View Full Version : Horror Hotel

The Joker
08-04-2003, 04:22 AM

Wassup guys...I just picked this dvd up for $5 brand new. Has anyone ever seen this one

I was hoping to get some opinions or feedback...


The Joker

08-04-2003, 05:33 AM
Chris Lee rocks, and the movie has some solid atmosphere. It's definitely... a classic. ;)

08-04-2003, 05:43 AM
I have that Elite DVD. You got a deal! I paid $29.99 at Borders for it a couple of years ago. Its a great, creepy memorable little film. It was titled "City of the Dead" in the U.K. This Elite print is passable. Christopher Lee is great in this film! Enjoy!

08-04-2003, 05:45 AM
Another fun note to this movie. Get a load of all the British actors trying to maintain New England accents. Its a trip! This was made in the UK but is set in MASS.

08-04-2003, 07:13 AM
I've got the Roan edition. I been meanin' to get the Elite and do a comparison, but I'm a lazy, and broke, mofo. :D

I'd definitely grab it for $5 though.

08-04-2003, 08:02 AM

I always thought that ^^ was the definitive version? Never seen it but I've been meaning to get it for a long time.

08-04-2003, 02:24 PM
I have THE CITY OF THE DEAD version. I don't know which one is better, as I think both prints have their pros and cons. The one I have has a Christopher Lee commentary which is pretty good. Great movie.

The Joker
08-04-2003, 03:26 PM
thanx 4 the feedback everyone! I'm probably gonna watch it this week :)

The Joker

08-04-2003, 03:27 PM
WEll, I haven't seen it on dvd, but at Jiffy Lube, you can get the vhs (They also have The Swamp Thing and others) for $1.99. Is it worth it?

The Joker
08-04-2003, 04:56 PM
around here, u can get the dvd for 3 more dollars ;)

The Joker

hell ya!
08-04-2003, 05:12 PM
I have the cheapo version, i got it for $5 CND and it's widescreen and has a great print.

08-04-2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by hell ya!
I have the cheapo version, i got it for $5 CND and it's widescreen and has a great print.

which cheapo version ?? I would like to get a better copy of this. I have it included on a 3 movie DVD and the print damage sucks. I've seen a cheapo version @ Walmart for very cheap. Could this be the one ?

08-05-2003, 01:36 AM
I have the city of the dead version also and the image quality is good.Here are the features on the disk.
VCI entertainment
Original british version:contains 2 minutes not found on the american release
commentary(cristopher lee)
45 minute interview with (christopher lee)
2 more interviews with (venetia stevenson,&interview and commentary from director John moxey.
theatrical trailer
photo gallery
Widescreen1.66:1 dolby digital

hell ya!
08-05-2003, 04:58 AM
Originally posted by Latency
which cheapo version ?? I would like to get a better copy of this. I have it included on a 3 movie DVD and the print damage sucks. I've seen a cheapo version @ Walmart for very cheap. Could this be the one ?
The one i got was from a company called Madacy. I got it at Best Buy and i couldn't believe how cheap it was.

The Joker
08-05-2003, 03:49 PM
I also got mine from best buy...its possible that me and hell ya! have the same version

The Joker

08-10-2003, 08:12 PM
I thought City of the Living Dead Version was the definitive disk also, as it has more extra's . Does anyone have a link to a comparison of the two DVD's.

08-10-2003, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Ash28M
I thought City of the Living Dead Version was the definitive disk also, as it has more extra's . Does anyone have a link to a comparison of the two DVD's.

The Roan version (the one I have)

http://www.dvdplanet.com/productimages/front/14802.jpg http://www.dvdplanet.com/productimages/back/14802.jpg
Includes; Easter egg interview with Chris Lee, production notes, trailers for Roan dvd's White Zombie, Rage at Dawn and The Outlaw; also, it uses a 35mm print at, reportedly, 1.85:1 aspect ratio - the VCI version doesn't state the source element they used.

The VCI version

Includes; Commentary by John Moxey; Video interview with director John Moxey; Theatrical trailer; Photo gallery. - Complete and uncut with more than 2 minutes of additional footage cut from the U.S. theatrical release. Advertised aspect ratio; 1.66:1.

