Irish Film Institute -MOTEL HELL


Director: Kevin Connor

U.S.A.| 1980. COLOUR. 35MM. 102 MIN.

Something of a cult item, this bizarre 1980s horror-comedy from British director Kevin Connor (From Beyond the Grave) takes a cynical look at American madness and the country’s horror movie traditions. Pig farmer and motel owner Vincent (Rory Calhoun, star of countless westerns as well as the hilarious Hell Comes to Frogtown) is a local legend for his meat pies. It doesn’t take long to discover his secret: Vincent and his sister trap unwary travellers, cut their vocal chords, bury them up to their necks in the garden, and fatten them up for slaughter. The film isn’t quite as gruesome as it sounds, until the bloody climax, which features a maniac wearing a pig mask and wielding a chainsaw. Before then, farmer Vince is all smiles as he goes about his daily routines. There are nods to Hitchcock’s Psycho and Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in this amusing contribution to the cycle of rural psycho movies.

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