Motel Hell is utterly bonkers but ALSO AMAZING. Farmer Vincent Smith (Rory Calhoun) and his younger sister Ida (a brilliant Nancy Parsons) live on a farm and also run a motel – ‘Motel Hello’ – on the same land; the ‘o’ in the neon sign flicks on and off, so we know we’re on sinister territory. The siblings produce fabulous smoked meats with a secret ‘special stuff’ ingredient – yep, the motel guests. This movie is a shameless mix of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Psycho and is absolutely glorious for it.
Despite its black comedy, it is a proper disturbing watch. There’s lots of commentary here on the ethics of the meat industry and abattoirs; Vincent and Ida bury their victims alive in their secret garden, cutting their vocal cords so they can’t scream. They then force feed them until they’re ready for ‘harvest’. We won’t go too much into what the harvest involves – our eyes, OUR EYYYESSSSSSSS.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s our Shocktober recommendation to watch out of all the films we’ve seen so far this month. If only for the scenes where Vincent is wearing a bloody pig’s head, wielding a chainsaw.
GORE RATING: 4/5
Watch it for: An undiscovered (for many) horror classic – enjoy!
Watch out for: The harvest *shudder*
Next up…Crawlspace (1986)