Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Motel Hell

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Spoilers spattered throughout (though I doubt it matters)...

Plotline: Vincent Fritters sells the *best* dried meats within a 100-mile radius. People come from all around to try out (and sometimes even "be in") his meats.

Scariness factor: Considering 2/3 of the movie seemed like a bizarrely lame 1980's plotline from the Oh! channel, the scariness factor was indeed a bit low. The only things really creepy in the movie were the sounds that the "garden" makes and the pig's head scene at the end (and that just sorta fluctuated between incredibly creepy and incredibly laughable--and I couldn't decide which).

Gross-Out Factor: Very small. Chainsaw in the gut. Gross noises being emitted from "the garden." Some fake slaughterhouse shots. Most of the gruesomeness that takes place takes place off-camera.

Complaints: This movie had incredibly bad pacing and oftentimes seemed to forget it was a horror movie (like when the music would swell with tenderness and the main female character would find herself in a field, overjoyed by the abundance of life, or when it would swell again, and the main character would ask Farmer Vincent to marry her). It would stumble into moments where it seemed like it was trying to be much more meaningful than it really should've (or could've) been. Like Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, this movie kind of forgot that the crux of the viewers' interest lay in the horror aspect of the movie--the bodies planted in the backyard. There would be gratuitously long periods of the movie where only *normal* stuff would happen, and if you happened to be flipping channels and stumbled across this, you wouldn't even be able to TELL it was a horror flick at times. It also suffered from a complete lack of logic, but given its campiness I expected as much: wouldn't it just be easier to *chain* people up in your barn or something until you kill them, rather than planting them in the ground with their heads sticking out so that folks could easily stumble across them? Why not slaughter and harvest them immediately--does force-feeding them *really* put that much extra flesh on their bones that it makes it worth your while having to tend to them every day? Could they possibly have *thought* of any more of a convoluted, bizarre, and acid-trippy way to finally "slaughter" their victims? Really, these types of questions abounded, but I wasn't ultimately concerned becase, well, it's a fricking sub-B horror flick. And I can slough off bad acting and cheesiness because, well, I expected it from a movie called MOTEL HELL. But it's biggest fault was that is was terribly terribly boring at times.

High Points: There are some memorable one-liners in the movie (Farmer Vincent in a somber moment on killing people for his meats--"Sometimes I wonder about the karmic implications of these actions"), particularly Farmer Vincent's last words which cracked my shit up ("I'm the biggest hypocrite of them all. My meats... I used preservatives"). The pig's head, chainsaw-duel was pretty entertaining as well. Other than that, it was damn slow-moving.

Overall: Motel Hell had its campy moments, and its bizarre little footnoted commentaries on farming and slaughterhouses (something along the line of "I take better care of the people I kill than most farmers do their livestock") which I found weirdly ironic since *everything* seems to be coming up meat-related lately in my world were strangely intriguing... But overall, you won't (and shouldn't) lose sleep if you never ever set your eyes on this flick.

Grade: D

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At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw crap...I just received this movie in the mail, but it looks like you've beat me to the punch in watching/reviewing it!

It was cheap and came as a double feature with Deranged, so I won't be too upset if it ends up sucking horribly.

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I win!


Anyways, watch it with friends or something--it's probably more fun to make fun of while watching than just watching it like straight horror. You'll probably beat me to DERANGED though, since I'm not sure when I'm gonna have a chance to watch the flipside. Plus, the copy is from the library and looks like some wolfman took his claws to that side. =)

I'll have to keep an eye on your site and see what you think.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My meats...I used preservatives


Dude, why do I totally want to see this movie even though you're telling me it's crap?

And what IS the bizarre and convoluted way the victims are slaughtered?

And why is this flick called "Motel Hell?"

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many questions--heh heh heh.

People who are avoiding spoilers (god only knows why in the case of this movie), please stop reading.

It is called Motel Hell mostly just to give it a good title. The two murdering folks work at a motel where they also sell some of their salted meats. The motel is of course called MOTEL HELLO (god only knows why, yet again, as this is the lamest name for a motel *ever*) and the very last O has burnt out (go figure!).

They are slaughtered in the following manner:
The murderous couple "plants" them in their garden up to their necks and feeds them through tubes or something. Then when it's slaughter-time, the guy revs up his tractor and they put nooses around all their necks. They're apparently into "cruelty-free" slaughtering (the farmer dude actually SAYS something along those lines in the movie--heh heh), so they (*laughing*) HYPNOTIZE the people with these weird multi-colored spinny light acid-trippy things (I actually saw smaller versions of these the other fricking day at BIG FUN and so wanted to blow money on it) until they're all high and the couple convinces them that they are in a happy place and then *WABAM* they turn the tractor on and snap their necks. Now mind you, it's never quite explained why two minutes later, they use the same tractor to pull them out of the dirt by their necks when PREVIOUSLY, the tractor was only able to pull on them enough to snap their necks and NOT uproot them. But that's the magic that exists at Motel Hell apparently.

Lemme know what you think of it if you DO end up seeing it at some point.


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