The opening credits for Terror at Red Wolf Inn; aka, Terror House (1972) show our young heroine Regina (Linda Gillen) bicycling around town while a themesong syrupy enough to choke a maggot gives the film a folky-dopy tone. It's intentionally funny though at this point in the story many may not yet realize the satiric intent.
College is out, but Regina can't afford to go anywhere for spring break. Lucky for her (or so she thinks) she receives an unexpected vacation "prize," a trip to she knows not where, but she sure is ready to go.
Fogies Evelyn & Henry Smith (Mary Jackson & Arthur Space) provide lodging in the dullest out of the way vacation spot. Isolated & kidnapped, Regina's a dense wonder slow to catch on. The first person she meets is the old couple's grandson Baby John (John Neilson), a handsome young guy who interests her at once.
Edwina & Pamela (Margaret Avery & Janet Wood) are already ensconced at Red Wolf Inn. Pamela's been there two weeks & it's time for her going-away dinner. We already suspect she's going away into the larder, even before we see the meat on the table looks rather like human ribs.
We watch the inn's owners & guests chow down with disgusting sound effects. Then to a marching tune we get close-ups of everyone's chewing going on & on & on. Clearly the girls are being fattened up.
Next day only Regina & Edwina remain, happy as larks, tra la la. Baby John's the butcher who works at night for grampa & grandma. Edwina's next-up for flaying, whereas for Regina, there may actually be a bit of romance developing between her & Baby John.
Surprisingly enough, this macabre satire has nothing especially gory to it, so it's pretty lowkey as horror, purely a black comedy with the gross stuff dependent on viewer imagination.
The first on-screen violence is when Baby John catches a small shark while fishing, & beats the living daylights out of it while yelling like a crazed hysteric. He finishes up with a calm "I think I love you" for Regina.
Edwina's demise is the first overt slaying, done to Brahms' Lullaby, but still nothing is shown, just the sound of a meat butcher behind the door of the walk-in cooler.
Regina catches on at last that something is amiss. Baby John is on the verge of rebellion against Evelyn's requirements as the family's ruling matriarch.
Having finally seen the larder, as if she needed to by then, Regina flees to the lonely beach & swims out to a little motor-boat, hoping to escape. She makes the resounding mistake of coming ashore at the nearest abandoned beach-house, with Baby John in swift pursuit. John's definitely losing his mind, & having gotten a crush on the family meat hasn't helped.
This is a scrumption Z movie, with riotous performances. A vegetarian myself, I liked this film's whole nutty set-up that just assumes eating meat is gross. It's all quite well done, a much better film than the theme required. It would make a fine double-bill with that greatest of all cannibal comedies Motel Hell (1980).
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl