Horror Hotel

Horror Hotel

5.0 3
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey

Cast: Ann Beach, Valentine Dyall, Patricia Jessell

     
 

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For years, American horror aficionados have been anxiously waiting for this film to be resurrected in its proper full-length form. Although this stylish gothic fright film has long been available on video under its American release title of Horror Hotel, this release from VCI Entertainment marks the first time it has been available in its longer (by two minutesSee more details below

Overview

For years, American horror aficionados have been anxiously waiting for this film to be resurrected in its proper full-length form. Although this stylish gothic fright film has long been available on video under its American release title of Horror Hotel, this release from VCI Entertainment marks the first time it has been available in its longer (by two minutes) British cut on DVD. Of course, the question to ask is: Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. VCI has put together a splendid package that should more than satiate the film's small -- -- though devoted -- following. City of the Dead is available in its proper 1.66:1 letterboxed format (enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions) and in its original English language mono soundtrack. The transfer is excellent and nicely shows off the film's occasionally beautiful black-and-white cinematography. One of the many reasons this low-budget classic has survived through the years is the fact that so much care and artistry was devoted to it. The disc also includes a rather amusing commentary track from legendary actor Christopher Lee (who admits not having seen the film since he first made it), as well as another track from director John Moxey. Moxey's track is by far the more entertaining and informative in relation to the film, since Lee tends to lose interest after awhile, but both tracks do have their strong points. Also included on the disc are three lengthy interview segments with Lee, Moxey, and actress Venetia Stevenson, who has a small but pivotal role in the film. All three interviews are excellent and definitely make the disc worth the purchase. Two theatrical trailers, a photo gallery, and cast and crew bios are also included. VCI also includes two different cover options: a moody photo montage or a garish painting which captures the flavor of the film in all the right exploitation ways. All in all, the disc is a great buy and should easily replace previous video releases.

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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:
10/23/2001
UPC:
0089859827426
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
NR
Source:
Vci Video
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:18:00
Sales rank:
23,459

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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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Select
1. The Witch [3:54]
2. The Curse [4:12]
3. Research [4:41]
4. Nan's Departure [3:03]
5. Jethro Keene [3:30]
6. Raven's Inn [4:37]
7. Whitewood [4:03]
8. The Door [5:19]
9. Candlemas Eve [5:30]
10. Sacrifice [:48]
11. Secrets [4:13]
12. Missing [4:38]
13. Questions [3:43]
14. Chosen [3:42]
15. Investigation [4:38]
16. Russell Explains [3:58]
17. The Signs [4:55]
18. Witch's Sabbath [8:25]

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