Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


The maniac advances upon a sleeping victim
SLAUGHTER HOTEL (aka La besta uccide a sangue freddo/1971). Director: Fernando Di Leo.

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.


Neil A Russell said...

Sounds bad enough to be interesting! Actually when I saw the still you posted it made me think of the really bad film from around the same time called "Wicked Wicked" shot in the amazing new process of "Duovision".
Duovision was simply shooting the same scene from two points of view and showing them simultaneously in split screen.
There were some moments where two different actions were shown together but the slow and downright silly murder mystery didn't help even with the miracle of Duovision.
I shouldn't pick on it, I hunted for several months until I found a copy.
Now I'll be on the lookout for this one :)

William said...

I originally saw "Slaughter Hotel" it in the theater and then caught it again on Shudder.

I also saw "Wicked, Wicked" in the theater years ago. It got a lot of publicity, if I recall, for its "Duo Vision." I reviewed it here a few years ago and found it mediocre but with some memorable aspects. Definitely a silly flick!