|The maniac advances upon a sleeping victim|
An institution that treats wealthy women with assorted neuroses plays host to a maniacal killer who runs around in a cloak and mask and employs such weapons as a cross-bow, an axe, a mace, and even an iron maiden. The patients include nymphomaniac Anne (Rosalba Neri), who has secret sex meetings with the hunky gardener (Giangiacomo Elia); and Cheryl (Margaret Lee), who has fallen for her not-so-hunky doctor, Francis Clay (Klaus Kinski of Doctor Zhivago). Then there are patients with incestuous fixations on their brothers, or suicidal tendencies. Nurse Helen (Monica Strebel) begins a steamy affair with patient Mara (Jane Garrett), which provides lots of excuses for "girl on girl" sex scenes. Indeed Slaughter Hotel is semi-pornographic, with both straight and gay action taking up much of the running time as we occasionally see this nut case running around to puncture somebody. It's too bad, because Slaughter Hotel has some decent production values, a creepy score, and good photography, and the picture might have amounted to more than a meandering, often dull, tits-and-ass blood-romp with a better script and direction. Despite the possible inappropriateness of a relationship between a nurse and her patient, the lesbian couple are likable and do a sexy dance together, and their fates are disturbing. This is yet another movie that employs a plot device used in Agatha Christie's famous "ABC Murders." The most tasteless thing about the picture is a climax which shows the killer using his mace to kill several young nurses at once so the ads could talk about "the slaughter of seven student nurses" and invoke the image of that real maniac Richard Speck. A nominal giallo film.
Verdict: A beautiful mansion that should have been used for a much, much better movie. *1/2.