Horror Hotel

Horror Hotel

5.0 3
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey, Ann Beach, Valentine Dyall, Patricia Jessell

Cast: John Llewellyn Moxey, Ann Beach, Valentine Dyall, Patricia Jessell

     
 

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John Llewelleyn Moxey's Horror Hotel (also known as City Of The Dead) has been kicking around "public domain" movie lists since 1988, when someone neglected to renew the copyright on the film. Elite Entertainment has come up with a decent 35mm print for a source, and have given it a consistent transfer. The 92 minute movie has been given a whopping 44

Overview

John Llewelleyn Moxey's Horror Hotel (also known as City Of The Dead) has been kicking around "public domain" movie lists since 1988, when someone neglected to renew the copyright on the film. Elite Entertainment has come up with a decent 35mm print for a source, and have given it a consistent transfer. The 92 minute movie has been given a whopping 44 chapters, indicating the degree to which disc producer Vini Bancalari admires the film, and with good reason -- the plot is one of the eerier horror stories of its period (courtesy of renowned thriller author George Baxt) and the photography by Desmond Dickinson is on the far side of unsettling, a somber, dream-like black-and-white. The 1.66-to-1 letterboxed image frames the action very tightly, focusing the viewer on such details as the tormented faces in the seventeenth century sequences and the twisted physiognomies of the modern-day witches in the film's second half. One suspects that a better source does exist -- probably in the hands of the rightful owner of the movie (whoever that might be) -- in which the details and the shades of contrast in the often darkly lit scenes would be better delineated, but this release looks good and the sound, if not always at an impressive volume, is also amazingly consistent. The disc opens automatically to a menu that, on a second layer, breaks down the chapters -- the only drawback is the absence of a time or chapter read-out during play. In its defense, however, the mere fact that it's been given a chapter marker every two minutes or so shows the care that was lavished on Elite's edition, which makes this a good safe bet as a purchase.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
The debut of director John Llewellyn Moxey (then billed only as John Moxey) is an atmospheric chiller filmed largely on studio sets with a cast that mixed veteran performers (Patricia Jessel and Christopher Lee) with young stars (the 22-year-old American Venetia Stevenson in the lead). It's a low-budget film that depends, like many of the horror films made for Britain's Hammer Studios, more on atmosphere than dazzling special effects. Released the same year as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, it shares that film's setup, of a beautiful young woman checking into a hotel that's a front for evil doings. Stevenson's Nan Barlow is an inquisitive college student investigating a New England town which was the scene of witchcraft trials some 250 years before. The film is less interested in making sense (the town is only partly inhabited by witches, so why don't they just take over so that none of the "civilians" can tell the outside world?) than in creating a mood of foreboding. Stevenson isn't much of an actress, but Moxey gives her enough support and offers a rousing, fiery finale in a graveyard to compensate.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/2000
UPC:
0785604204725
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
R
Source:
Roan Archival Group
Time:
1:16:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ann Beach Lottie
Valentine Dyall Jethrow Keane
Patricia Jessell Elizabeth Selwyn/Mrs. Newlis
Freddy Johnson Elder
Dennis Lotis Richard Barlow
Christopher Lee Prof. Allan Driscoll
Venetia Stevenson Nan Barlow
Norman MacOwan Rev. Russell
Tom Naylor Bill Maitland
Nickolas Grace Actor
Betta St. John Patricia Russell

Technical Credits
John Llewellyn Moxey Director
George Baxt Screenwriter
John Blezard Art Director
George Claff Makeup
Desmond Dickinson Cinematographer,Screenwriter
Douglas Gamley Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Freda Gibson Costumes/Costume Designer
Kenneth V. Jones Score Composer
John Pomeroy Editor
Cliff John Richardson Special Effects
Max Rosenberg Producer
Milton Subotsky Producer
Donald Taylor Producer

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Horror Hotel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie, has some really scary moments. The music was incredibly weird as a choice for this frightening film. I don't get it. There is a part in the film that shows a human sacrifice and that is the scariest part of the movie! I have the DVD version and the VHS. Enjoy!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first seen this movie back in 1969. I was about 12 years old. It scared the heck out of me. 30 years have past, and I found this movie in VHS form. Guess what, it still scares the heck out of me. I watched it at about 10am in the morning. Still scared the heck out of me. This movie is creppy to say the least. Watch it with a friend. 'Freddy Kruger, The Shinning, Cujo,Have nothing on this movie. The fog, The music,The actors,all should have gotten awards. I just got the DVD verison, I can't wait to see it. Be arafid, Be very Afraid
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Horror Hotel' is probably the most frightening witchcraft film of all time. It lacks the sophistication of Rosemary's Baby but makes up for that in simple terror.They didn't spend much in special effects, but the performances of Christopher Lee and Patricia Jessel carry the film to classic status.