Motel Hell (1980)

R   |    |  Comedy, Horror, Thriller


Motel Hell (1980) Poster

A seemingly friendly farmer and his sister kidnap unsuspecting travelers and bury them alive, using them to create the "special meat" they are famous for.

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6/10
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  • Rory Calhoun and Nina Axelrod in Motel Hell (1980)
  • Rory Calhoun in Motel Hell (1980)
  • Rory Calhoun in Motel Hell (1980)
  • Rory Calhoun and Nancy Parsons in Motel Hell (1980)
  • Nina Axelrod in Motel Hell (1980)
  • Motel Hell (1980)

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13 January 2006 | Coventry
8
| Smoke 'em if you got 'em!!!
Kevin Connor's "Motel Hell" is a tremendously fun and engaging horror comedy, impossible not to love in my humble opinion. Right from the opening sequences, the film sells itself as a light-headed and blackly humorous gem that spoofs some of the genre's biggest classics without ever disrespecting them. The references towards milestones like "Psycho" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" are obvious but, unlike many haters of "Motel Hell" claim, this is certainly not a rip off! I don't think you can compare the clearly humorous premise of this film, which handles about cultivating human beings to mix the meat with pork, with dead serious stories like the above mentioned "Psycho" or "TCM". Rory Calhoun, usually a western star, is terrifically cast as the traditional and likable Farmer Vincent who's a local demigod in his county, thanks to his uniquely flavored, homemade smoked ham recipe. Of course, nobody knows that Vincent and his sister Ida are totally insane and extract their secret ingredients from nothing less than people, who they "plant" in their garden. This simply is campy entertainment, very tongue-in-cheek, fast-paced and with a couple of adorably gross make-up effects. Connor's directing is solid and he makes excellent use of the typically eerie "redneck" stereotypes, such as the clumsy sheriff and the barbaric farmers. The chainsaw-battle sequence during the finale is a real hoot. Highly recommended for horror fans who don't take themselves too seriously.

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