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October 23, 2008 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-23

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2B - Thursday, October 23, 2008
CALENDAR
The Daily Arts guide to
upcoming events in Ann Arbor
and the surrounding area.
Today 10.23.08
Gypsy Pond Music: Digital Music
Ensemble
From Noon to 9p.m.
At the School of Music pond
Free
Margot Livesey book reading
5 p.m.
At U-M Residential College Auditorium
Free
Tomorrow 10.24.08
Jessica Fogel and Angela Kane:
U-M School of Music Dance Legacy
Lecture Series
4p.m.
At Palmer Commons Forum Hall (100 Washtenaw)
Free
David Erdman and Clover Lee: U-M
College of Architecture & Urban
Planning
6p.m.
At 2t04 Art & Architecture (2000 Bonisteel, North
Camps)
Free
Saturday 10.25.08
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
10 a.m.
At the Hi-Land Lake Access Site
Free
Sunday 10.26.08
U-M Exhibit Museum Planetarium
1:30 p.M.
At the U-M Exhibit Museum
$4.75
Trick or Treat Down the River: Paddle
Argo Pond and Gather Candy from
Costumed Characters
Noon to 4 p.m.
At Argo Canoe Livery (1055 Longshore Dr.)
$22/boat
Octubafest: U-M Tuba Professor
Fritz Kaenzing Conducts the Eupho-
nium/Tuba Ensemble
2p.m.
At U-M Music School Britton Recital Hall
Free
Please send all press releases and event
information to arts@michigandaily.com.

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'MOTEL HELL' (1980)

Ug-M

Hipsters dance awkwardly to new Of
Montreal album.
1:9
While watching "W.," Dick Cheney dies
of heart attack because he thinks Rich-
ard Dreyfuss's Cheney is actually him.
12:1
Dick Cheney dies of heart attack while
visiting haunted house.
12.5:1
Success of NBC series "Crusoe" prompts
Fox to counter with adaptation of Chau-
cer's "Canterbury Tales."
73:1
Mark Wahlberg stars in new film with
a donkey and chicken titled "Say Hi to
Your Mutha Fo Me, produced by Andy
Samberg.
189:1
Corey Matthews and Shawn Hunter skip
Mr. Feeney's big geography test to camp
out for Phillies World Series tickets.
215:1'
Nick Hogan's next arrest: assault for
beating his dad with a fake, collapsible
chair.
347:1
D.L. Hughley's new CNN show, "Break-
ing the News," endorses John McCain.
4000:1

a

PHOTOS COURTESY OFUNITEDARTISTS
Hell' ofagood
cult classi~c

By BLAKE GOBLE
Daily Film Editor
A funny thing happened this
past weekend when I visited a
haunted forest.
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's fritters!"
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.

Pigs, chainsaws,
nudity and bad
acting: This film
is incredible.
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."
"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
too.

I

Meet a FAMOUS MINOR TELEVISION PERSONALITY

JOHN HODGMAN
"Resident Expert" on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,
"PC" in Apple's nationally televised "Get a Mac" ads,
and author of
MORE INFORMATION
THAN YOU REQUIRE

I
I

DAILY ARTS
IS LOOKING
FOR
HIP-HOP
WRITERS.
E-mail us at artseditorsfall08@michigandaily.com
for an application.

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