Mountaintop Motel Massacre

Deep in the woods there is the Mountaintop Motel ran by Evelyn and her daughter Lorie.  Evelyn however has spent time in a mental institution and although released she hears voices.  Evelyn disproves of Lorie’s spiritual interests and in a fit of rage a tragedy happens.  All alone, Evelyn now runs the motel with only ‘the voices’ as company.

The local preacher is a permanent guest of the motel (he was a friend of Evelyn’s late husband) and befriends a handyman looking for work and somewhere to stay because it’s cheap.  A young couple also turn up at the motel on their wedding night and they get more than they bargained for.  Al, a travelling salesman picks up two young women whose car has broken down.  Being a bit of a chancer, he tells them he’s a big shot music producer and they pull into the hotel where Al conveniently lets them borrow some of his clothes as they’re soaking wet due to the thunderstorm.

Al also shows us his ‘pulling gear’ which is a fabulous pair of blue underpants, I would imagine he would have to the beat the ladies off with a shitty stick when they seem them.

Evelyn meanwhile is seriously losing the plot and thanks to tunnels constructed under the motel and trapdoors leading into the rooms makes sure the guests never check out.

Mountaintop Motel Massacre is definitely not a slasher film in the style of say, Friday the 13th or The Burning but a slow moving atmospheric little chiller with serious emphasis on ‘woo woo’ electronic music and continuous thunder ‘n’ lightning sound effects.  The mad old lady Evelyn played by Anna Chappell is quite delightful as she’s not superhuman or wears a mask, but handy with a sickle and totally deranged.  The supporting cast play it all fairly straight and the stand out performance is from one Major Brock who appears to only have made one film.  His handyman Crewshaw is priceless and comes out with some great dry lines.

Having never seen it until now (I do remember the rather striking New World Video cover) I’ve missed out on something which is rather unique in slashers, no teenagers getting hacked up, although the film is set in the middle of nowhere.  Quite different from the norm and 90 minutes or so of pleasant violent barmy entertainment from a time gone by.

For it’s Blu-ray debut, 88 Films have gave us a really nice picture and sound along with a 20 minute chat with the film’s production designer and special effects dude amongst other goodies include a booklet written by Calum Waddell.

  • Starring Bill Thurman  Anna Chappell  Will Mitchell  Major Brock  Virginia Loridans
  • Director Jim McCullough Sr.
  • Distributor 88 Films