violent moments… they may be tame by the standards of modern horror but are still effective. The cast is solid; Christopher Lee puts in an impressive performance as Professor Driscoll. The other, less well known cast members are good too; most notably Venetia Stevenson as Nan; Dennis Lotis, as her brother Richard and Betta St. John as Patricia. Overall I'd certainly recommend this to fans of classic horror.

Reviewed by Wuchak 7 / 10

Haunting fog-laden witch flick from 1960

RELEASED IN 1960 and directed by John Moxey, "The City of the Dead" (aka "Horror Hotel") takes place in Massachusetts when a curious college gal (Venetia Stevenson) vacations in the remote village of Whitewood to investigate its infamous roots in witchcraft/satanism. When she doesn't return her brother (Dennis Lotis) and her boyfriend (Tom Naylor) come to find out what happened. Christopher Lee plays her solemn professor while Patricia Jessel appears as the town's hotel proprietor. Betta St. John plays the the only normal person in the strange hamlet.

The movie was released in the UK at the same time as Hitchcock's "Psycho," but this one went into production six weeks earlier. I point this out because they share a plot similarity that was groundbreaking at the time (which I'm not going to give away). The film appears set bound, but it doesn't really matter since it was shot in B&W. Regardless, there's an effective spooky ambiance with fog galore. The intelligent and winsome Venetia Stevenson shines as the principal protagonist. WATCH OUT for her surprising "Whoa, Mama!" scene (surprising for 1959, when the film was concocted).

FYI: The film was not released in the USA until two years later (1962), albeit with the name "Horror Hotel." Important dialogue bits from the opening burning-at-the-stake sequence were censored from the American version, which was the version I viewed. Key scenes were used in the Iron Maiden video for their song "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" (1990).

THE MOVIE RUNS 78 minutes and was shot at Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, England. WRITERS: George Baxt (screenplay) & Milton Subotsky (story).

GRADE: B+

Reviewed by Michael Ledo 6 / 10

My advice is turn around and leave tonight

"Horror Hotel" and "City of the Dead" are the same feature. On March 3, 1692 the small community of Whitewood burned the witch Elizabeth Selwyn (Patricia Jessel) for consorting with the devil. In modern time Professor Alan Driscoll (Christopher Lee) teaches a course on witchcraft. Student Nan Barlow (Venetia Stevenson) wishes to conduct research for a term paper by going to a small Puritanical town. Driscoll programs her GPS for Whitewood....okay he writes down directions on scratch paper.

Okay, the movie was a flashback to old TV horror sets. The "town" and graveyard was unashamedly on a stage covered up by the presence of Transylvanian thick fog. The film plot was classic, but dated. Available on some multi-packs.

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