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Motel Hell (1980) – Episode 165 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Ah, this is special laughing gas. With this stuff, you smell it and we do the laughing.” Most people prefer to smell and laugh, but what the heck. Everything is worth trying once. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr –  as they sample Farmer Vincent’s legendary fritters in Motel Hell (1980).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 165 – Motel Hell (1980)

A seemingly friendly farmer and his sister kidnap unsuspecting travelers and bury them alive, using them to create the “special meat” they are famous for.


In their fourth double-tap, your Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew revisit Motel Hell, first discussed four years ago by Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore, and Thomas Mariani on episode 95. This time around, Crystal chose this quirky film and timed it perfectly so the podcast would go live just five days before the 40th anniversary of the film’s release on 24 October 1980. Jeff is thrilled to revisit Motel Hell for a variety of reasons, three of which are: it’s one of his pet favorites, it gives him a chance to relive his first participation on a Decades of Horror podcast, and, of course, Rory Calhoun! Chad hated Motel Hell the first time around but claims to have watched it at least 25 times over the years. Even so, he’s not buying the whole concept of “meat” fritters. Motel Hell is one of those movies people either love or hate according to Bill and he has fun with it even though the plot is nonsensical. Crystal can’t understand the hate Motel Hell gets from some factions and raves about Rory Calhoun’s smile.

If you haven’t seen Motel Hell, the 80s Grue-Crew strongly recommends you rectify that situation. At this writing, it’s available to stream on Amazon Prime and on a Scream Factory Blu-ray. In fact, Scream Factory just released a Limited Edition SteeBook version on 13 October 2020! You know you want it!

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode will be dedicated to The Burning (1981) featuring special effects by Tom Savini and first theatrical film appearances from Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, and Fisher Stevens!

Please let them know how they’re doing! They want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave them a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.