Motel Hell [1980]

Director: Kevin Connor
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Paul Linke, Nancy Parsons, Nina Axelrod, Wolfman Jack
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 102 minutes

Motel Hell is a gruesome but somewhat tongue-in-cheek bit of rural schlock along the lines of 1974's Deranged, although slicker and less effective. Former Western star Rory Calhoun plays Farmer Vincent, a country hotel keeper (free samples of jerky at the front desk) whose line of smoked meats turns his customers into unwitting cannibals. The movie's got some genuinely creeped-out ideas (a backyard garden of victims, buried up to their necks?), but the execution is pedestrian and the humor pretty square. Onetime cultural icon Wolfman Jack has a few scenes as a TV preacher, for no apparent reason. --Robert Horton

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