After several years in an insane asylum, Evelyn, the keeper of the Mountaintop Motel, is released and resumes doing business. She kills her young charge out of anger, but convinces the ...
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An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
After several years in an insane asylum, Evelyn, the keeper of the Mountaintop Motel, is released and resumes doing business. She kills her young charge out of anger, but convinces the police it was an accident - and pushed into insanity, she then proceeds to target her guests, first by releasing vermin into their rooms, but then by using her trusty sickle...Written by
Brian J. Wright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After borrowing it off a friend and not expecting much, "Mountaintop Motel" aka "Mountaintop Motel Massacre" turned out to be a nice little surprise from the 80s (which was originally shelved for a couple years before its "86" release). While being on the cheap with limited resources, its low-key approach doesn't hamper the fun of this dark rural psycho shocker. Well it didn't for me. After getting off to a glum, slow start, it gradually grows suspenseful in its taut layout (secluded backwoods setting) where its creepy, twisted underlining breaks out (although that eerily offbeat music score provides an unnerving tone throughout). Leading to some savage attacks (despite some tacky gore) and a collected, spaced out performance by Anna Chappell as the motel owner who uses the tunnels beneath the motel rooms to terrorise her guests.
The solemn, paper-thin story probably could have made much more of the situation (ending on a lacklustre cat and mouse climax) and especially its supernatural angle/ or maybe it was the emotional breakdown into insanity, but its conventional structure conceals many strange surprises. Nothing is really brought up about the central character's unstable mind; especially why she was had spent time in a mental hospital. We just watch her slowly lose it, after accidentally killing her daughter she begins to hear her whispering voice in her head. The methodical direction grinds away, but there are some effectively lit set-pieces. There's okay bunch of performances by the cast; led by actor Bill Thurman as a boozy Reverend.
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