The City of the Dead (1960)
Frequently Asked Questions
The camera closes in on Elizabeth Selwyn as she struggles on the stake, until we have an extreme close-up of her face. The shot is being played backwards. The camera had really pulled back from her.
City of the Dead has an accidental similarity to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) (1960), which was released three months before. The two stories have a similar structure. Both have as protagonists attractive blonds who are unexpectedly killed off less than halfway through the film while staying at a remote hotel/motel. Both have a sibling--in Psycho it's a sister, in City of the Dead a brother--who go looking for them. Both siblings are joined in the investigation by someone of the opposite sex--in Psycho it's the missing woman's lover, in City of the Dead it's a newfound friend. And both are joined by a third person who gets killed: the private investigator is stabbed to death in Psycho, the missing woman's boyfriend is stabbed in the back in City of the Dead.
Countless distributors have released The City of the Dead (1960) onto VHS and DVD. This film is in the public domain, which means any distributor can legally sell copies without paying royalties. Beware. Many small distributors market copies of public domain films with poor picture and sound. Others are more reputable and deliver good transfers of the best available prints. Shop around. Note that the 2001 DVD from VCI Home Entertainment preserves the original UK title and contains two minutes that are not present in other American DVD releases.
Watch Horror Hotel, aka The City of the Dead (1960), on archive.org here.