”Hotel Inferno” is yet another slice of gore filled, brazen lunacy from Necrostorm, the Italian production company who brought us ”Adam Chaplin (2011)” which I reviewed here. Now 2 movies into my quest to complete their back catalog, I have a basic idea of what they’re all about: gore, gore and more gore – splattered all across genre pictures inspired by retro movies, comic books and video games.
In recent years, ”retro” homages to B movies of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s has become the in-thing; some are genuine love letters to their influences, where as some are hipster parodies which fail to capture the spirit of the films they’re trying to imitate. However, Necrostorm films don’t come across as homages whatsoever; they are authentic works of cyberpunk insanity born from forward thinking creative minds, as opposed to ones seeking nostalgia, which just happen to include influences from yesteryear.
”Adam Chaplin” was like a comic book come to life in movie form. ”Hotel Inferno”, on the other hand, adopts another approach us geeks love – first person shooters. The movie is filmed POV from the perspective of our protagonist as he slaughters his way through hordes of deformed baddies to try and escape from a hotel that poses as a front for an occult organization. Furthermore, the scenes between slaughter are very reminiscent of video game cut scenes, which makes for some welcome exposition to inform us on the story and mythology behind it all.
The films ”hero” is Frank Zimosa (Rayner Bourton); a contract killer hired by an organization who call themselves the ”Luman Corporation”. His task sounds routine at first: carry out a hit on a couple of serial killers holding up in a hotel. Frank is equipped with a pair of special sunglasses, which are used to communicate with Luman Corporation’s owner Jorge Mistrandia (Michael Howe), as well as a recording device to film his every move. Jorge is very particular with how the executions must be carried out – and soon Frank learns his mystery employer has greater, more sinister intentions in mind.
Once Frank abandons the mission, he must fight to survive. Violence and mayhem ensues as he shoots, hacks and slashes his way through the hotels secret corridors, pursued by zombie-like henchman, with a supernatural demonic force lying in wait. The demon demands specific violence to appease ”Her” – or else she’ll rise from her Hellish slumber. And nobody wants that.
The acting and dialogue is akin to that of a video game as well, with interactions kept brief and to the point when the chaos is having a breather; this is only enhanced by the dubbed voices, which are over-the-top and, quite frankly, too cliched to resemble real people. Jorge Mistrandia speaks with a posh English accent that’s eloquent and sinister. Frank Zimosa sounds like an ape who can only blurt out vulgar slurs and repetitive phrases. It takes you awhile to accept the awful dubbing, but once the movie gets going you find it adds to its charm, as it does feel like you’re watching a video game progress through levels before climaxing at the big boss.
”Hotel Inferno” blends digital and practical effects perfectly, but it’s the practical effects which stand out out most impressively. These include decapitations, spines being ripped out and countless other acts of frequent artistic butchering. The crew know what us horror fans love, and they don’t take any shortcuts unless it’s completely necessary. The digital effects are used to create fire and explosions mostly, but they never seem out of place.
Overall, ”Hotel Inferno” is another inventive gem from the Necrostorm team. It’s as ultra violent, dark and demented as they come, but it does so in such a gleeful manner it maintains a sense of gleeful fun throughout. This is a company worth following; much like Astron-6 they’re a company who share a connection with genre fans who seek more than your typical, run-of-the-mill fads. If you like your movies left field, ”Hotel Inferno” is worth checking into. 7/10
Written & Directed By:
Giulio De Santi
Rayner Bourton, Jessica Carroll, Michael Howe