A psychotic redneck who owns a dilapidated hotel in rural East Texas kills various people who upset him or his business, and he feeds their bodies to a large crocodile that he keeps as a pet in the swamp beside his hotel.
A young girl travels to Cairo to visit her father, and becomes unwillingly involved with a bizarre sadomasochistic cult led by the charismatic Paul Chevalier, who is a descendant of the ... See full summary »
Not as bad, as it's credited to being (Hooper's done far worse) more so disappointing for me. Such an imaginative concept, which is never really tapped in to by Hooper with his economical direction and even less so in the smoky (excuse the pun) writing. It goes so sinister and over-the-top in a dead serious tone, becoming ridiculous and unfocused letting the whole pessimistic mystery / conspiracy-laced narrative being easily telegraphed to end on something completely abrupt. Because of that, the pacing goes on to be rather sluggish and Brad Dourif (cool to see him in a leading role) seems to struggle with an off-balanced performance, despite etching out a bemusedly quirky intensity to his off-colour character. Even though it's cheaply done, there's a competent technical attitude to it. However it doesn't seem to go anywhere out of the ordinary with its idea and wants to plaster in nasty jolts (which some do work) and strikingly steaming special effects (flames, flames everywhere) instead. Hooper does display some stylishly frenetic imagery (more so towards the latter end), and the camera-work is swiftly manoeuvred and the beaming score is titillating. The performances are bit all over the shop with the appearances of William Prince, Cynthia Bain, Dey Young, Jon Cypher and Melinda Dillon. Also Geroge Buck Flower and John Landis have small, but amusing cameos especially Landis. Nothing surprises, but it's passably engaging.
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