I Saw A Film!
As evidenced by a slew of these old rural setting horror films, from Deliverance to 2000 Maniacs to that thing where Danny Aykroyd played that strange cannibal judge, we’ve been enjoying the weirdness of yokels for decades. Motel Hell takes the old wayward traveler in peril tale and adds some remarkable, if gory and visceral, shocks. After all that’s what we’re invested in with these backwoods miseries, a kind of torture of innocents for our viewing pleasure.
This film benefits immensely from having old Rory Calhoun as the bizarre proprietor and hog farmer trapping a kind of endless stream of city folk for his bizarre meat production, part of which involves partially burying his victims with their vocal chords slashed and then using a tractor to hang them. Creative horror torments are always a popular film draw, though at some point the directness of it can become a bit banal as the filmmakers try to raise the stakes with each subsequent trick, like a pro-wrestling match where the hero’s usual finish fails to work on the newest badguy.
Eventually, our captured victims manage to turn the tables for a good romp, looking much like a zombie attack. Calhoun’s wife is “Ball-breaker” from the Porky’s series and she’s forced into a bit of distress over this happenstance. It’s well to remember that this thing is intended, like a conservative’s racist joke, as humor! The excuse won’t work here.
I can’t really say more as there isn’t much to a film like this that isn’t the details of the horror. Wolfman Jack, the old popular rock and roll disk jockey has a roll as a television preacher. Sadly most of the film suffers from a good case of classic horror fog, a kind of orange late night glow. It may just be a feel of mine. Fair warning though, it’s a hard one to grind through without some help.
Another Hulu holding and apparently what you get with a movie based on the fact that you can rhyme motel with hell.