Plotline: A crazy guy with a hatred for whores owns a hotel with an equally blood-thirsty croc that seems to enjoy helping pick off the folks who check in.
Scariness factor: A distant shadow of the creepiness of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Gross-Out Factor: Very 1970s-ish, but yes, you will see a few gross scenes of blades in throats and whatnot.
Complaints: It's hard to watch a Tobe Hooper film without automatically comparing it to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but seriously: though this movie tried really hard to capture the creepy realism of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, it never succeeds. The whole movie is clearly filmed on a set (unlike The Texas Chain Saw Massacre which seems so startlingly real because of all the outdoor scenes). The acting is TERRIBLE--the bad guy seems like the jittery hyperactive brother of the Hitchhiker from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (he has the exact same mannerisms). And although it has some really tense scenes, it doesn't really have anything propelling it forward the way that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre did. No driving force or anything. You're sort of just like, yeah, this is happening, and I am watching it. But do I care? Not so much. I really wanted to like this movie more since it involved an alligator, which seemed kind of fun, but it wasn't really as fun as it seemed.
High Points: The gator scenes will crack your shit up. Marilyn Burns is still perhaps my favorite scream queen. Then again, I may just be partial to her since I met her in real life. *Nostalgic sigh* You get to see Robert Englund (aka. Freddy Krueger) in underpants. And most of all: the score. If nothing else, Tobe Hooper is a master of the creepy horror movie score. There's nothing that even comes close to the music in his movies, all discordant and eerie. Good stuff.
Overall: I was easily distractable throughout this whole movie, which is typically a sign that it's not sucking me in at all. So yeah: If you're a Tobe Hooper fan, of course rent it, just so you can say you saw it. But if you're not, it's not really something to lose sleep over.
Labels: C movies