by Groovinator, The Cynical Cyborg
With a name like “Motel Hell” and considering the year it was made, you would expect a lot of bloody oozing gore, and a lot of bad quips and puns. That would be selling this movie way to short. What you have here is a black comedy masterpiece, and a total cult classic.
Rory Calhoun stars as Vincent Smith. A mild mannered farmer who happens to own a motel just a little off the highway, which he uses to his advantage to hunt people to use in his famous “smoked meats”. What makes Vincent a compelling character, is that he thinks he’s doing the world a favor, by dealing with overpopulation, and hunger at the same time. He is not necessarily a mean person he just goes and kills some people if he feels they have nothing else to offer society. When people show up and bring a bunch of kinky sex toys, it’s time. Motorcycle jackets it’s time. Smoking dope in the back of a tour van…it’s time. It’s almost like you took Green Acres, Psycho, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, smooshed them together, and made a prime time sitcom. Vincent Smith is a very likeable country bumpkin, and I am pretty sure he could kick the Pepperidge Farm farmer’s ass too. With the help of his dim witted sheriff brother, and deranged sister, he has a pretty solid operation going on. Things get troublesome for Vincent when he takes on a new blonde border that begins to discover that there is a mighty dark recipe for Vincent Smith’s famous smoked meats after all.
This movie is an absolute joy. The dialogue is a perfect blend of tongue in cheek humor blended with social satire. I really feel like this one could have been a fantastic sitcom had it debuted during a time period where TV was a little less patient with dark material, and of course there was no Netflix either. There is defiantly violence, but I would say there is not much more gore than the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre…which also is not as gory as people would like you to believe. Most of it is situational violence, which ads to the rich dark comedy. I mean, Vincent and his sister, literally plant people in the ground, and grow them like vegetables, before they turn them into jerky. That is just freaking hilarious! Or maybe I am a dark horrible person after all.
I think this movie is an absolute classic, I am ashamed that I never seen this before. I honestly did not expect it to be that good. Again, maybe I just have a really warped sense of humor. I feel like this movie is excellently paced, acting is fantastic. The mix of humor and violence is just right. I can’t even call this one bad, it is a timeless classic, and you should go buy a copy. 5 out of 5 cheese curds. We need more movies like this!