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The City of the Dead (film): Wikis


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City of the Dead
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
Produced by Max Rosenberg
Milton Subotsky
Donald Taylor
Written by George Baxt
Desmond Dickinson
Starring Venetia Stevenson
Christopher Lee
Dennis Lotis
Betta St. John
Valentine Dyall
Music by Douglas Gamley
Kenneth V. Jones
Cinematography Desmond Dickinson
Editing by John Pomeroy
Distributed by Trans-World Film
Release date(s) 1960
Running time 76 min.
Country UK
Language English

City of the Dead (US title: Horror Hotel) is a 1960 film directed by John Llewellyn Moxey and starring Christopher Lee and Valentine Dyall.



Production began on October 12, 1959 at Shepperton Studios with a budget of £45,000. Milton Subotsky was an uncredited producer of the film. Officially, it was produced by Vulcan Productions.

Plot synopsis

On the recommendation of her professor (Christopher Lee), a young female student (played by Venetia Stevenson) travels to a small Massachusetts town to do some research into witchcraft. She finds the town occupied by the reincarnation of an infamous witch (played by Patricia Jessel) burned at the stake in the 17th century.

Comparisons to Psycho

This film has been compared to Psycho due to some structural similarities. Both films begin by establishing an attractive young blonde woman as the viewpoint character, leading the audience to assume that she will be the protagonist through the rest of the story. In both films, the blonde travels to a remote location and checks into a hotel or motel run by an eccentric manager. In both cases, the audience's expectations are shattered before the midpoint of the story when the young blonde is abruptly stabbed to death. And both films were made in the same year (1960).

Censored Lines

In the American version, a few minutes of dialogue were removed, including these lines near the beginning, which were supposed to set the stage for the events that followed:

  • "I have made my pact with thee O Lucifer! Hear Me, Hear Me! I will do thy bidding for all eternity. For all eternity shall I practice the ritual of Black Mass. For all eternity shall I sacrifice unto thee. I give thee my soul, take me into thy service."
  • "O Lucifer, listen to thy servant, grant her this pact for all eternity and I with her, and if we fail thee but once, you may do with our souls what you will."
  • "Make this city an example of thy vengeance. Curse it, curse it for all eternity! Let me be the instrument of thy curse. Hear me O Lucifer, Hear Me!"

In Other Media

The metal band Iron Maiden use scenes from this film in the video clip for "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter". Also King Diamond uses clips in their "Sleepless Nights" video, while Rob Zombie used Christopher Lee's opening words to similarly preface one of his track from Hellbilly Deluxe. In addition, the influential punk band the Misfits wrote a song called "Horror Hotel" (the American release title).

See also


  • Rigby, Jonathan, (2000). English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. ISBN 1-903111-01-3.  

External links



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