(Apologies for the late posting. My cats decide to do the marimba on my keyboard; I don't know what keys they hit but it took almost a day to get back online. Then my accident-prone family decided to prove how prone they really were -- nothing serious, mind you, just enough to make me wonder what I had done to make the gods angry. Anyway, here's this week's Overlooked Film.)
The City of the Dead is a neat little New England tale of witchery. Nan Barlow (Venetia Stevenson) is a college student writing a paper on New England witchcraft. Her professor (Christopher Lee) suggests she spend her winter vacation researching in the small village of Whitewood where a witch had been sentenced to burn in 1692. Nan is barely settled in Whitewood when the local clergyman warns her to leave -- the town is a nest of evil and had been in the control of the Devil for three hundred years. Stubborn Nan soon vanishes. Nan's brother (Dennis Lotis) and her boyfriend (Tom Naylor) come to Whitewood to investigate. Will they be able to save Nan from being burned at the stake as a sacrifice? (No peeking for the answer!)
Directed by John Moxley, who began his career directing a few television shows before moving on to this, his first feature film. Moxley went on to a long and productive career directing majot television shows and made for TV movies. The script was written by George Baxt, who began a prosperous career several years later writing mystery novels (the Pharaoh Love series, the Sylvia Plotkin/Max Van Larson series, and the Celebrity Murder series). Baxt work from a story provided by Milton Subotsky, a noted producer and writer of low- and middle-budget films.
If the film seems vaguely familiar, you may have it under its alternate name, Horror Hotel.