It looks like the VCI version slays the Roan in that the Roan version clocks in at 76 minutes and the VCI at 78. Also, it's blatantly obvious VCI is superior in the extras department. As far as transfer goes, I have no clue how they compare. Here is Horrordvds review of the Elite Horror Hotel (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/hh/) and DVDCult's comparison (http://www.dvdcult.com/rev_HorrorHotel.htm) of the Elite and Roan versions. The Cinema Laser (http://www.thecinemalaser.com/dvd_reviews/horror-hotel-dvd.htm) states that the Elite version was taken from a 16mm print, and is framed at 1.75:1, but reports regarding aspect ration seem to vary widely on this version, so I wouldn't take that as gospel; I've seen it listed as being 1.85:1 as well, both here and elsewhere.

For what it's worth, the IMDb lists the movie's original aspect ratio at 1.66:1.

So it looks like the VCI version is the way to go - I just wish I knew whether they used a 16mm or 32mm print. I suppose if the transfer and source elements are good enough, or simply just look better than the the Elite and Roan versions, that wouldn't matter.

08-12-2003, 05:03 PM
Thanks mutleyhyde i think Iíll hold out for the Roan Version. I've yet to see it in stores in Canada though. Iíve seen the other two though. I guess I can just order it.

08-13-2003, 03:09 AM
No problem Ash, glad to help.

I'm happy with my Roan edition, but I do think I'll get that VCI one someday, for the features, and to finally do a comparison.

But if you do go with the Roan, Troma distributes the line. I've had some bad history withe them in the past, as has a lot of folks, but Troma's shipping department has done me right on my last two purchases, so maybe they're reliable these days. Their dvd prices are dirt cheap, but their shipping is damn steep. If you buy directly from Troma, save up your pennies and order a bunch of shit at once; that way the initial shipping fee ($8.00) evens out more over the number of titles ordered.

Troma/Roan suggestions...
White Zombie - great disc, really a killer... the best of the Roans
The Mr. Wong Collection - Karloff as Chinaman sleuth, nuff said
Dementia 13
D.O.A. - classic noir who-dun-it
The Stranger/Cause for Alarm - Orson Welles, a no brainer (and Cause for Alarm ain't bad either)
The Hitch-hiker - cold blooded road noir
and bunches of other bad Poverty Row horror titles, including lots of Lugosi flicks

Check it out. (http://store.troma.com/index.php?SCREEN=department&store=default&department=82)

08-13-2003, 03:16 AM
Sorry mutleyhyde The VCI version is what i ment. The Roan version seems like the second best version though. I was going to pick it up at local store a few weeks ago but it was kinda over priced. I also want to get Dementia 13, is the Roan version the definitive version of the film?

08-13-2003, 03:55 AM
Heh, here's my Dementia 13 thread (http://www.horrordvds.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=283) thread from early 2001... you can see how I used to feel about Troma. :p

It's a good disc - good transfer, decent extras. http://www.horrordvds.com/vbulletin/images/icons/icon14.gif

08-13-2003, 03:44 PM
Thanks for the Dementia 13 link mutleyhyde. I'v been looking for the Roan version forever. It has to be out of print. I haven't even had much luck finding it on ebay.

08-13-2003, 04:27 PM
The image quality on the VCI disc is so sharp, there's NO WAY it could be from a 16 mm print. Grain levels on 16 mm are pretty high, especially in darker scenes, which this movie has plenty of.

If somebody proved to me that it WAS taken from 16mm, I still wouldn't believe it. The transfer is far too beautiful!

08-14-2003, 05:47 AM
Holy shit, Dementia 13 is gone from the Tromamaul.. grrr. Well, there's a dude workin' for Troma postin' at another site now, and he's been comin' clean with the Roan info, so I'll ask him about D13. They don't have Zulu up for order either, and that's like brand new.

08-15-2003, 02:02 AM
I was just able to get the Roan DEMENTIA 13 from DVDEmpire.com. for a 22 bucks after shipping. Looking forward to getting it as it is on its way. I am still trying to decide if I want to replace my current HORROR HOTEL Elite DVD with the VCI or Roan version. I've watched it several times since buying it and I guess I also feel I should hold on to it since I paid 30 bucks for it before there were so many versions available. Will see.....

