Monday, June 6, 2016

Loony Bin? More Like a BOOBY Bin

My Netflix DVD queue has become something of a weekly grab bag. With over 300 films on the list and full access to both Instant Watch and Amazon Prime, I tend to just shuffle the rarer, harder to find or "Very Long Wait" titles to the top and let myself be surprised by what arrives in the mail. More often than not, I have no memory of adding something to that queue, possibly because in my 34 years, I've slaughtered quite a few brain cells watching, well, the kind of movies like Slaughter Hotel.

Is that such a bad thing?

Quick Plot: Welcome to Europe's sexiest mental asylum, aka a "rest home" for attractive women with lots of money, some mental issues, and very little clothes. Among the scantily clad patients are:

- a shy young woman trying to get better and counting on the help of a sexy new nurse

- a nymphomaniac who seduces the resort's gardener as a way to help her deal with being madly in love with her brother

- an unhappy wife whose brutish husband stops the car just long enough for her to exit before speeding away without a word

- a married business owner whose relationship is in question due to her newfound, totally professional, totally understandable love of her psychiatrist, played by Klaus Kinski

Yes, you are correct in immediately saying, "You know your mental hospital isn't quite the best if the doctor in charge is played by Klaus Kinski." The fact that the entire place is decorated with medieval torture devices is an additional clincher, one made even better by the presence of John Karlsen.

I know, most of you are swooning with glee, providing you paused long enough to read this in between chapters of your John Karlsen erotic fan fiction. For the few out there who don't recognize, the name or soul-piercing eyes, John Karlsen played Blossum in 1966's The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, easily one of the weirdest/greatest holiday specials to ever include a plot about Santa Claus not paying his rent and singing a not creepy at all song called "What Are Children Like When They're Wide Awake?" More fittingly, Karlsen played the English king in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Yes, the same man who ordered that titular pair to be put in the IRON MAIDEN.

Guys. This movie has an iron maiden. And John Karlsen opens it. 

I can't adequately express how happy this makes me.

Anyway, patients and nurses are brutally slaughtered (mostly in their naked sleep) by a cloaked figure. We have boobs (many), we have blood (a fair amount), and indeed, we do have black gloves touching both. Slaughter Hotel (or any of its other more fitting titles) is indeed a giallo. A very messy, occasionally quite labia-filled one. 

Thankfully, the film and its director, genre regular Fernando Di Leo, are well aware of its shortcomings. It never feels like Slaughter Hotel is trying to do anything but shove attractive women and grisly murders in your face. You don't realize there's a mystery about the killer's identity until the final act brings in a not-so-genius plan to unmask the murderer, and even then, the reveal is less rewarding than the continued chaos and violence that comes after it. Bava, this ain't. Fun trash, it certainly is.

High Points
Between aforementioned iron maidens, ancient swords, arrows, and a handy mace, Slaughter Hotel's murders are quite a varied batch

Low Points
Oh come on. The movie is terrible. What more do you need to know?

Lessons Learned
In the 1970s, it was totally acceptable for a nurse to seduce a mental patient providing foreplay involved a two-hour bath and extended dance party

One can still shed tears after being shot in the head

When trying to trap a violent serial killer in a hospital filled with dozens of civilians, consider blocking all exits or at least hiring faster police officers so that you don't end up with another half dozen murder victims thirty seconds AFTER you've caught the serial killer

Listed as Slaughter Hotel on RareFlixx DVDs, this was a "Very Long Wait" on Netflix's DVD portal. Was it worth it? Not particularly, but if you're a giallo completist or just really like female breasts, this is certainly one to find. I found myself chuckling through most of it, so it's certainly entertaining in one way or another. 

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