INN FOR THE NIGHT (DVD)

1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 40 minutes
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This anthology DVD contains two films each by two directors (Ernie Rockelman and Kent Green). The collection borrows the premise of David Lynch’s short-lived 1993 television series “Hotel Room,” in that it features different stories taking place in the same hotel room at different times. In the case of “Inn for the Night,” all of the stories are splatter films. Quite a cleaning bill this hotel must have. Blood stains are a drag to remove from the carpet and the bedding, you know.

The disc starts out with the weakest film, Rockelman’s “Help Me” (12 min). Rosemary (Brandi Stephenson) is in her motel room. She hears a murder in the adjacent room. She freaks. The killer bursts into the room with the corpse of a maid in tow. Rosemary hides, the killer finds her, she dies. Roll credits.

Green’s first entry is almost as pointless as “Help Me.” In “A Rose Has Teeth” (6 min), a businessman notices that the door to a hotel room is slightly ajar. He peeks inside to see a nude woman standing by the window smoking. It takes a moment for the man to notice the woman’s bloody victim on the bed, but just after he does, the woman – a vampire – kills the businessman too.

Rockelman returns with “Nightmares of Death and Dying” (13 min), in which a writer named Morgan (Robert Wickward) is in the motel room trying to get inspired. He runs afoul of some creeps, and gets very, very inspired as they pound on his door, intent on murder.

It seems as though the directors lined their movies up worst to best; the last film is Green’s “Neighbors” (9 min). A man on the verge of suicide shoots the wall instead of his own skull, killing the man in the next room. When the shooter goes to investigate, he discovers that the dead man was no saint – he had a woman gagged and tied to a chair. This film actually has a twist to it and contains something that almost resembles some human emotion, so I’ll not spoil the ending.

The first two films on the disc are not complete ideas; they play as scenes, perhaps as taken from a longer film. A murder is not a story in and of itself, and with no character moments at all and nothing to latch on to from the viewer’s perspective, the films are ultimately pointless. The third film is a step forward, but not enough of one. It is only by the fourth film that we have a total story, rather than a dislocated scene. Knowing that Green is capable of this, let us hope he explores it further in his future work. Perhaps Emerald Productions’ new feature “Haunted Inc.” will be the answer.



Posted on June 13, 2009 in Reviews by
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