Long time, no blog.
But rejoice! I am back to give some quick thoughts on some movies I’ve seen during my annual October tradition (quickly becoming an all-year tradition) of watching non-stop horror movies as Halloween approaches.
First up is City of the Dead from 1960.
Christopher Lee? Check. Witches? Check. Human sacrifice? Check. Vocal sample from Rob Zombie’s “Dragula”? Also, surprisingly check.
Few things go together better than Christopher Lee and horror and in this classic, Lee plays a super sketchy professor who sends one of his pupils named Nan to the fictional town of Whitewood to research witchcraft. While staying at the super-eerie Raven’s Inn, Nan discovers something is off about the inn’s owner Mrs. Newless and the city’s inhabitants.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that I had never seen this movie before!
It is super atmospheric (literally, fog machines were up for MVP) and gorgeous to look at. It’s got that old-school Hollywood set look even though it was filmed in the United Kingdom. Lee is not on screen as much as you might want, but he is as dead-eyed and creepy as ever when on the screen. The movie also hits a couple beats that I must assume would have been unheard of at the time.
The only negative part of the movie is a gratuitous undressing scene for the main actress which seemed really forced and took me out of the movie for a bit. Thankfully it’s over quickly because the rest of the movie holds up so well.
Despite its age, City of the Dead is a movie that any horror-movie fan can enjoy.
I saw this on Shudder as part of Elvira’s 40th Anniversary Very Scary, Very Special Special which was great in its own right. You can check it out there (subscription required) or for free on Tubi, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video.