(1980) from Tuna
Farmer Vincent, and his sister Ida run Motel Hello. The
final "o" doesn't work on the sign, giving the film its title. They
also produce the finest smoked meat in the county. What people don't
know is that these true pioneers and humanitarians have discovered the
solution for over-population and world hunger. They trap motorists,
bury them to the neck, slit their vocal chords, and feed them until
they are just right for smoking. Both of them are happy about their
work, but realize the world is not ready to accept their life's work,
so they hide their secret ingredient from everyone, including their
little brother Bruce, who is the sheriff.
One night, Vincent ambushes a motorcycle, but decides
to spare the beautiful girl in the sidecar.
Farmer Vincent is played by legend Rory Calhoun, who makes this
butcher/killer/cannibal likeable. Sister Ida is played by Nancy
Parsons, whom you will certainly remember as Beula Ballbricker in
Porky's. Brother Bruce is played by Paul Linke (K-PAX, Parenthood,
Funny Farm), and Terry is played by Nina Axelrod. Ironically, she is
the love interest in a film that rises a little above its genre
because of great casting, and she is better known as a casting
director. Wolfman Jack rounds out the cast as a local televangelist.
- Nina Axelrod shows breasts in bed, and
again in a bath scene. She also has a great wet t-shirt
sequence "tubing" in the local pond with Ida.
- An unidentified extra shows full frontal
being chased from the local parking spot by Sheriff Bruce.
Motel Hell (1980) would be just another drive-in B
black comedy, were it not for some excellent casting choices, and
Calhoun's portrayal, from the opening scene selling a variety pack to
a tourist family, to the ending where he confesses a really horrible
secret (if you want to know, watch the movie), makes him a character
the audience likes and relates to.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description, this
film works as both a dark comedy, and as horror, and is
therefore a C+
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