At the climax of 1960's witchcraft thriller The City of the Dead (aka Horror Hotel), things don't look too sunny for the forces of good. The witches that have ruled the secluded town of Whitewood, Massachusetts for centuries have gotten the best of our heroes.
Richard Barlow (Dennis Lotis), brother to slain college student Nan Barlow (Venetia Stevenson), is in the clutches of Whitewood's evil coven, along with local librarian Betta St. John (Patricia Russell).
As the two struggle in the town's cemetery with their black robed opponents, Nan's brother Tom (Bill Maitland) arrives - much the worse for wear, having experienced a supernaturally-induced car wreck on the way into Whitewood.
Staggering among the gravestones, half dead already, and in no condition to fight a coven of witches on his own, Tom is quickly dealt a fatal blow by a dagger thrown by the coven's wicked leader, Elizabeth Selwyn (Patricia Jessell).
The coven then turns their attention back to Richard and Betta but Tom isn't taking his death lying down. He gets to his feet, rips a cross out of the ground and uses its shadow as a holy weapon to torch the members of the coven. But the movie never answers the question of whether we're watching Tom use every last bit of life in his body to vanquish the witches that murdered his sister (even though he dies not being aware of the details of Nan's death) or whether he died before he even hit the ground and we're seeing Tom as an undead avenger.
I like to think it's the latter. But look and decide for yourself:
Living or The Living Dead? Only Tom's undertaker knows for sure.