(a.k.a. The Folks At The Red Wolf Inn,
Terror At Red Wolf Inn, Red Wolf Inn, and Terror On The
Cast: Linda Gillin, Arthur Space, John Nielson
You may have wondered how I select the movies to be
reviewed at this
web site. I don't use one single method - I figure the best way is to
several methods, to increase my chance of finding those good unknown
Sometimes I'll come across a review for an obscure movie in a review
and if it sounds interesting, I'll seek the movie out in video stores.
Other times I come across movies on cable; since I have nothing to lose
by watching these free movies, I'll usually sit down and watch them.
many times I just go to a video store, and glance at the shelves.
how I came across Terror House. I'd never heard of this
before, and the video box (from a long-defunct distributor) caught my
with its out-of-focus replication of the original movie poster. The art
looked like it would be cheesy even if it was on a full-sized poster
in focus. So I decided to give it a play through my VCR. Sometimes
a wild guess on an unknown movie can pay off, as it did with Terror
House. It's definitely not a great movie, but taking a
on this movie and being given a lot back gave me a lot of pleasure on
of the cheeky and amusing moments found here.
I didn't know what the movie was about when I rented it;
there was no
plot description on the back of the box. That made it fun for the first
few minutes, trying to figure out what the movie was about. In those
few minutes, we meet Regina (Gillin), a young college student on some
campus. Returning from classes one day, she finds she's gotten a letter
saying she's won a free vacation at some lodge she's never heard of.
not to look a gift horse in the mouth, she contacts the lodge, which
arranges a charter airplane to fly her out, not giving her time to call
her mother. Arriving at her destination, she is driven to Red Wolf Inn,
where she meets two other young women staying there, plus the owners -
Henry (Space) and Evelyn (Mary Jackson), the sweetest, kindest elderly
couple you can imagine. It's strange - the telephone is out of order at
the lodge, and Evelyn doesn't seem to want Regina to go anywhere near
walk-in freezer. Anyway, it's time for dinner! The highlight of the
is when Henry brings in a big plate of ribs, making endless comments
"Just as moist as it can be!" and "There's more where that came from!".
Then the action pauses, focusing on the the couple, their somewhat
young adult grandson "Baby" (Nielson) and the three women eating the
including quite a few close-up shots of their mouths working on the
("Best meat you ever tasted, eh, Regina?") The director keeps focus on
all this rib-tickling eating for the next few minutes.
By now I think you've guessed that Henry and Evelyn are
secret, and what that secret is. If you don't, here's another clue:
dinner, everyone goes to bed, and the next morning Regina can't help
notice that one of the guests is gone, supposedly "left" during the
You've got it. And if I were to ask you what happens until the end, you
would certainly give a synopsis that covers what does indeed happen.
for some bizarre happenings towards the end, resulting in a weird
that will leave you slightly bewildered.) No, no real surprises
the story. But I didn't mind sitting through all of this, because it
overall well executed. The main key to bringing life to a familiar
like this is in the acting and the characters. Gillin does a good job
her character as being average in intelligence, not entirely helpless,
(she comes up with some possible solutions when she finds herself in
and her naive parts of her character Regina are comfortable enough to
accept. Except maybe when she finally makes the big discovery - she has
been exposed to so much evidence beforehand, it's hard to believe that
she would finally make a connection so late in the game. Nielson's
of "Baby" isn't the drooling cretin you might think - the character is
interestingly seen struggling on the thin line between average
and mild retardation. The shark sequence shows another interesting side
of his character as well, and Nielson caps this scene by being given an
incredibly funny one-liner.
The real stars of this movie are Space and Jackson as
the elderly couple,
even though surprisingly the focus of the movie isn't really on them.
play the couple as being very sweet and lovable, though they are
not to be too sweet and lovable. Otherwise, their then broad
would no longer be amusing, but just plain forced and out of tone with
the rest of the movie. Even in the inevitable slaughter to come, the
looks away from their actions so that we just hear the mayhem, instead
of actually seeing it. The gore level in this movie is actually pretty
light (the movie is rated PG), which may disappoint some horror fans. I
actually would agree with them - a movie covering a ghoulish subject
as this needs to show what it is about instead of just
alluding to it. Perhaps the director was afraid it would overshadow the
light comic tone, but I think with some careful direction the movie
have been both gory and funny.
In fact, the movie does sometimes forget it's a horror
movie - there's
a pointless dream sequence almost forcibly placed in after a long
where nothing like horror has happened for some time. A police chase
the beginning is also anti-climatic, though by itself it's a
sequence. And admittedly there are a few dramatic sequences in the
that are both tense and fit acceptably in the amusing humor-accented
House may be full of ingredients you've eaten many times
but they are baked together into a nice little meal.
for availability on Amazon (VHS)
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See also: Carnival Of Blood,
Curse Of The Cannibal Confederates,