Motel Hell

Overview

People come from far and wide to sample Farmer Vincent's distinctively flavored dried, smoked sausages, but one might well ask why there are so few people staying at his nearby motel. This horror comedy provides the graphic answer. It seems that the good farmer only uses the highest quality, specially processed human meat in his treats. To prepare the meat, he first harvests healthy tourists from his hotel. Next, he plants them into the ground up to their necks and with a sharp knife carefully slices their vocal ...
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Overview

People come from far and wide to sample Farmer Vincent's distinctively flavored dried, smoked sausages, but one might well ask why there are so few people staying at his nearby motel. This horror comedy provides the graphic answer. It seems that the good farmer only uses the highest quality, specially processed human meat in his treats. To prepare the meat, he first harvests healthy tourists from his hotel. Next, he plants them into the ground up to their necks and with a sharp knife carefully slices their vocal chords. He and his portly sister then feed the victims until the meat is tender and well marbled with fat. Afterward they are promptly slaughtered, minced with a few secret herbs, and stuffed into sausage casings, which are then carefully aged in the smokehouse. His operation is abruptly cut off when Vincent's normal brother, Bruce, learns about the secret ingredients. In the end, the brothers grab chain saws and have a hilarious, blood-soaked showdown.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This underrated effort works both as a horror film and as a satire of the "rural terror" subgenre spawned by films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Race With the Devil. Robert Jaffe and Steven-Charles Jaffe's script keeps the premise from degenerating into a tacky shock-a-thon by doling out the gore in sparing doses and playing up the satirical angle of the script. Indeed, the film devotes as much time to humor as it does to scares and shocks. Motel Hell pokes fun at such diverse targets as televangelism, swingers, and good old-fashioned American capitalism as it chronicles Farmer Vincent's grisly doings. This script is ably supported by subtle, atmospheric direction by Kevin Connor, who captures the script's complex blend of humor and horror nicely and also works in some clever visual references to horror classics like Night of the Living Dead. Motel Hell also benefits from above-average performances. The obvious scene-stealer is Rory Calhoun, who fuels the quietly deranged Farmer Vincent with enough compassion and down-home charm to make him likable despite his villainous ways. His work is supported by a nice range of supporting performances, including slyly comic turns from Nancy Parsons as Farmer Vincent's childlike but deadly partner in crime and Paul Linke as his dim but determined younger brother. On the downside, Motel Hell's leisurely pacing and emphasis on characterization might throw off horror fans weaned on hard-driving fare like Re-Animator and The Evil Dead. However, even viewers turned off by these aspects will want to stick around for the film's bravura finale, which involves a chainsaw duel and a hero swinging to the rescue on a meat hook. In the end, Motel Hell is probably a bit too eccentric and grisly for the average viewer, but its solidly crafted blend of wit and gore makes it a natural for cult film fanatics and horror addicts with a sense of humor.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/12/2014
  • UPC: 826663151343
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Source: Shout Factory
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 759

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rory Calhoun Vincent Smith
Paul Linke Bruce Smith
Nancy Parsons Ida Smith
Nina Axelrod Terry
Wolfman Jack Reverend Billy
E. Hampton Beagle Bob Anderson
Everett Creach Bo
Dick Curtis Guy Robaire
Barbara Goodson
Gwil Richards
Margot Hope
Elaine Joyce Elaine Olsen
Rosanne Katon Suzi
Michael Melvin Ivan
John Ratzenberger Drummer
Technical Credits
Kevin Connor Director
Joe Altadonna Art Director
Thomas del Ruth Cinematographer
Lance Rubin Score Composer
Robert Jaffe Screenwriter, Producer
Steven Charles Jaffe Screenwriter, Producer
Jim Teegarden Set Decoration/Design
Jack Barry Asst. Director
Bernard Gribble Editor
Herb Jaffe Executive Producer, Producer
Adams Calvert Special Effects
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