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"Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

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"Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

Old 09-23-16, 10:11 PM
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"Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8





Motel Hell (1980)



Selected by PCBreakdown



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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2016 DISCUSSION | 2016 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 11-05-16 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 10-08-16, 09:26 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

What a quirky fun film. Not sure why planting people in dirt would make them taste better, but I guess it helps prevent escapes.
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Old 10-08-16, 11:38 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

"Quirky fun film" is a great description as Trevor put it. Just some really bizarre stuff in this movie but I still enjoyed the hell out of it.

The slashing of the victims necks and then sewing them up. The forced feeding of them while being planted in the dirt. The constant bags on their heads. Some pretty cruel and weird stuff from 1980 from a major studio.

The guy coming out in the giant pig head is the most bizarre decision by a killer. Great image but not a great way to win a chainsaw/machete battle.

The girl falling in love with the old man farmer after a few days. The girl overlooking the cop's attempted molestation of her moments after it happens. The whip scene and what the guy is wearing. I could go on and on with this film.

And probably the best line of any movie this month..."I'm the biggest hypocrite of them all. My meats... I...I..used...preservatives."

Haha. Great stuff.
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Old 10-08-16, 08:06 PM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

I've disliked much of Motel Hell ever since the first time I saw it on Monstervision. It's bizzare just for the sake of being bizarre, which makes it awkward not funny. The imagery of the people buried in dirt are early promising aspects but too sparse and illogical. I think there's suppose to be some sort of satire buried in here but it's not really clear. The farmer smokes people - but his motive is never apparent; his business seems modest and limited plus he doesn't seem especially mean or tormented... like much of Motel Hell it's just sort of there for no reason, aloof. The sister seems to be a much more interesting character than Farmer Vincent because she seems protective and passionate and the sleazy hero cop is nicely eccentric. For some reason much of Motel Hell just never jelled with me. The last third is more kinetic and well paced but it takes so long getting there are aside from the odd grunting zombie humans and the epic pig headed chainsaw scene there's not much going for it. "I used preservatives" - there are moments of brilliance but what a chore it is getting to them.

The odd morality of Farmer Vincent is interesting - he kills people but no sex before marriage.
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Old 10-09-16, 01:34 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

I really enjoyed this the first time that I saw it, at the drive-in on its first run. My best friend (who saw it with me at the drive-in) and I still quote two lines from the film: "Meat's meat...and man's gotta eat!" and "It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent fritters!"

It's no classic, but it's a fun film, primarily due to the performances of Rory Calhoun and Nancy Parsons, who showed up the next year in Porky's.
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Old 10-09-16, 04:54 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

I watched it with the audio commentary. Interesting to hear that Harry Dean Stanton was first considered for Farmer Vincent.

As much as I've always liked the movie, I'm sure I would like it even more if Sheriff Bruce was less of a doofus.

And I wonder if the growls heard from the walkers on Walking Dead was inspired by the "Crops".
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Old 10-09-16, 05:20 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

I don't know why I never watched this before. Being a Fangoria reader in the 80's, I was always fascinated by the head garden. But I just never got around to watching it.

Anyways, I'm glad I finally saw it. It was a fun movie. And I'll definitely check it out again.
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Old 10-09-16, 05:29 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
As much as I've always liked the movie, I'm sure I would like it even more if Sheriff Bruce was less of a doofus.

And I wonder if the growls heard from the walkers on Walking Dead was inspired by the "Crops".
I felt kinda bad for the guy because he played the doofus, chubby cop in CHiPS as well. I meant to look him up on IMDB and see if he every got any decent roles.

