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Motel Hell

Rating: 4 out of 5.

(spoiler-free movie review)

Motel Hell has everything I look for in a 1980’s horror flick. It’s funny, well-acted(mostly) and has an original concept. The pacing is swift and keeps the viewer entertained throughout the 101 minutes running time.

– Farmer Vincent(Rory Calhoun) and Ida(Nancy Parsons) in Hotel Hell.

I went into this film totally blind. I saw a limited edition Scream Factory steelbook for sale at my local Best Buy and took the plunge. I knew absolutely nothing about this movie but was drawn-in by the fantastic cover art and the tagline “It takes all kinds of critters to make farmer Vincent’s fritters.” Luckily my blind buy turned out to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. Motel Hell is an excellent movie with a lot of strengths and a couple minor flaws.

From the first few shots of the movie, I could tell the director(Kevin Connor) was paying close attention to detail and this was a competently made film. Something that can’t be said for a lot of 80’s campy-horror flicks. Rory Calhoun as Farmer Vincent gives a wonderful performance that was both endearing and freighting. His co-stars also deliver solid performances with Nancy Parsons being a stand-out. Many will recognize her from the memorable role of Ballbricker in Porky’s. She’s equally entertaining to watch here.

– The “Secret Garden” in Motel Hell.

The movie does lack in the gore department. Often the camera cuts away before any blood is depicted on-screen. Honestly, that’s perfectly fine with me and only helps enforce the horror/comedy tone of the movie. It strikes a good balance between the two genres, something that’s rarely successful.

As the end-credits rolled on Motel Hell I was already looking forward to watching it again. It’s funny, it’s scary and it’s full of memorable moments and quotable lines. This one’s a winner and always remember “meat’s meat and a man’s gotta eat.”

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars


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