08-15-2003, 05:42 AM
Good deal Hammerfan! The Troma dude over at dvdtalk said they didn't have license rights for D13 anymore, so it's oop... I'd check out dvdempire, Ash.

Thing is, I thought this was a public domain flick - I mean, there have been like a bajillion shitty versions of it from shitty video companies forever. Another poster asked Troma-dude about it, so maybe we'll get further news on that.

08-15-2003, 05:45 AM
Oh, and Maybrick, thanks for the critique - I know I'll get the VCI some day.

08-15-2003, 06:16 AM
Originally posted by mutleyhyde
Oh, and Maybrick, thanks for the critique - I know I'll get the VCI some day.

Hey, it's just the luck of the draw. I'm sure if I bought the Roan disc first I wouldn't be in such a hurry to upgrade either. All the reviews I've read that compare the two lead me to believe that the Roan one is just as worthy an edition to anyone's collection.

08-22-2003, 08:45 PM
I Just picked up City of the dead (VCI) for 25$ at horrorfind weekend great dvd thanks guys.

I'm going to look on DVDEmpire.com and see if i can get the Roan Dementia 13 disk.

08-22-2003, 08:50 PM
I looked at DVD empire and they have it with the status of ON ORDER.

What did it say when you got it hammerfan?

08-23-2003, 07:35 AM
Hey Ash,

When I bought it the status was "available for immediate delivery" or something like that. I got a shipping notification within hours of ordering it (I ordered it in the morning). I watched the disc last weekend and it is fantastic. Hope you can get a copy of it. Its worth every penny!

11-28-2005, 03:53 AM
I watched this one again tonight. It just gets better and better, doesn't it? Such a superb movie. Time for me to buy a decent version of it methinks. I have the Madacy release for goodness sakes!

Erick H.
11-28-2005, 07:44 AM
I bought the VCI CITY OF THE DEAD from deep discount for $6.00.Just watched it tonight ,overall the transfer is quite nice,a little scratchiness during the opening credits and just a wee bit of shimmer in one scene ,but overall quite pleasing(it was remastered from the vault negative in the British film archives).The interview with Christopher Lee is worth the price alone,it's about 45 minutes long and he discusses a wide range of topics,fascinating viewing for Lee fans.There's also interviews with the director and leading lady.The disc is a steal.
Somebody mentioned the Roan release of DEMENTIA 13,I bought that used on e-bay for about $10.00 and it is,to date,the best version of the film I've seen.The sound of the film has always been a bit dodgey,but overall it is solid enough on this disc and the picture is reasonably clean.It is also the only letterboxed version of the film I've seen available.It's just barely wide,roughly 1:66 .The disc boasts the trailer.a print recreation of the fun "D-13" test (to see if you are mentally sound enough to see the picture,fun !) and a very good audio com track by the leading man.If you can track this down at a halfway reasonable price,it's worth getting.

03-04-2013, 07:51 PM
I pulled this one out of my unwatched pile the other night, knowing very little about it. It's a schizophrenic experience. But in the end I enjoyed it a great deal.

The 2nd half of this film is much better than the first. The first 40 minutes or so play out almost like a bad episode of Karloff's Thriller. Up until that point I was wondering why I'd heard so many good things about this one. Supporting performances are lousy and the music is extremely ham-fisted--even for the era. And the plot is so neutered it seems like a TV movie or a film from a much earlier date.

Maybe that was all intentional since it effectively lulled me to sleep--which made the ensuing gut punch a lot more effective. The plot abruptly shifts gears about halfway through with a very effective shock scene that totally changed my mindset. After 40 minutes of hokey, tired, and tame plotting it really grabbed my attention.

Everything that follows seemed much better to me: the atmospheric black and white photography, some awesome stagebound exteriors swirling with artificial fog, and an exciting climax with some memorable imagery. And as a bonus you get a very gaunt Christopher Lee trying mightily to approximate an American accent. I don't recall seeing him try that anywhere else.

There are some can't-miss similarities to Psycho that would support a whole other discussion--including one plot device that earned Hitchcock a great deal of acclaim. Since the two films were released in approximately the same time frame I wonder if he deserves less credit for it than he got.

If you're a fan of the Universal classics or 60s Bava I think you'd probably enjoy this one. And the VCI DVD goes for less than $8 used at Amazon. Check it out.