Category Archives: Horror films

Really Awful Movies: Ep 259 – Mountaintop Motel Massacre

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast we turn to another regional horror, this time from the state of Louisiana. This one is called Mountaintop Motel Massacre (the massacre bit was added later when Roger Corman bought the movie to get it distributed). And boy are we glad he did, as this one is a total hoot.

It’s not often you get to see an elderly lady in a mediocre 80s slasher movie, but here, the proprietor of said hotel is our killer.

Evelyn is a septuagenarian who’s just been released from a mental institution. Everything is easy-breezy as she tends to her garden.

Then, a series of events put motel patrons in harm’s way (at the risk of divulging too much here).

Evelyn, as you may have guessed, is handy with a sickle. Disparate travelers end up at her place of business, and like a really bad version of Psycho, meet their demise.

This one is a slow-burn. Some would call it meticulous. Others would spare the obfuscating language and call it was it is: dull. Sure, it’s dull. But given what the directors and actors had to work with, they didn’t do half-bad a job.

This is regional horror after all. There’s no major backer behind it, no big-time names, certainly no large Hollywood studio.

One host of the Really Awful Movies Podcast as a younger, tried to amass as many movies with massacre in the title as he could. For whatever reason, this one escaped. It’s very possible Jumbo Video or some now-defunct VHS chain simply didn’t stock Mountaintop Motel Massacre.

The movie has attained sort of cult status, which is just the way we like it.

Join us this Friday and every Friday as we delve into oddball, transgressive, low-budget action movies, freewheeling off-kilter sci-fi flicks, and even the odd musical or misguided comedy.

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Really Awful Movies: Ep 258 – Death Ship

Death Ship is a disaster movie, and a horror film (and some would maybe insert the words “of a” between “disaster” and “movie”).

In our books, this one’s super-fun and we thought it’d make excellent podcast fodder solely because of the poster and the cast.

A mysterious rusty freighter is sailing the high seas. There’s a cruise ship in the distance, captained by Ashland (played by Airport’s George Kennedy, so you know something calamitous is afoot)

The freighter alters course, and starts to bear down on the liner, interrupting one of those captain’s dinner / passenger shindigs.

Despite actions so evasive you’d think Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump were behind them, the two vessels collide!!

The next day, there’s a dinghy floating about in the open ocean, and it includes a waterlogged captain, his first mate (played by the Colonel Troutman dude from Rambo) and some surviving passengers and the dude who was a love interest on the hit TV series, Fraser.

Soon, the stranded survivors drift into the mysterious ship, which has a boarding ladder hanging into the water. They hop aboard, thinking they’re saved, but that could not be further from the truth.

You see, the ship’s been totally abandoned and is just drifting around as if it’s been possessed by some nefarious spirit. Spoiler alert: It friggin’ has.

Jeez, the Golden Era of horror, roughly speaking, was so much bloody fun. And even though Death Ship is as far removed from the likes of Friday the 13th or Halloween as you can get, it still manages to succeed because like those films, there’s a solid understanding that place matters. And this ship provides so much incredible atmosphere.

Is Death Ship (1980) a classic for the ages? Undoubtedly not, but it’s a warm blanket of nostalgia amidst choppy  seas.

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