DW RetroReview: Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983/1986)



Welcome to yet another trip down memory lane...with the now officially titled DreadWorld Retro Review! This week we travel back to 1983 or '86, depending upon where you look, and welcome you to the Mountaintop Motel, where word is that there will be some sort of Massacre.

In 1977, Evelyn was committed to your local mental institution (probably not your local mental institution). No reason is given as to why. She was released in 1981. Again, no reason given as to why. Her husband has recently passed away, leaving her to raise her occult obsessed daughter Tanya. Being a single parent is tough enough, let alone if your child is obsessed with various creepy crawlies and the dark lord of the underworld. After killing her daughters pet mouse with a hand scythe, she finds her daughter engaged in some sort of bizarre satanic ritual in the basement. She flips out and in the confusion, mistakenly (we are lead to believe) killing her daughter.


After the funeral, things return to normal, sort of. The voices in Evelyns head, which were few an far between at he beginning of the film have suddenly started to get very chatty. Then the most shocking thing in the film starts to happen. Her run down 7 dollar a night motel (Seven Dollars!) suddenly becomes the most popular motel this side of the Mississippi.We get out normal cast of characters showing up, the alcoholic preacher, the out of work handy man, the lovers on their honeymoon, and the advertising douche bag who shows up with two aspiring country singers - with a less altruistic form of love on his mind.

With a full motel, Evelyn starts to get a bit overwhelmed and starts listening to those voices. Unfortunately for us the voices are not that of say, the Devil, or Freddy Kreuger, instead, the voices happen to be that of a 13 year old boy. She starts utilizing the vast underground tunnel system (apparently running a motel gives you a shit load of free time to create such a thing) to essentially pull pranks. She puts snakes in one room, roaches in another. It progresses as such, until finally...finally, the massacre promised in the title begins!

Despite being the exact same film you've seen a thousand times before, there are somethings that help Mountaintop Motel Massacre rise (just slightly) above your typical straight to video, mid-80's B-Movie fare- at least for a while. The whole occult worshiping daughter subplot, that unfortunately gets snuffed out rather quickly, is far more interesting than anything that actually happens in the Massacre itself. It's shot well, the sound design in those scenes is very good. It's the highlight of the film.

It's unfortunate that after the first 15 or so minutes of the film that it devolves into the same tropes we've all come to know and expect from these types of films. It's even more unfortunate that when the "massacre" really does begin, most of the kills are luke warm at best. There is little in the way of gore or blood (with a special exception for the little mouse that gets killed at the beginning, that thing bled like a mother fucker). Most of what you see is after affect cut away shots...and most of that looks terrible.

Mountaintop Motel Massacre begins with a lot of promise, but ultimately becomes everything you would expect it to be. You can catch the film on the Netflix in you live in the US of A...and maybe other places as well, I don;t know because I don't live there. There are worse ways to spend your time - licking the pavement in you driveway perhaps, than watching Mountaintop Motel Massacre, but not many.

** stars out of *****

As always, thanks for reading and "enjoy every sandwich"

No comments:

Post a Comment