The growls did get on my nerves a little bit.
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Old 10-09-16, 06:08 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
I've disliked much of Motel Hell ever since the first time I saw it on Monstervision. It's bizzare just for the sake of being bizarre, which makes it awkward not funny. The imagery of the people buried in dirt are early promising aspects but too sparse and illogical. I think there's suppose to be some sort of satire buried in here but it's not really clear. The farmer smokes people - but his motive is never apparent; his business seems modest and limited plus he doesn't seem especially mean or tormented... like much of Motel Hell it's just sort of there for no reason, aloof. The sister seems to be a much more interesting character than Farmer Vincent because she seems protective and passionate and the sleazy hero cop is nicely eccentric. For some reason much of Motel Hell just never jelled with me. The last third is more kinetic and well paced but it takes so long getting there are aside from the odd grunting zombie humans and the epic pig headed chainsaw scene there's not much going for it. "I used preservatives" - there are moments of brilliance but what a chore it is getting to them.

The odd morality of Farmer Vincent is interesting - he kills people but no sex before marriage.
I don't think Motel Hell was ever intended to make sense, to be logical, or to be over analysed, it's just a lot of craziness meant to entertain. I've always been entertained by this movie, enough that I've seen it multiple times, bought the DVD, then the Collector's Edition BD. I'm grateful my thought processes aren't that analytical when it comes to this type of movie, I'd have denounced it after the first viewing.
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Old 10-09-16, 08:13 PM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

i didnt know rory calhoun played opposite marilyn monroe in How to Marrry a Millionaire.
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Old 10-10-16, 09:46 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
"Quirky fun film" is a great description as Trevor put it. Just some really bizarre stuff in this movie but I still enjoyed the hell out of it.

The slashing of the victims necks and then sewing them up. The forced feeding of them while being planted in the dirt. The constant bags on their heads. Some pretty cruel and weird stuff from 1980 from a major studio.

The guy coming out in the giant pig head is the most bizarre decision by a killer. Great image but not a great way to win a chainsaw/machete battle.

The girl falling in love with the old man farmer after a few days. The girl overlooking the cop's attempted molestation of her moments after it happens. The whip scene and what the guy is wearing. I could go on and on with this film.

And probably the best line of any movie this month..."I'm the biggest hypocrite of them all. My meats... I...I..used...preservatives."

Haha. Great stuff.
Couldn't agree more with all this!

My Arrow blu looked great and I'm looking forward to checking out all the extras after the challenge.
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Old 10-10-16, 04:48 PM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

Motel Hell (1980)

Kevin Connor's bizarre film is like if somebody misunderstood the Texas Chain Saw Massacre script, and decided to film it as a comedy. It features Rory Calhoun as Farmer Vincent, who runs Motel Hello and keeps his guests coming back for his famous smoked meats. Customers always guess at his recipe, but it's a secret(hint: it's human flesh). His sister Ida is the only one who knows the secret, and gleefully helps him with the smoking process, but gets jealous when an attractive young woman has an extended stay at the motel while recovering from an accident.

This is a film that wouldn't work if it wasn't for the delightful performances by Rory Calhoun and Nancy Parsons as the beef jerky dream team. There are some really bizarre moments in this movie, including a garden of human heads, who futily gurgle for help, a swinging couple who mistake Farmer Vincent's murderous intentions for foreplay, and a chainsaw duel featuring a killer wearing a pig's head. The movie is pretty funny and enjoyable as long as you aren't looking for too much logic in the story. If the movie doesn't sound like it's for you, that's fine, after all: It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters!
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Old 10-12-16, 08:20 PM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

I watched this for the first time a number of challenges ago, and it was a standout for me. I can't add much more to what has already been said. It's just a fun, strange film. It does have its moments where the story drags, but the performances of Calhoun and Parsons keep things moving.

I'm surprised this hasn't been selected as a subset film before. Actually, there are a few like that this year.
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Old 10-13-16, 11:37 AM
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Re: "Motel Hell" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 8

Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
I've disliked much of Motel Hell ever since the first time I saw it on Monstervision.
Monstervision is the version I watched it this year. It's just another take on the deal where someone turns people into sausages, which are murders which have actually taken place.

I like it but the watered down TV version made it less interesting for me, especially with all the breaks. A silly film like this loses something when you have a bunch of 10 minute, or so, breaks back to reality.
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