Welcome to a new, Halloween-centric feature, trick 'r treaters! The Arrow in the Head staff (along with some special guests) will be recommending obscure fright flicks throughout the month of October, hopefully enhancing your "31 Days of Horror"! Welcome to UNSEEN HALLOWEEN! (See previous entries HERE!)
PLOT: At a posh and secluded hotel-asylum for affluent psychosexually crazed women, a mysterious hooded figure exacts a spate of grisly slayings. Meanwhile, Klaus Kinski can't stop jerking off in the corner. Welcome to SLAUGHTER HOTEL!
REVIEW: If we're paying homage to underground horror joints worthy of seeking out, one sure to induce an uproarious ear-to-ear grin out of every single Arrow in the Header - while still delivering the gory goodies - has to be the iniquitously underappreciated 1971 Italian sleaze-fest SLAUGHTER HOTEL (aka ASYLUM EROTICA). Damn I love this movie! Directed with great verve by Fernando Di Leo, and starring an equally overlooked and invaluable cinematic export in Klaus Kinski, this lurid mélange of stalk-and-slash Giallo tropes with unabashed X-rated sexiness is second to none. I promise. This is gore-sodden Euro-trash at its entertaining finest, one I'm proud to cast a little light on for you all this Halloween season. So crack a brew, spin a doob, pull out the candy colored condoms or whatever you have to do, we're fin to get freaky up in here. Let's get loose!
First off, what makes the film so damn obscure is about three or fourfold. We can start with the time and place in which it was produced. Made during the apogee of Italian horror splattering, where names like Bava, Fulci and Argento reigned supreme...it's easy to overlook this unabashedly greasy slasher whodunit...particularly since it comes from a director in Fernando Di Leo who was more known for action flicks than overt horror-erotica. Then there's the many title variations and edited versions of the flick that tend to get lost in translation when making its way overseas. SLAUGHTER HOTEL aka ASYLUM EROTICA aka COLD BLOODED BEAST or THE BEAST KILLS IN COLD BLOOD are just a few of the titles, with another 8 or so variants tailored for different countries throughout Europe. Hard to track down if you don't even have a settled upon title! That said, it's interesting to note that the most well known title, SLAUGHTER HOTEL, is also the alternate title for Tobe Hooper's equally seedy EATEN ALIVE (1977). Not only that, both films feature a killer that wields a giant scythe as a murder weapon of choice. In damn good company I'd say!
Speaking of tenants, boy oh boy to the lot of them get ripped, shredded and torn to gory bits. See, the setting is a lavish manor, the ornate lobby of which adorned with a passel of medieval weaponry - swords, double-bladed axes, maces, bow-and-arrows, iron maidens, etc. Demented, sex-starved rich bitches are brought into the place, and under the watchful eye, or should I say voyeuristically perverted eye, of Dr. Francis Clay (Kinski), undergo a series of therapeutic treatments. Shit gets foul in short order. We're talking interracial lesbian shower scenes, girl-on-girl massage work, bathtub masturbation, full frontal vag shots, lush Italian 70s bush, clitoral playtime, penetration!
And yes, penetration of multiple kinds...as a black-masked and hooded madman leaps from the shadows to use said medieval weaponry to ferociously fell the whole roster of filthy slut-bags who are too busy popping off a load to even know what's coming (uh, no pun). Throw in a jazzily dissonant film score, some great 70s filmmaking techniques (zooms, jump cuts, etc.), a harem of natural Euro hotties, and of course, Klaus Kinski manning the proceedings, and really, this is one of the first horror flicks to foment the slasher formula we've all come to know and love through American counterparts like BLACK CHRISTMAS, HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH. Really, I can't recommend this one enough to you guys and gals!
BEST BLOODY BIT: Lots of goodies to choose from here, but I'll just say there's a splendid scene in which, in the throes of post-coital bliss, a buxom lass is unceremoniously surprised when an arrow gets shot plum through her trachea from about 50 yards out. She bleeds off in the nude!
WHERE TO FIND IT: You can currently locate a Blu-ray version of SLAUGHTER HOTEL on Amazon (CLICK HERE), though at 90 minutes, I'm afraid this might be the heavily cut version. Now this is important. If you want to experience the flick in all its lewd and lascivious X-rated glory, I wholeheartedly urge you to go through Netflix to find the 96 minute full version. This is how I first saw the flick, so I can vouch that Netflix indeed has the uncut, uncensored 96 minute version. Only thing is, it's not available for streaming, you'll have to send out for the hardcopy disc. A bit of a pain in the ass I know, but trust me, this is the way you want to see the film, and it's more than worth the hassle. You won't be disappointed!
Also, for the multilingual, there are a few full European versions of the flick making the rounds on Youtube. Under the original title LA BESTIA UCCIDE A SNAGUE FREDDO, you can find the flick HERE and HERE. Enjoy!
- Down one sip for every single fatality.
- Pound a shot every time a pair of female breasts appear onscreen.
- Sink a drink whenever Klaus Kinski's beautifully feathered mullet appears onscreen.