Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 3rd, 2014
BluRay Released: December 9th, 2014
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian, DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Raro Video USA
Region Encoding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Slaughter Hotel co-written and directed by Fernando Di Leo, whose other notable films include, Caliber 9, The Italian Connection, The Boss and To Be Twenty. Cinematographer Franco Villa worked on a total of eleven films with Di Leo. Their collaboration began with Code Name, Red Roses and ended with Sesso in testa. The score for Slaughter Hotel was composed by Silvano Spadaccino (Beatrice Cenci) who had previously worked with Di Leo on Naked Violence and A Wrong Way to Love. He would also contribute songs to three more Di Leo films, Rulers of the City, To Be Twenty and Burn, Boy, Burn.
Alternative titles that Slaughter Hotel has been released under include, Asylum Erotica, Cold Blooded Beast, the film’s Italian language title La bestia uccide a sangue freddo (The beast kills in cold blood) and its French language title Les insatisfaites poupées érotiques du docteur Hitchcock (The dissatisfied erotic dolls of Dr. Hitchcock).
Content wise, this film has all the ingredients that one would expect or want from a Giallo. Gory murder set pieces, an ample amount of nudity and a masked killer who keeps things interesting by using a wide array of weapons, all which just happen to be laying around this most unusual asylum.
And though this film employs another one of this genres staples the red herring, it is in this area that it is not as effective as at least one said red herring is an obvious decoy that stands out like a sore thumb. Also one area where this film differs from this genre’s staples is its ending which offers up an unusual resolution in which the killer does not get the chance to explain the reason behind their killing spree. And when it comes to the cast this film features a superb cast which is headline by Rosalbi Neri (Top Sensation) in the role of Anne, a nymphomaniac who’s masturbating scene is easily this film’s most memorable moment. Other performances of note include Margeret Lee (Venus in Furs, Dorian Grey) in the pivotal role of being used by the police as bait to finally draw out the killer and Klaus Kinski (Count Dracula) doing what he does best, look menacing.
Known for his extraordinary work within the Poliziotteschi genre, Slaughter Hotel would mark Fernando Di Leo’s first and only foray into the Giallo genre. And though this film was clearly thrust upon Di Leo due to the popularity of the Giallo genre at the time. The end result is an unfairly maligned film that actually holds up better than majority of its contemporaries.
Slaughter Hotel comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors look vibrant and are nicely saturated, black contrast levels look consistently strong throughout and details look crisp. There are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check. Overall this transfer is a marked improvement upon Shriek Show and Raro Video’s previous release for this film.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD Mono mix in Italian and a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. Both audio mixes in in very good shape as dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. Range wise considering the limitations of the mono source these audio mixes do a satisfactory job and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack fare well. It should be noted that some scenes where only shot in Italian and when listening to these scenes while listening to the English language track these moments are silent. And it is a shame that during these none English dubbed moments that the Italian audio mix was not used instead of these moments of silence. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Here is more info about the missing audio from the English audio track. “Regarding this matter this was an editorial decision, not a mistake: the longer exclusive uncut version of this movie, that we have released, has no audio in some very short segments of the English dubbed version-not due to a technical problem, but because we used a master that had scenes that were never used in previous releases and/or screenings. We, at Raro, decided to add some of these parts as extras in the special features. But, in order to give you access to this rare and longer uncut version, we left some short silent scenes in the English dubbed version.”
Extras for this release include deleted scenes (2 minutes 1 second – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), two featurettes, the first one titled ‘Lady Frankenstein’s Memoirs’ an interview with actress Rosalba Neri (18 minutes 28 seconds – 1.37:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in Italian with English subtitles) and the second one titled ‘Asylum of Fear’ (14 minutes 23 seconds – 1.37:1 aspect ratio 1080 Progressive, in Italian with English subtitles) with comments from director Fernando Di Leo, Rosalbi Neri, Oliver Pere (Quinzaine Executive) and composer Silvano Spadaccino.
Topics discussed in the featurette / interview with Rosalbi Neri include, how she enjoyed most working in the comedy genre, The Devil’s Wedding Night, Johnny Yuma, Top Sensation, how the director of the film was infatuated with her and working with Edwige Fenech, appearing in erotic cinema and her thoughts on having to take her clothes off in these films, Amuck and Barbara Bouchet, Lady Frankenstein, the clothes she wore in her films and her unique sense of style, her thoughts on the films she appeared in and why she left acting. Topics discussed in the featurette titled ‘Asylum of Fear’ include, why Fernando Di Leo was asked to direct this film, the giallo genre and Dario Argento’s influence on the genre, the screenplay and wanting to create something absurd, Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, how additional stronger sexual footage was shot for this film’s French theatrical release, the film’s score and this film’s lasting legacy. No dialog was shot for the deleted scenes which are presented silent and with music from this film’s score.
Rounding out the extras is a slip cover with alternate cover art and a eight page booklet with an essay about the film written by Chris Alexander. Overall Slaughter Hotel gets a strong release from Raro Video.
Note: This film is also being released by Raro Video USA on DVD.