Motel Hell

A farmer and his sister kidnap travelers and bury them alive to harvest their flesh.
So Bad It's Good

 

United States
1980
Feature Film
Realism: 
Plausible
Character Focus: 
Serial Killer Film
Cannibal Film
Professional Film
Sadist: 
Rigger
Torturer
Trickster: 
Impostor
Lurer
Catastrophes: 
Crash
Psychics: 
Hypnotist
5.04
Kiss the ground!
5.04
3.04
6
6
2
3
3
Ambiance
Pace
Plot
This movie is representative of its time, yet it feels like nothing we’ve seen before. It’s a story that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense once you overthink certain details, including the killers’ modus operandi. The two-bite gimmick is a great pitch, sure, but the screenplay has its flaws that result in pacing issues and abrupt tone shifts throughout that can also be blamed on the direction.
The first act is somewhat inept, and it’s almost as if the film was shot in chronological order because most irregularities vanish as time passes. The dialogue is not great. The acting could be better. In fact, Rory Calhoun is the only actor who really pulls it off. He plays one of the killers and is more charismatic than threatening. His sister, who’s much scarier, is played by Nancy Parsons.
When Motel Hell is not a psychological thriller, it’s a slasher, a gorefest or a softcore porno. Despite its various issues, the film manages to get our attention because it is exploitative. The idea of a human garden where people are being harvested for their flesh doesn’t justify ninety minutes of film, but the story never stagnates. The writers manage to spice things up.
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