Horror hotel / City of the Dead (1960)


Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Starring : Christopher Lee, Venetia Stevenson, Dennis Lotis, Betta St. John, Dyall, Patricia Jessel. UK.  1h 16m.

This is how you make a decent horror movie, a decent time I’ve only 76 minutes it dives straight into the point, is filled with deep deathly atmospherics and has an intriguing and mysterious plot.

Not staring, but utilising the amazing and intense acting skills of Sir Christopher Lee as a tutor who instructs one of his pupils to travel to a inn a New England to research witchcraft. On her way to the mysterious village she meets a man by the side of the road who she offers a lift but part way through the journey he vanishes like a ghost in the mist. This isn’t enough to shake the nerves of this brave young student who takes up residence within the confines of the inn and starts her investigation into the dark history of the town the occult and witch who was burnt alive by the locals.

The film accomplishes a lot in a short time, after the student goes missing there is several investigations into the mysterious disappearances and the events of the inn. there is a interesting twist among the characters and secret identities and the movie changes directions a few times not too many to make it too confusing or annoying but just enough to keep the interested and the horror flowing.

It was quite spectacular to see you all of the traditional spooky horror elements such as a misty graveyard filled with crooked tombstones, witches,  ghosts and black magic and a hint of corruption. It’s easy to say the connections between the film and psycho, both were released in the same year, a young blonde woman finding her way to an abandoned fog shrouded hotel almost forgotten, a murder part way through my knife and then later discovery off a corpse all ring true in both movies also there is a distinctive touch of mysticism similar to Night of the Demon (1957).

Despite the film being a bit of a flop, it did make a small profit, and lots of restored scenes were eventually replaced before being put on DVD so the chances are, you have seen the uncut version. The film has inspired many musicians including Iron Maiden who use a few clips in their music video for Bring your Daughter, Rob Zombie, The Misfits and King Diamond have also used material from this.




Rating 6/10

R – The Terror (1963)



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