Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.
WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.
There’s been no better friend to modern horror than a simple dead man named Ed Gein. Yes, Ed Gein, farmer from Wisconsin, was a leading frontiersman in early horror cinema, inventing the aspect of the “jump scare,” coining the phrase “a horror movie is a roller coaster ride,” and even giving Alfred Hitchcock some pointers on how he should shoot his now-infamous shower scene from Psycho.
Now, is any of that true?
But it doesn’t mean Ed Gein didn’t have a profound effect on the horror genre. It's just that he did it by digging up dead girls and eating them while sitting in chairs made of human bones, wearing human face masks, and cooking livers.
He also had mommy issues.
Any horror fan worth their weight in shit can name at least three movies this man directly inspired. For the uninitiated, those films are the aforementioned Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs (I'll even give you American Psycho). Keep in mind I am only naming the good ones. There are many, many more, such as the just-OK Roberts Blossom-starring Deranged, Three on a Meat Hook, two movies called Ed Gein, and lastly, this masterpiece of depravity, 1980’s Motel Hell.
Farmer Vincent, played with zest and appeal by the always standing and walking Rory Calhoun, rocks outside his prime piece of real estate, Motel Hello. Vincent leans against the chair, enjoying the sounds of the night air, staring at the stars. Then he grabs a shotgun off the wall and leaves his tiny business to randomly shoot a motorcycling couple in the dead of night.
But uh oh, before he even has the chance to take aim, the motorcycle sputters and then shits, spilling the people messily on the ground. Vincent gathers up the girl, takes her home to his monster of a sister, and lays her in bed. Vincent, believing she was spared her death by God, decides that he will nurse her back to health. Her lover ends up…elsewhere.
Despite this recent turn of events, Farmer Vincent has a business to run - that of hickory-smoking his collection of divine meats and selling them at barely a profit. This is a business he has shared with his fat, monstrous sister Ida for apparently a long time and his reputation is pretty well-known.
While selling off his meats to a man and woman, their stupid daughters wander into Vincent’s smoke house where they are assaulted by some swinging pigs. Sure, it’s creepy, but to be expected from a meat smoker (that’s filthy!); however, something then happens that’s not so normal: someone wearing a giant bloody pig head pops up and screams, sending the little girls pissing and running from the shack.
|Stacy and Macy were all out of hash, |
and Farmer Vincent had the best shit in town.
Sheriff Smith comes to the farm to see about the girl, Terri, who had crashed. Ida, the fat monster sister, attacks him for no reason, making the audience think that this cop has already met his maker. We think that for about six seconds before Vincent calls her off, and she obligingly releases the man from her meaty arms. The sheriff looks barely annoyed, and this is never mentioned again.
Thanks, Motel Hell.
Later, we meet a new character: Bald Bob. Called just Bob by his friends and Bald Bob by no one but me, Bald Bob, the town veterinarian, does a quick look-see to see if Vincent’s swine are up to slaughtering standards. Bald Bob looks at pigs, falls in mud, and then leaves, and the audience is happy to have met him.
Meanwhile, Terri looks absolutely destroyed over losing her motorcycle crashing lover and being all alone in the world, but once Vincent convinces her it was God’s plan, she looks instantly better and goes to bed.
I wish Farmer Vincent was my caregiver.
Bald Bob returns to the farm later that night under the cover of darkness to do some sneaking around, intent on visiting that smoke house that he was denied entry to earlier in the film, when he, again, falls in mud. Then he discovers a patch of Vincent’s garden filled with quivering and gurgling sacks. Curiously, Bald Bob lifts a sack and is greeted with a man’s head - his body buried beneath the ground - and making intensely disturbing wet noises with his throat. Bald Bob experiences a moment of horror before a nice, satisfying BONK takes him out of the frame and reveals Vincent behind him, apparently pleased with this new turn of events.
Vincent then places a bear trap in the road, removing a bus of annoying punk rockers almost immediately. To make room for this new batch, Vincent and Monster Ida start uprooting all of his previous victims, so weak from their lack of food and water that they can’t do anything except wait to be smoked and eaten by dumb white crackers.
“It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent fritters!” they exclaim together, staring at their garden of sacked heads.
Mmm, I’ll have skull, please!
The next day, Vincent, Beast Ida, Sheriff Smith, and Terri go on a picnic, where they all discuss the history of Farmer Vincent’s business. When Vincent regales the group with tales of having smoked and killed his mother’s dog, Terri looks momentarily horrified before quickly letting it go, realizing that in this backwoods area of fuck-heads, that’s a normal occurrence, and,well, she better get used to it if she’s just going to live here. Fat Ida almost lets slip just what secret ingredient Vincent uses in his meats, but a quick punch to her massive stomach quickly shuts her up, and Sheriff Smith and Terri leave out of sheer discomfort.
That night, Vincent and Ida walk around their garden of heads, who have funnels shoved in their mouths to receive whatever divine goo is in Vincent’s bucket.
“Do you think, in years to, come people will appreciate what we have done here?” asks Ida the monster. Assuming she means the movie, I answer before Vincent can:
People plants are hard to cultivate, but if you
know what you're doing, they're quite satisfying.
Two miscellaneous ski instructors traveling the road late at night encounter a herd of fake cows blocking the road (oh, Vincent). One of the girls agrees to remove the cows, having taken a gun with her for protection, for she was once sexually assaulted by a fake cow. A lot of good that gun did as Vincent grabs the girl, causing the other one to take off.
Vincent, in hot pursuit, catches up to the blonde and takes to ramming the girl from behind with his big…truck (perverts) as the girl freaks out and calls for help on her convenient CB radio. She’s eventually taken care of.
Later, a swinger couple shows up at the motel, thinking it’s a different motel that hosts swinger parties, as Vincent and Ida disgustingly play along.
The couple grows extremely aroused at seeing Vincent and Ida enter the room with rope, assuming it’s all apart of their impending sex romp. They quickly realize that Vincent and Ida are here for reasons other than sex and grow quickly horrified, although they rightfully should have been horrified much earlier at the prospect of committing any kind of sex act with the very unpleasing body and face of Ida the Terrible.
Terri, rescued from the nearby lake after Ida tries to drown her out of fat jealously, tries to kiss Vincent, but he refuses, saying they should be married first, which really oddly leads to marriage.
After their marriage ceremony, the three of them toast with champagne and wear party hats (haha) as Ida’s fat, monstrous jealousy leads to murderous behavior. She slips a Mickey into Terri’s glass and it works unrealistically quick, knocking her out instantly.
And just when you think Farmer Vincent is going to show some humanity - plot twist!! - it turns out he was in on it.
At his head garden, he turns on a bunch of spinning, colored, psychedelic gizmos and it eventually stuns his heads so he can do…something. At this point in the movie, I’d grown to hate it so much that I stopped paying attention and attempted to chase down a virus in my computer.
Oh look, during my cursing and clicking, it looks like Vincent’s head garden managed to escape. They did what I would have done and immediately murdered Ida.
Sheriff Smith shows up, having heard of Vincent and Terri’s wedding, deciding that it’s time to kill a farmer or two. He and Vincent, now sporting his stupid pig mask, take part in a poorly-choreographed fight inside his smoke house. Vincent, wielding his chainsaw, is overpowered by Sheriff Smith and has his own weapon shoved into his cut.
Vincent gives a weepy monologue that’s supposed to also be tongue-in-cheek, gurgles, and dies.
Sheriff Smith and Terri leave Motel Hell for good, and so do I, as I eject the disc, place it back in the case, and see what I can get for it on Amazon.