Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1976. Mars Productions Corporation. Screenplay by Alvin L. Fast, Mardi Rustam, screen adaptation by Kim Henkel. Cinematography by Robert Caramico. Produced by Mardi Rustam. Music by Wayne Bell, Tobe Hooper. Production Design by Marshal Reed. Costume Design by J. Mancbach-Fletcher, Greg Tittinger. Film Editing by Michael Brown.
Tobe Hooper is given a bigger budget to make another horror film and this time veers into the realm of campy fun (intentionally or not is for you to decide). A girl working in a cathouse decides to get out of her degrading situation and heads out of town, stopping at a rundown motel where she is quickly dispatched to her reward by the insane owner (Neville Brand). Every guest who shows up at the place is the victim of the innkeeper’s cruelty, the evidence usually fed to the giant alligator that lives in the moat surrounding the place: among them, a bickering middle-class couple (the wife played by returning scream queen Marilyn Burns) whose child struggles to evade the creature for most of the film, and local troublemaker Robert Englund and his girlfriend showing up for some nookie. Then Mel Ferrer shows up, a fat-cat politician who is looking for his missing daughter, and the screws tighten for madman Brand when he starts asking around. Filmed on a expressively lit, wholly artificial looking set, this indulgent bit of silliness isn’t the least bit scary, its plot actually rarely makes sense and is mainly an excuse for the body count, but the gory element will have plenty to offer fans of the murder-by-numbers genre.