Horror Hotel AKA City Of The Dead movie review
City of the Dead (or if you prefer the American release name, Horror Hotel) may well be the smokiest movie ever made, but it’s also a decent little movie. The comparisons to Psycho are not entirely unfounded, but to be fair, this is no Hitchcock movie.
Yes, City of the Dead might not have the greatest of actors (the boyfriend is awful), or a great script or even amazing sets, but it’s a well paced flick that never has trouble holding your attention. They serve up the plot with a spoon, but that didn’t bother me – maybe because I love that they completely drenched the set in smoke. “This sound stage looks cheap.” “Fine, cover it in smoke.” It works for me.
Oh right, Psycho the comparison! Here’s a quick list. (Highlight for spoilers.)
- both movies are black and white at a time when they could have been color films
- both movies feature a young woman traveling alone
- both women stop at a creepy motel
- both women are murdered by the innkeeper
- both women’s family and friends come to investigate
- both movies feature a reveal shot of a corpse of the killer
So I would say the movies are necessarily similar, but they do have some plot elements in common.
At 76 minutes, this movie zips along and it’s got Christopher Lee doing an American accent, AND because it’s public domain, you can watch it for FREE on YouTube! Check it out below – it’s worth it!