Sunday, October 5, 2008

HORROR EPICS: Motel Hell

MOTEL HELL (1980)
I've always wanted to see this movie, which occupies a warm place in the horror section of any self-respecting video store. And after seeing Motel Hell, it's possible that it's been mislabeled as a horror movie all these years. It's more of a black comedy take on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre if anything. More funny than intending to be scary, and there's a distinct lack of graphic violence. Farmer Vincent's smoked sausages are free of preservatives and sound like the South's best-kept secret, since they're only available within a hundred-mile radius. But there's another secret to Vincent's success, and the answer lies in the nightly car wrecks that happen on the road near the motel he owns. Throw in a girl that survives an accident and convalesces at the motel, and shit starts to get out of hand. Motel Hell has a great concept and aspects of the movie are definitely cool—like the hidden garden—but it's not that great when executed. However, the saving grace is Rory Calhoun becoming the character of Farmer Vincent and elevating the movie to where it's at least passable. In fact, I plan on watching Motel Hell again just to watch him chew up the scenery with his slogan "Meat's meat, and a man's got to eat!"

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