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A young coed (Nan Barlow) uses her winter vacation to research a paper on witchcraft in New England. Her professor recommends that she spend her time in a small village called Whitewood. He originally cam from that village so he also recommends she stay at the "Raven's Inn," run by a Mrs. Newlis. She gets to the village and notices some weird happenings, but things begin to happen in earnest when she finds herself "marked" for sacrifice by the undead coven of witches. It seems that the innkeeper is actually the undead spirit of Elizabeth Selwyn, and the "guests" at the inn are the other witches who have come to celebrate the sacrifice on Candalmas Eve. As one of them said when Nan walked away, "HE will be PLEASED." Written by
John A Kostecki <email@example.com>
Horror Hotel (aka City Of The Dead) has become classic cult horror, and was director J.L. Moxey's first feature film. Starring Christopher Lee. It's notable for being the first feature film produced by Amicus- in their attempt to rival the Hammer horrors.
It tells the story of a young female university student who is passionate about her studies into satanism and the occult. So passionate, in fact, that she desires to do a little field research. With her professor encouraging the idea...and offering a few suggestions.
He tells her she should visit and old, off the grid inn; in a shut-off old town that is renown for it's historical connection to witchcraft.
She agrees this is a good idea, and heads off- leaving her brother and boyfriend behind.
But when she doesn't return and is unable to be reached. The two men start to get worried. So they head off towards the town to figure out what is going on.
Turns out that while she was investigating a series of odd rituals undertaken by the local townspeople; she happened to be kidnapped by a mysterious satanic cult, that seems to be made up of a group of immortals who have sold their souls to the devil for eternal life.
However, the local priest has been battling these dark forces that have been plaguing his town. And he helps the young woman's brother figure out what has happened to his sister- endowing him with the knowledge concerning how these undead cult members can be defeated.
This was a pretty intriguing and engaging film that managed to capture and hold my attention throughout. It's shot in black and white, which compliments it's dark and dreary atmosphere. The acting is pretty good across the board, and the content of the story is really appealing.
Just one thing about the ending....how would that have worked...at night...during a rainstorm...in the fog?! Other than that, I really enjoyed this early 1960's witchcraft/cult based horror.
6 out of 10.
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