Thursday, 2 February 2012

Horror Hotel:City of the Dead (1960)

Film of 2012 #21
Some Spoilers

The latest Public Domain film that I watched was Horror Hotel, also known as the City of the Dead starring Christopher Lee is a story of witches and it opens with the burning of a witch and goes from there. This is a film from 1960 that I as not aware of before getting it for nothing and gave it a look as I thought I had heard of it before but did not really know anything about it. You meet Christopher Lee as Professor Allan Driscoll who is teaching a college class about witches and his star pupil is looking for information to be able to research this further and he recommends that she goes to Whitewood to look up Elizabeth Selwyn who was the witch we saw being burned at the start of the film. 

Based on the title and the nature of the film having seen so many films it is actually fairly easy to see where this film goes but it was an interesting idea and back in the time of release i think it would have had a greater impact than it would on toady's market. Probably my favourite part is the acceptance of all involved when things get weird, films from the 50's and 60's seem to just accept that strange things happen and that you do not need to question it. I think when addressed by the fact that there are witches they just decide they have to figure out how to kill them. The difference being in the remake of Fright Night the main character while he comes around to the idea that his neighbour is a vampire he has to be convinced in the beginning and does not believe his friend. I think that this is the more modern look at the world. I think we are all so much better informed that we would question it however much we want to believe in witches and vampires we are all geared towards the fact that they do not exist how they do in the movies. 

Overall this film is not an essential view it is interesting and a bit creepy and is an interesting snapshot of films at the time and I did enjoy it, however will not have to see it again in the near future. Overall this is a weak 3 stars and is well worth watching if you are exploring what is available in the Public Domain, interesting to see a young Christopher Lee as well. 

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