Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews as I go through the process of finishing post and releasing my 12 Westerns in 12 Months during 2020. I am watching these films not from an audience perspective but as a filmmaker, as a student of the genre.
Week 113: Inn of the Damned
Of all the films I’ve seen from the “Ozploitation” era, this feels the most like a Grindhouse/exploitation movie of the 70s, the kind Quentin Tarantino (gags) would pompously prop up next to classics of the genre. Though I’m not crazy about these kind of pictures, there is a lot of like here but I should mention that my assessment of the movie is somewhat hindered by the video transfer available. I watched this on Tubi and I suspect from the quality and a section of “tracking” that it was ripped off a VHS copy. Seen in a theater on a quality print, the movie might be far more effective.
It’s like a Western version of Psycho with demented hotel owners who have turned to killing and can’t let go of their dead family members. The best parts of the film are the most grotesque, not the gory kind but the Edgar Allan Poe kind. The film excels when it indulges in its gothic elements and suffers when it tries to broaden out into a more grandiose standard Western. Ultimately, I felt like there were too many characters and the narrative improved when most of them were killed, narrowing the conflict to our main protagonist and the creepy villains.
As a spin on the genre, I like what this does and it reminds me in some ways of what we tried to do with Bastard’s Crossing. It’s worth a watch but just remember, you most likely won’t be seeing this film in its glory on any streaming service.
Watched on Tubi.