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The City of the Dead (1960)

A young college student arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town to research witchcraft; during her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers a startling secret about the town and its inhabitants.

Director:

(as John Moxey)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Tom Naylor ...
...
...
...
Ann Beach ...
Lottie
...
Reverend Russell (as Norman Macowan)
Fred Johnson ...
James Dyrenforth ...
Garage Attendant (as Jimmy Dyrenforth)
Maxine Holden ...
Sue
William Abney ...
Policeman
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Storyline

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 <jak@wbst207v.xerox.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

300 years old! Human blood keeps them alive forever! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City of the Dead  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£45,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released in the U.S. on a double bill with the West German film The Head (1959) in June 1963. See more »

Goofs

The character played by Tom Naylor is called "Bill Maitland" in the dialogue but shown as "Tom Maitland" in the end credits. See more »

Quotes

Reverend Russell: They must sacrifice a young girl on two nights of the year.
Richard Barlow: When are these nights, sir?
Reverend Russell: Candlemas Eve, and the Witch's Sabbath.
Richard Barlow: Candlemas Eve, that, that's February the 1st, when is the Witch's Sabbath?
Reverend Russell: *Tonight*.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Andrew Klavan Show: Blaming Harvey's Victims (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great Film...But About The Ending...
23 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

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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