The City of the Dead [DVD] [1960]

For years, American horror aficionados have been anxiously waiting for this film to be resurrected in its proper full-length form. Although this stylish gothic fright film has long been available on video under its American release title of Horror Hotel, this release from VCI Entertainment marks the first time it has been available in its longer (by two minutes) British cut on DVD. Of course, the question to ask is: Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. VCI has put together a splendid package that should more than satiate the film's small -- -- though devoted -- following. City of the Dead is available in its proper 1.66:1 letterboxed format (enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions) and in its original English language mono soundtrack. The transfer is excellent and nicely shows off the film's occasionally beautiful black-and-white cinematography. One of the many reasons this low-budget classic has survived through the years is the fact that so much care and artistry was devoted to it. The disc also includes a rather amusing commentary track from legendary actor Christopher Lee (who admits not having seen the film since he first made it), as well as another track from director John Moxey. Moxey's track is by far the more entertaining and informative in relation to the film, since Lee tends to lose interest after awhile, but both tracks do have their strong points. Also included on the disc are three lengthy interview segments with Lee, Moxey, and actress Venetia Stevenson, who has a small but pivotal role in the film. All three interviews are excellent and definitely make the disc worth the purchase. Two theatrical trailers, a photo gallery, and cast and crew bios are also included. VCI also includes two different cover options: a moody photo montage or a garish painting which captures the flavor of the film in all the right exploitation ways. All in all, the disc is a great buy and should easily replace previous video releases.
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Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars.
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)


Horror Hotel
George Baxt scripted this extraordinarily good chiller from a story by Milton Subotsky, who also co-produced. A college student (Venetia Stevenson) with an interest in witchcraft goes to the Massachusetts town of Whitewood. It's a foggy, spooky town which gets even scarier when Stevenson discovers that the owner of the Raven's Inn, Mrs. Newlis (Patricia Jessel) is in fact a 268-year old witch. Jessel sold her soul to the Devil to regain her life after being burned at the stake. The whole town is her coven, including Stevenson's kindly history professor (Christopher Lee). Stevenson's boyfriend and brother arrive to look for her and discover human sacrifices and all sorts of evil goings-on. One of the few horror films of the period which still has the power to frighten, Horror Hotel is required viewing for genre fans. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Ann Beach - Lottie
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    Valentine Dyall - Jethrow Keane
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    Fred Johnson - Elder
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    Dennis Lotis - Richard Barlow
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    Norman MacOwan - Rev. Russell

Overall Customer Rating

4.5 out of 54.5
2 Reviews
100%of customers recommend this product.

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