AGCK! What a scary woman! Seriously, the poster for the 1986 slasher film Mountain Top Motel Massacre is pure nightmare fuel! Unfortunately, the poster above does not feature the film’s tag line, which I happen to love.
You want to know what it was?
“Please do not disturb Evelyn. She already is!”
BRILLIANT! Of course, I have to admit that one reason why I love that tagline is because my best friend is named Evelyn and you better believe that, as soon as I came across this film, I called her up and I said, “Please don’t disturb Evelyn. She already is.”
Evelyn, of course, had no idea what I was talking about because not many people have heard of Mountaintop Motel Massacre. It’s one of the many low-budget slasher films to be released in the late 80s. (That said, the film was actually made in 1983 and sat on the shelf for three years before getting a release.) With a few notable exceptions, these films are pretty much forgotten, except for when they occasionally turn up on TV or when you come across them in the bargain bin. I found my copy of Mountaintop Motel Massacre at the Movie Trading Company. It was being sold for $1.99, which is another way of saying, “Nobody in the world cares about this damn movie.” But I bought it, because I thought the old woman was scary and I love horror movies.
Mountaintop Motel Massacre was filmed in Louisiana and it perfectly captures that whole you’re-going-to-die-as-soon-as-you-turn-off-the-lights atmosphere of the Deep South. Personally, I was hoping that all the guests at the motel would be obnoxious tourists from up north, the type who would bitch about not being able to get a good philly cheesesteak in Louisiana before being killed and dumped in the bayous. (Either that or they’d go up to the desk clerk and say, “We refuse to shop at a low class establishment like Walmart. Where is the closest Wawa?”)
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on how you look at it), there were no Northerners in this film. Instead, all the guests at the motel were locals. For instance, there was the alcoholic preacher. And then there was the newlywed couple, determined to have a wonderful wedding night despite not being able to afford the Holiday Inn. (Why would you marry a man who couldn’t even afford the Holiday Inn? Why, God, why!?) And then there was Al, the traveling salesman. Al checked into the motel with two hitchhikers, both of whom were under the impression that Al worked for a record company. Al’s kinda sleazy but he was also the film’s designated hero.
Needless to say, not many guests survived the night. Some were killed by snakes. Some were killed by sickles to the face. All were killed by a crazy old woman named Evelyn. Evelyn owned the motel but she had previously spent three years in a mental hospital. Before she killed all of her guests, she apparently murdered her daughter as well. Except, for the fact, that her daughter was later seen walking through the woods. Was her daughter a zombie or was this just a set-up for a sequel that would never be made? Your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, Mountaintop Motel Massacre doesn’t make a lot of sense. Like many slasher films, the film’s plot is pretty much dependent on everyone acting like a total moron. Usually, I defend the slasher genre by pointing out that, realistically speaking, most people do act like morons in the face of danger. But, compared to some of the people in Mountaintop Motel Massacre, the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake look like freaking geniuses.
However, with all that in mind, Mountaintop Motel Massacre is still an effectively creepy movie. It’s drenched in atmosphere and, as played by Ann Chappell, Evelyn is more frightening than your average anonymous 80s slasher. She spends most of the film running through a series of underground tunnels that are underneath the hotel and the sight of that murderous old woman burrowing from room to room will stick with you long after the movie ends.
So, if you happen to come across it this October, feel free to give Mountaintop Motel Massacre a shot. If you’re a fan of the slasher genre, you might enjoy it.
And … please.
Don’t disturb Evelyn.
SHE ALREADY IS!