Sunday, March 21, 2010

City of the Dead (1960)

In this undermentioned British Horror film, a young college student, Nan, sets off to investigate the small New England village of Whitewood on her professor's lead with the hope of uncovering new information on witchcraft for her term paper. After her disappearance, her boyfriend and brother return to the town only to discover that she has been chosen to be sacrificed by the town's evil inhabitants! Director John Moxey creates all of the same stunning atmosphere found in Mario Bava's BLACK SUNDAY and the Hammer films through the dark Gothic settings and brilliant lighting effects. Whitewood is drowned in eternal darkness and an unsettling fog that settles on the weathered streets, buildings, and central graveyard of the village, as figures creep in and out of view in the nightmarish town. Christopher Lee's manipulative grasp on the characters provides him with another sinister and imposing role as the film's heavy. CITY OF THE DEAD is one of the most beautifully shot, atmospheric, and eerie British Horror films outside of the Hammer series, making it a must-see Gothic Horror entry.

Rating: 9/10.
Number of views: 2.

**It is important to note that the film is widely available in the public domain under its American release title HORROR HOTEL, however VCI's release of the film is the only fulled restored version in America, and has been completely remastered with brilliant picture and sound. This is the only way to view the film.



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8 comments:

  1. Sounds great! Another that I think I have somewhere. Must check this one out soon. By The Mask of Satan are you referring to Bava's Black Sunday? Another of my personal favorite gothic horrors.

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  2. Absolutely, Black Sunday > all, I only discovered Bava three years ago but I have become a huge fan. There are many elements of City that reflect a similar style and atmosphere to Black Sunday, and I highly recommend the VCI release which has absolutely amazing picture and sound. Honestly I have never seen a black and white release with such beautiful picture quality, ever.

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  3. Excellent, I shall take that advice!

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  4. This is one of those films I had to work for, it was hidden in a huge list of reviews at one of my favorite review sites, Terror Trap (which I believe is headed by Harry Knowels), and it was one of those blind buys that totally paid off! There are a few others I grabbed from their reviews I still need to buy, like Anguish, Ants!, And Soon the Darkness, The House with the Laughing Windows, and some others, so they should be popping up in reviews soon..

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  5. Anguish I have found cheap over in these waters, but I highly recommend Laughing Windows, a dark and creepy enough little film.

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  6. Done, just waiting for the price to come down

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  7. Yes, the VCI version is fantastic. We watched at the Davis Graveyard Drive In last summer....it was the all around favorite. Could be becaue we showed crap all the other nights.....just saying :) Another reason I love my UK friends...sometimes they send me the best stuff!!

    Cheers!

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  8. I've only seen a budget version of this film, but it's pretty damn good. It has more than few thing in common with "Psycho".

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