Motel Hell (1980)

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Who doesn’t love the 80s? Whether its horror movies, fashion or music, it seems like the most fun (cheesy?) decade. I sometimes think I was born too late in the 80s and would have preferred to live out this decade in its entirety. Alas, I have to make do with constantly visiting this time period and enjoying the shit out of it.

This brings us to the latest review, Motel Hell. This little gem found its way to my hands a few years ago when I picked up a 80s horror box set. This included Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Crawl Space, Monkey Shines, Brain Damage, Full Moon High and more. Ten bucks? BARGAIN!

I just want to get this out of the way first, I love this movie! On average, this gets put on probably every two months. To me, this encapsulates everything a 80s horror movie should be; funny, violent, twisted, corny and weird.

Motel Hell tells the story of farmer Vincent, a kindly old gentleman who runs an old motel and makes some of the best road side food around. What makes farmer Vincent’s meats so delicious? Well a nice old mix of sauces, spices, gravy and human. Whaa?

Farmer Vincent and his sister, Ida, kidnap unsuspecting guests and smoke ’em, grind ’em, mince ’em and eat ’em. After all, “it takes all kinds of critters to make farmer Vincent’s fritters.” That’s pretty much all you need to know going into Motel Hell. The rest is a delightfully funny movie that will keep you watching until the end.

I hadn’t heard too much about Motel Hell when I purchased the box set but if I had known how good it was I would have added to this to my collection a lot earlier. I love every little bit of this movie, whether it be the cheesy dialogue, the sub-par acting (except for farmer Vincent, he kills it), the on-screen bloopers or possibly the strangest dominatrix couple I have seen in a movie. This all comes together to create a feeling that only happens once in a blue moon.

Don’t get me wrong, this movie isn’t all about the cheese. It does have its fair share of horror elements. Once it is revealed what is being grown in the back paddock, it all kicks up a notch. I must say the noise that comes out of the “produce” is enough to stick with you.

When watching Motel Hell, I can’t help but try and think of the roundtable discussion deciding what needs to be added. I can picture it now; “Ok, ok we need to make a list of shit for the movie that sounds, looks and is bad arse. Throat cuts, buzz saws, human harvest, hypnotism, chainsaw on chainsaw battle, sister gut punches and hmm a pig mask!” Pig mask? YES a damn pig mask. Now do me a favour, read through that list and see if you can see something that sounds boring.

Did I mention there’s a chainsaw on chainsaw battle and a pig mask?

I don’t like to give too much away in reviews as I find it better to watch a movie knowing as little as possible about it. Plus I’m pretty sure this has been pretty well watched by horror lovers since it came to be 33 years ago. So, if you’re still reading, I want to finish with BUY THIS MOVIE. This one is a classic and I am confident you will have a good time watching it. If you aren’t a huge comedy horror fan don’t stress, neither am I and I love it. I think if this didn’t have the comedy mixed in it would not have worked as well as it does not take itself too seriously and gets on with being bat shit crazy. So there you have it, Motel hell. I give it a beefy 8.5 meat pies out of 10.

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Score 555/666

Review by Josh Marhoff

Connect with Josh: @JoshMarhoff or here


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds terrifyingly good in a cheesy 80s kinda way. As was most great things about the 80s. Not sure if I could stomach the pig masks, nor the chainsaws… but sounds enjoyable and a must-see for those porky inclined. Fun review!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Roxy.

      We’re glad you enjoyed the review. Do give Motel Hell a go though, you may find that you’re more of a pork fiend than you first realised….there’s an innuendo in there somewhere.

    2. joshmarhoff says:

      Hi Roxanne,
      Thanks for the comment. First review and I was anxiously hoping people enjoyed it. All pork innuendo aside though, I think you should give motel hell a go. It’s not a flick that will keep you up at night, it’s more good fun 🙂

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