Fernando Di Leo – La Bestia uccide a sangue freddo AKA Slaughter Hotel (1971)


(May contain spoilers.)

A cloaked figure slips into an exclusive psychiatric clinic and murders one of the female patients. Meanwhile, various sexuals liaisons are revealed. The mystery killer continues with his massacre: he beheads a nurse with a scythe, pushes a chauffeur into a spiked “Iron Maiden”, strangles an older female patient, kills a nymphomaniac with an axe, and shoots a lesbian through the neck with a crossbow. Doctor Clay and the police set a trap for the killer using one of the attractive female patients as bait. However, they are not prepared for the onslaugth that follows…

Slaughter Hotel demands to be seen in all its scope glory. A cursory viewing of a full screen, dark video transfer several years ago failed to impress; howeever, as was the case with The Lady in Red Kills Seven Times, the German letterboxed release is an enlightening experience (and yes, you can actually see what’s going on during the night scenes). Many gialli rely heavily on style, as is the case in this empty-headed exercise in pure exploitation, and it’s therefore essential that the “look” of the film can be fully appreciated. The seduction scenes (including the laughable lesbian encounter) and mass slaughter take on a whole new dimension, propelling what had seemed like a slow-moving cross between Sixties Gothic, Seventies sleaze and a plain old who-dunnit into a ballet of naked breasts, bottoms, buff and blood! And the outrageous climax, in which the demented killer lays into a gaggle of terrified female staff with a mace, is fittingly over-the-top. As was the case with many of his thrash roles, Klaus Kinski seems to be going through the motions merely for the pay cheque (something he would have doubtless arrogantly admitted) but Rosalba Neri proves yet again that she is one of the most appealing and talented actresses in the genre.

Quoted from Adrian Smith’s book “Blood and Black Lace”.


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