Saturday, February 4, 2012

We Gotta Find A Place to Crash!

I used to really love going to the video store. In fact, I miss going to the video store. I miss wandering from section to section, picking up titles based on the covers and reading the backs, trying to decide if I'd be interested in it. Sometimes, you could find some real gems, something you overlooked when it was in theaters or just flat out never heard of.

And other times, you find some fantastically amazing crap.

For years, every time my best friend and I would go into the local video store, we would always see this box cover:

So, it's an art film then?

It intrigued, it bewildered, it tantalized, and it made us ask just what the heck was this movie? No matter who we were with, we'd ask, "Can we rent this?" And it was always met with, "Ha ha, very funny guys. No." We knew as long as we couldn't rent videos without a parent, we weren't going to see it. But we'd always look at it, every time, without fail.

"One day," we'd say. "One day."

And then, sometime around the start of college, we did it. We rented Motel Hell. It was tucked in along with a handful of other cheesy horror movies, our favorite for sleepovers and birthday parties. I remember we didn't end up watching it until morning, but, in so, so many ways, it was worth the wait.

Motel Hell is the classic story of a farmer and his sister, who either kidnap people from their motel, or cause their cars to crash off the road for their human sausages. They keep the people in the ground, buried up to their necks with their vocal chords cut so they can't scream, and keep them hypnotized until they're processed into "Farmer Vincent's Fritters." But one day, a young couple are caught in the trap. Farmer Vincent becomes smitten with the little lady, and she does in return. Farmer Vincent's sister is jealous/flat out crazy and is really committed to the whole "cannibal sausage" plan, eventually threatening Farmer Vincent's beloved. At some point another young man joins the equation, creating one of the weirdest love triangles in horror history.

It's just so hard to decide between the admittedly bland but far less murderous younger man and the incredibly creepy, cannibal farmer and his sister.

Our heroine is pretty game to hook up with Farmer Vincent, and it's just really weird. Of course, as these romances do, it all kind of falls apart when she discovers the horrible secret and is almost turned into sausage by his sister. She escapes with the indistinguishable young guy while the people in the ground bust out and attack Farmer Vincent and his sister. I'm pretty sure everyone dies with the exception of our heroine and the random young man.

Perhaps justifiably, there aren't many video clips of the movie online, except this trailer.

The grainy quality coupled with the surprisingly graphic shots for a trailer really don't do justice to how supremely silly everything in the movie actually is. You can also spot a few shots of the van for the band Ivan and The Terribles, who are responsible for the best scene in the entire movie.

The driver of the van is a very Rasputin-looking member of the band Ivan and The Terribles. The scene shows the band smoking weed, drinking, and generally being an awesome late 70s band. I forgot exactly what prompts it, but the driver says, "We gotta find a place to crash."

And then the van crashes.

Maybe you had to be there, or have to actually see the scene, but by God it is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. The timing of it is absolutely amazing, and the look of the band just adds to the overall impact of what I'm guessing wasn't supposed to be a joke, but ended up hilarious anyway. They of course become part of the Farmer Vincent garden patch, but are also around at the end for the cannibal vegetable attack.

So if you're ever wandering around one of the last of the video stores, looking for something strange and hilarious, I recommend Motel Hell.

Is that a garden of people? Oh, Motel Hell, wonders never cease!

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