The town of Whitewood saw the burning of a witch called Elizabeth in 1692. A young student is obsessed by the town and this burning of an apparent witch and wants to visit the place. Her lecturer Professor Driscoll agrees with her suggestion that she go to the town for her project. When she gets there however, she finds that the witches have gone away. They are back and looking for their next victim.
You know what you might get with gothic horror. Set up and pay off aplenty and the odd convention replicated with skill. Here you get a film that tickles the spine a little, Cleverly plays on convention occasionally and also has enough in its tempo to remain serious and not hammy. It even has a very obvious portion of device 1 leads to device 2 that was handled without fail.
Lee gives us a toned down version of his creepy guy, he was a physical actor and one that dominated a scene. He was also liable to overplay in certain roles. The director Moxey plays with the visual field in interesting ways and uses the frame to tell often neglected story points. The film is an overall playful affair and one worth exploring for the gothic horror fan.
The extras are as always excellent. With the film looking good enough. The stock had some problems and this shows but the 4K love of light makes magic of those heavy shadowed scenes. The standout pieces are the commentary from Rigby, He mentions Amicus and horror gothic. Lee commentary is just as compelling and he is a warm but sharp man.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- New 4K digital restoration by the Cohen Film Collection and the BFI
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of two versions of the film: The City of the Dead and the alternative US cut, Horror Hotel
- Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM Audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary by film critic Jonathan Rigby, author of English Gothic: Classic Horror Cinema 1897-2015 and Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History, recorded exclusively for this release
- Audio commentary by actor Christopher Lee
- Audio commentary by director John Llewellyn Moxey
- Interview with Lee
- Interview with Moxey
- Interview with actor Venetia Stevenson
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing by Vic Pratt and an interview with John Llewellyn Moxey