City of the Dead (1960 film)

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Still from City of the Dead (1960 film)...

The City of the Dead, AKA Horror Hotel (1960 film)

Summary

"300 years old! Human blood keeps them alive forever!" A charismatic professor of witchcraft and demonology (Christopher Lee) convinces his favorite student to stay at a creepy hotel in his home town of witch-haunted Whitewood, Massachusetts, where she discovers the professor's hidden cult of undying witches.


Details

  • Release Date: 1960
  • Country/Language: UK, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror (Folk Horror), black-and-white
  • Runtime: 1 hr 16 min
  • Starring: Christopher Lee, Patricia Jessel, Dennis Lotis, et.al.
  • Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
  • Writer: George Baxt (screenplay), Milton Subotsky (story)
  • Producer/Production Co: Vulcan Pictures
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • IMDB: (link)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG-13 (mild off-screen Violence and early 1960s satanic creepiness)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

Aside from some creepy, misty atmosphere in a fictional small town in rural Massachusetts, a witch-cult, and a couple nondescript old treatises on witchcraft, there's really no explicit or implicit references to Lovecraft's work.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Y.Whateley: I've seen a couple references to this film as "Lovecraftian", but, aside from some creepy, misty atmosphere in a fictional small town in rural Massachusetts, a witch-cult, and a couple nondescript old treatises on witchcraft, there's really no explicit or implicit references to Lovecraft's work. Still, it's not a bad film, which makes the most of its limited budget to produce some wonderfully creepy atmosphere, and it would only have taken the substitution of "Nyarlathotep" for any references to "Satan", some old books to have been renamed to Cultes des Goules or Necronomicon, and/or the town to have been renamed to "Kingsport" or "Arkham" for this film to have been suggested to be a loose adaptation of "The Festival (fiction)", "Dreams in the Witch-House (fiction)", or some other such Lovecraft story involving secret cults and witches. Though the film is rated PG-13 and is not precisely "kid-friendly", it actually contains little that older children are likely to find shocking, beyond some mild and mostly off-screen violence and atmospherically creepy Gothic satanic imagery.


Synopsis

A charismatic professor of witchcraft and demonology (Christopher Lee) convinces his favorite student to stay at a creepy hotel in his home town of witch-haunted Whitewood, Massachusetts, where she discovers the professor's hidden cult of undying witches.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements