2B - Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Daily Arts guide to
upcoming events in Ann Arbor
and the surrounding area.
Gypsy Pond Music: Digital Music
From Noon to 9p.m.
At the School of Music pond
Margot Livesey book reading
At U-M Residential College Auditorium
Jessica Fogel and Angela Kane:
U-M School of Music Dance Legacy
At Palmer Commons Forum Hall (100 Washtenaw)
David Erdman and Clover Lee: U-M
College of Architecture & Urban
At 2t04 Art & Architecture (2000 Bonisteel, North
Fiber Expo: Show and Sale of a Vari-
ety of Yarns, Felted Items, Fiber Art
Products and Craft Items
9a.m. to 50p.m.
At Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds (5055 Ann
Arbor Saline Rd.)
$3 (free for children under 5)
Mushroom Foray: Michigan
Mushroom Hunter's Club
At the Hi-Land Lake Access Site
U-M Exhibit Museum Planetarium
At the U-M Exhibit Museum
Trick or Treat Down the River: Paddle
Argo Pond and Gather Candy from
Noon to 4 p.m.
At Argo Canoe Livery (1055 Longshore Dr.)
Octubafest: U-M Tuba Professor
Fritz Kaenzing Conducts the Eupho-
At U-M Music School Britton Recital Hall
Please send all press releases and event
information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'MOTEL HELL' (1980)
Hipsters dance awkwardly to new Of
While watching "W.," Dick Cheney dies
of heart attack because he thinks Rich-
ard Dreyfuss's Cheney is actually him.
Dick Cheney dies of heart attack while
visiting haunted house.
Success of NBC series "Crusoe" prompts
Fox to counter with adaptation of Chau-
cer's "Canterbury Tales."
Mark Wahlberg stars in new film with
a donkey and chicken titled "Say Hi to
Your Mutha Fo Me, produced by Andy
Corey Matthews and Shawn Hunter skip
Mr. Feeney's big geography test to camp
out for Phillies World Series tickets.
Nick Hogan's next arrest: assault for
beating his dad with a fake, collapsible
D.L. Hughley's new CNN show, "Break-
ing the News," endorses John McCain.
PHOTOS COURTESY OFUNITEDARTISTS
By BLAKE GOBLE
Daily Film Editor
A funny thing happened this
past weekend when I visited a
Though Halloween's approach
and its requisite costumes, candy
and haunted houses are definite-
ly in style, a haunted forest has a
certain'charm. Kids run around
trying not to soil themselves as
Jason and Leatherface imperson-
ators go full bore with fake blood
and phony chainsaws.
The filmic references are
always in haunted' attractions.
Freddy-men brandish claw hands
while wolves howl' in the dis-
tance a lathe Wolfman. "Psycho,"
"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and,
of course, "Halloween" come to
mind as great October chillers
that get spoofed. But in a haunt-
ed forest in Clarkston, MI., the
weirdest, coolest allusion was
made as a part of the spectacle.
They made a freakin' homage
to "Motel Hell"
A woman offered spectators
the chance to spend the night
so they could be buried later
and turned into sausage! What a
great idea - and an appropriate
reminder of a great movie.
Possibly one of the strangest,
most underappreciated genre
pieces of the 1980s, "Motel Hell"
is a tricky treat. Released in 1980
at the forefront of the slasher
film renaissance, "Hell" is a yarn
about lonely farmer Vincent
Smith (respected TV veteran
Rory Calhoun). The slogan pret-
ty much sums it up: "It takes all
kinds of critters to make Farmer
Vincent and his sister are
slightly mental. They trap unsus-
pecting patrons at their motel,
only to turn them into delicious
meats later. Victims are buried
up to their heads so they can be
fed, fattened and eventually fil-
leted. These kooks clearly have to
be stopped. But this is just a soft
outline for the surrealist hor-
ror comedy, unlike anything else
released at the time.
Mixing hard-edged horror
with sharp laughs, "Hell" is a
series of preposterous scenes.
Witness abus of punk rockers get
too high to drive and captured
because of their stupidity; watch
as a health inspector's need to
maintain cleanliness seals his
fate; and stare wide-eyed as
Farmer Vincent goes ape-shit
in a chainsaw fight wearing a
pig's head as a mask. It's just too
bizarre to forget.
And it's all done in a perfectly
ironic manner. You can see how
much fun this movie was to make
based on the smiles and stam-
mers every actor gives. "Hell" gets
everything right within its genre.
The photography is gorgeously
dim. The humor is totally dead-
pan (look for Wolfman Jack as a
pervert preacher). The violence
and nudity is exceptionally gra-
tuitous, especially in a time when
limits were startingto get pushed
hard. And the performances are
wonderfully bad, in the perfect
'80s way. Maniacal laughing
while holding a chainsaw? Oh,
it's too great to pass up.
With Halloween and the pro-
liferation of hackneyed horror,
everybody has their preferences.
nudity and bad
acting: This film
Whether they're the "Sleepaway
Camp" types or the old Universal
horror films, there are countless
sub-groupings within the tumul-
tuous horror genre. Critics have
never been keen on these flicks
when they have more presti-
gious pieces, but it doesn't mat-
ter. There would beno such thing
as a cult movie without films like
"Motel Hell" most certainly is
a cult movie, and for good reason.
It's just awesome, and the forest
in Clarkston seems to think so
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