Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
- SPOILERS. (But you'll thank me for taking away any reason to watch
As I see it, there are three kinds of bad movies:
Category 1. Those films which are bad in a way that is great fun to watch. Films like "Plan 9 from Outer Space", "Big Bad Mama", "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers", "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man" and "Road House" just reach out to us with their larger-than-life aspirations or their goofy self-awareness.
Category 2. Those films which are just tedious, have no entertainment value, and are just painful to sit through. These films fall into two subcategories:
Category 3. Those films which are even worse than the films in category two, so bad in fact that we will watch them, even though they are tedious and awful, just to see how bad they really are. In this category fall such classics as "Barn of the Naked Dead", and "Manos, the Hands of Fate".
This film is somewhere in limbo between a Category 2b and a Category 3. It is unbelievably bad in every way, and there is no nudity, so we would tend to discard it as unwatchable, and yet it reaches out for new depths in so many categories that you may enjoy it just as some kind of cautionary tale, a magical key to a kingdom filled with the things to avoid when making a film.
The litany is nearly endless:
Confusing continuity errors. Example: a sheriff is riding to the rescue on "Highway 71", but has to stop and walk the rest of the way because lightning throws a tree across the highway. All well and good, except the next morning he backs up from the tree, and we see that he's on a dirt road in the countryside.
Impossible plot twists. The surprise ending shows us the sheriff driving off, having killed the psychotic old woman who killed everyone in the motel. I need to point out here that the old lady was driven completely over the edge sometime in the past by having killed her daughter. But as we see the sheriff drive off, we see the dead daughter walking around, then we see the "vacancy" light come back up on the motel. What? The whole thing has been an insane killer movie, and in the last 20 seconds it becomes a ghost story? I wonder how many people will register tomorrow, considering that (a) the tree is still blocking the "highway" and (b) all the rooms are still full of dead bodies. I guess Miss Ghost is no Harvard MBA when it comes to her marketing techniques.
"My wife and I would like a room for the night. We're really tired because we had to walk here from the tree."
"Yes, sir. Would like like smoking or non-smoking?"
"And a room with a poisoned body, or a stabbed body?"
"Gee, I don't know. What do you think, honey?"
"Oh, we always go with the stabbed body, dear. Let's do something different?"
acting. I can't
describe this accurately. You have to see it for yourself. I'm not
kidding. These are not weak professionals, but actually amateurs,
including many one-movie wonders. If
Sofia Coppola were in this cast, she would seem to sparkle like
Branagh in Henry V.
Lighting. The outdoor scenes are watchable. The indoor nighttime scenes are in almost complete blackness. I didn't know what most of the characters really looked like until I started using photoshop on the captures.
Sound. How many things can you do wrong? Vary the volume too much? Add bad amateur music? Cliched violin screeches? That hollow echo sound when people speak? If you can name a possible sound problem, you can probably find it here.
Plot, dialogue, tension, special effects. Obvious, probably ad-libbed, none, and really cheap. In that order. Or any order you prefer.And there's no redeeming nudity.
In fact, the most entertaining part of the film was the FBI warning. It was all downhill from there.
|I think I can best sum up by pointing
out that the back cover of the DVD box says "for more
information, see the reverse side of this sleeve"
The reverse side is blank.
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