Monday, October 4, 2010

Slaughter Hotel aka Asylum Erotica aka The Coldblooded Beast 1971 **1/2

Dir: Fernando di Leo
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, Rosalba Neri

For some reason, though I'm delicate about any nudity in films before 1968 or thereabouts, it's kind of mandatory in Eurohorror of the seventies, and kind of adds to the ambience if the proceedings don't get completely pornographic. Though some make the case for European porn and cinema having almost blended into one art form along about the mid-seventies, I prefer to keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool in the metaphoric McDLT of sleazy movie watching, but that's just me.

This movie is really a very recommendable bit of Eurotrash as it swarms in, provides lurid and weird thrills, then doesn't overstay its welcome. It's about a loony bin that seems to exclusively provide for the needs of sexy women, among whom is Margaret Lee coming on to Kinski, whose doctor character doesn't insult our intelligences, or bore us, by rebuffing her too long. Fans of more mainstream cinema will recognize Kinski as the wild-eyed long-haired loudmouth on the train in the Dr. Zhivago, or perhaps as the hunchback hired gun in For a Few Dollars More, but he is actually a very versatile actor who appeared in a wide variety of interesting European movies from the lowest of the low to the artiest of the arty.

Someone starts to knock off the curvy nutjobs in the place after they've done some suitable seductive writhing in surreal dream sequences, and there then follows a hamhanded investigation by police who make sure to chase the killer, once identified, at a slow enough pace so he has time to chop up about five nurses before the thrilling conclusion. One of the most notable scenes is a strange dance of lesbian seduction. The nonstop muzak score is kind of incongruously fun as well.


  1. You know, as much as a sleaze as I am, I am the exact same way. I love nudity in my films, but I don't like actual hardcore in a real movie. I actually prefer the cut versions of They Call her One Eye and Erotic nights of the living dead. The hardcore parts really take me out of movie and I usually end up just fast forwarding to the plot. If I wanna watch porn, I watch porn.

  2. Yes - porn has its time and place, but if I rent a movie for horror thrills, that's what I want. As much as I love Jess Franco, I tried watching one of his eighties movies a while ago and had to stop because it just got to be too much. The power of suggestion in his earlier movies works better for me.