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VENETIA STEVENSON INVESTIGATES 'THE CITY OF THE DEAD'

Venetia Stevenson studies THE CITY OF THE DEAD Year: 1960
Style over substance, THE CITY OF THE DEAD involves a terrific old Massachusetts locale in modern times (with a burned-witch intro) resembling the village from James Whale's FRANKENSTEIN: fitting since the Brits' own Monster, Christopher Lee, plays a professor who recommends his hottest student in blonde beauty Venetia Stevenson literally study-up on the town's use of witchcraft...

But her character Nan Barlow is more ambitious than smart, lacking common sense to return home after a frightened gas station attendant warns her to... return home. From there she picks up a mysterious hitchhiker that, once arriving in town, vanishes before her eyes. But she's got a paper to do, and her forty-minute screen-time is liken to Janet Leigh in the same year's PSYCHO, which opened a week earlier...

Built-in Spoiler Poster for THE CITY OF THE DEAD Rates: **1/2
After she goes missing, a pretty, helpful local girl (this film's Vera Miles) calls Nan's brother (aka Sam Loomis), who then travels the same route she had, and even experiences the disappearing hitchhiker. With the dark Gothic potential leading up, without Venetia Stevenson there isn't much left for witchy antagonist (resurrected from the prologue) Patricia Jessel to do... While legitimately nefarious, she's no Norman Bates, and not much scary-fun at all.

Other than cobbled streets of murky knee-high fog where cloaked figures march ominously throughout beyond the HORROR HOTEL (the film's alternate, more pointed and contained title), not much really happens except for what the "good guys" experience, and they never seem all that frightened: so why should we?
The face inside the cloak after turning up the brightness opening credit of THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Christopher Lee w/ Venetia Stevenson in The City of the Dead
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD is our Janet Leigh as Psycho came out 9/6/60 this 9/12/60
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD with Patricia Jessel
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD w/ Betta St. John
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD w/ Betta St. John
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
A dead bird pierced to death doesn't even turn our pretty dimwitted ingenue around
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Foggy druid types in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Christopher Lee and Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Venetia Stevenson in THE CITY OF THE DOOMED aka HORROR HOTEL
The year before, Venetia Stevenson as Ernine in Day of the Outlaw
Venetia Stevenson as Ernine in Day of the Outlaw
Nehemiah Persoff and Venetia Stevenson in Day of the Outlaw w/ Tina Louise
Venetia Stevenson in Day of the Outlaw with Tina Louise and Robert Ryan
Venetia Stevenson as Ernine in Day of the Outlaw
Venetia Stevenson as Ernine in Day of the Outlaw
Venetia Stevenson as Ernine in Day of the Outlaw
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