Horror Hotel: The fetching Venetia Stevenson stars in this excellent horror film as Nan Barlow, a young college student who is writing a paper on witchcraft. On winter break, Nan travels to New England to do some research and, on one of her professor's recommendations, stays in a small hotel run by the spirit of an undead witch. Soon, Nan finds that rest of the hotels boarders are witches as well and that she is about to become their annual Candalmas Eve sacrifice. Atmospheric and genuinely scary, HORROR HOTEL not only stars the inimitable Christopher Lee, but boasts direction by John Llewellyn Moxley, who would later go on to direct episodes of classic TV shows such as THE AVENGERS, HAWAII FIVE-O, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, CHARLIE'S ANGELS, KUNG FU, MAGNUM P.I., and MIAMI VICE. The 78 minute uncut version is titled CITY OF THE DEAD.
House on Haunted Hill: Vincent Price has one of his juiciest roles in this haunted-house thriller as millionaire playboy Frederick Loren, who invites five guests out to a genuine haunted house, offering them each $10,000 if they spend the night. Elisha Cook Jr. plays one of the guests, a nervous alcoholic who has been in this house before and witnessed some terrible things. Mr. Loren's beautiful but treacherous wife (Carol Ohmart) is also present--and might be out to kill Frederick during the course of the evening; then again, he might be out to kill her. Severed heads, a skeleton, an acid vat, ghostly screams, and a noose that creeps around on its own and strangles unsuspecting victims are just some of the treats in a film that has been spooking delighted audiences on late-night TV for decades. Producer-director William Castle (THE TINGLER) claimed this was filmed in a process called Emergo, which meant that at a key moment a glow-in-the-dark skeleton on a wire was rigged to sail over the audience's heads. The skeleton is long since gone, but the goofy thrills remain in this classic tale, from a script by Robb White.