Sunday, October 27, 2013
THE CITY OF THE DEAD (1960)
Better known in the U.S. as HORROR HOTEL this is a classic example of British horror starring Christopher Lee. The main hook here is the deep atmosphere that saturates the film. It's a familiar story of a witch who gets burned at the stake in olden times Massachusetts and returns, still wreaking vengeance 300 years later. The Italians would produce similar goth classics with Barbara Steele throughout the 60's and those would amp up the violence and blood but this one has to be given credit for helping to get the ball rolling and serving as a blueprint. Christopher Lee is also pretty awesome as usual. Overall it's a good Halloween-time movie, with all the fog and witchery going on and it ends with a large wooden cross inexplicably shooting fireballs at witches and warlocks(and maybe just some run-of-the-mill Satanists thrown in?). That's some crazy god vengeance there!
I saw this as part of a horror marathon recently and it was by far the best thing on the bill.
This was originally released in the U.S. on a double-bill with a movie called THE HEAD which is supposed to be a German version of THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE that looks pretty nutty.
also The Misfits dig it: