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COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: 'Hotel Hell Colletor's Edition Blu-Ray DVD' Review

Updated: 08/12/2014 10:01 AM
Created: 08/12/2014 9:43 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

It is finally here!

Scream Factory has just released a special collector’s edition of “Motel Hell” on Blu-ray and DVD.

“Motel Hell” is one of my favorite horror films that I used to rent all the time on VHS when I was growing up.

“Motel Hell” is filled with intense and very terrifying scenes, which also have a nice mixture of humor added in making it a very unique horror film.

It was released in 1980 and was directed by Kevin Conner, written by Robert and Steven Charles Jaffe.

“Motel Hell” stars Rory Calhoun, Nancy Parsons, Paul Linke and Nina Axelrod. 

Farmer Vincent (Rory Calhoun) is very well known for his smoked meat which contains a very special and secret ingredient. He also owns and runs a motel with his sister Ida (Nancy Pearson) named “Motel Hello (In the film the “O” in the neon sign flickers on and off hence the title).” 

There is a secret garden that is hidden near the motel. Vincent and Ida prepare the special ingredient used for their meat in the garden and it is one of the craziest things I have ever seen. You will not believe it when you see it.

Vincent and Ida also have a brother named Bruce (Paul Linke) who suspects that something very strange is going on when a woman (Nina Axelrod) shows up at the hotel and wants to marry Vincent.

Bruce starts to investigate and soon discovers Vincent and Ida’s dark secret.

I really enjoy “Motel Hell” a lot, I don’t want to spoil anything in the story, because it’s such a strange story that is filled with many surprises.

I really thought it was very well written and I really enjoyed the dark humor in it.

The Blu-ray and DVD prints look amazing. The picture is crystal clear and does not look dated at all. Shout Factory did one heck of a job with restoring the film.

The special features on “Motel Hell” are awesome and will keep you entertained for a very long time. I was very excited to watch them, because I really didn’t know that much about the film. Over the years I have done some research, but I have never really found that much information on it.

The special features include:

  • New audio commentary with director Kevin Connor, moderated by Dave Parker
  • New interviews with Kevin Connor, producers/writers Robert Jaffe and Steven Charles Jaffe, actor Marc Silver and Stunt co-ordinator Gene Hartline
  • Interviews with actors Paul Linke and Rosanne Katon
  • Ida; Be Thy Name: A Look Back at Motel Hell’s Female Protagonist, Ida Smith
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Photos

Overall I really enjoyed Shout Factory’s “Motel Hell” a lot. It is such a fun and terrifying film to watch. The print looks absolutely amazing and couldn’t look better.  The special features were a lot of fun to watch and also very interesting. I especially enjoyed the audio commentary with director Kevin Connor.

I would highly recommend that you buy the special collector’s edition of “Motel Hell” Blu-ray/DVD. This is a must have for any horror fan and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

“Motel Hell” is rated “R”

Follow Scream Factory on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


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