Inn of the Damned (1975)

Article 2524 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-2-2008
Posting Date: 7-10-2008
Directed by Terry Bourke
Featuring Judith Anderson, Alex Cord, Michael Craig
Country: Australia

A trooper tries to hunt down a wanted man, and then investigates an inn with which he was associated. The inn has a history of people going missing after they’ve stayed there; in truth, the owners of the inn have been murdering the guests for their money.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday; an Australian horror western. It’s a fairly interesting movie in its way, but it isn’t really successful. Part of the reason is that the movie never really settles down into what it wants to be, and ends up trying several approaches. The first half of the movie concentrates on the chase of a criminal and the second half of the movie concentrates on the goings-on at the inn, where a madwoman and her husband murder the guests in various ways. Individual moments work well enough, but at one time or another it aspires to be a western action thriller, a mystery, a horror movie and an exploitation movie (there’s a lot of gratuitous nudity and an unnecessary lesbian subplot during one twenty minute stretch of the film). For those watching it for its horror movie elements, you’ll find most of the first half of the movie a waste of time. It does build up a good amount of suspense during the final showdown between the trooper and the innkeepers, and this is the best part of the movie. Unfortunately, it tries to end the movie with one of the most protracted explanations of “why these mad people do what they do” since PSYCHO, and it tries way too hard to make us feel sorry for them. It’s worth catching if you’re interested in something different, even if it doesn’t hang together very well.


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