“Movies… For Free!”, showcasing classic movies that have fallen out of copyright and are available freely from the public domain (with streaming video!)…
The City of the Dead a.k.a Horror Hotel, 1960.
Directed by John Moxey.
Starring Venetia Stevenson, Christopher Lee and Patricia Jessel.
The City of the Dead (renamed Horror Hotel for its US release) is a British horror and the first film to be produced by Hammer rivals Amicus Productions (at the time, Vulcan Productions). Hammer legend Christopher Lee stars as a college professor who suggests to student Nan Barlow (Venetia Stevenson) that she visit the Raven’s Inn in the small New England town of Whitewood as part of her research into witchcraft. Back in the seventeenth century the townsfolk had burned an alleged witch, Elizabeth Selwyn, who happens to bear a striking resemblance to innkeeper Mrs. Newless (Patricia Jessel)…
Sharing many narrative similarities with Alfred Hitchcock’s classic slasher Psycho, The City of the Dead marks the feature debut of director John Llewellyn Moxey, who went on to have an extensive TV career directing episodes of classic shows such as The Saint, Mission: Impossible, Kung Fu, Magnum P.I., and Murder, She Wrote. Despite its low budget (£45,000), The City of the Dead is an atmospheric and eerie chiller that manages to provide more genuine scares than the majority of today’s big budget, gore-centric efforts.
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