Thursday, November 9, 2017

Terror at Red Wolf Inn (1972)

A common complaint about horror movies is that plots often hinge on stupid protagonists. Rarely will you encounter a character dumber than doomed coed Regina (Linda Gillen). One day, she receives a letter indicating that she won an all-expenses-paid vacation. Without telling anyone where she’s going, Regina boards a private plane for a trip to Red Wolf Inn, a beachside mansion where the only other guests are two other young women. The proprietors are friendly seniors Evelyn (Mary Jackson) and Henry (Arthur Space), who receive help from their handsome grandson, Baby John (John Neilson). Life at the Red Wolf Inn is dull but relaxing, marked by epic meals at which everyone eats till they’re nauseous. How many red flags does Regina ignore? Consider a moment she shares with Baby John on the beach. He spots a small shark in the tide, grabs the fish, and bashes it repeatedly against a log, yelling “Shark!” with each stroke. Finally he drops the dead fish onto the sand and punches it several times before turning to Regina and saying, “I think I love you.” Regina also overlooks the fact that Evelyn and Henry prevent her from peeking inside a giant walk-in refrigerator. If you can’t figure out that the proprietors are cannibals fattening up their victims, then you’ve never seen a horror movie. Yet the folks who made Terror at Red Wolf Inn seem to think they’re preparing the audience for a shocking surprise, because the movie is halfway over before the bloodshed begins. Although the picture benefits from imaginative cinematography, the music is anemic, the performances are uneven (Jackson and Space are enjoyably creepy, but the young ladies underwhelm), and the climax is ridiculous. Do yourself a favor and skip this meal.

Terror at Red Wolf Inn: LAME

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