The Gay Bed And Breakfast Of Terror (2007)

The title may not inspire confidence for some viewers, but the Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror is neither a homophobic rant or a anti-hetero cavalcade of campery. It can be confused at times, is laughably low-budget and has a poorly constructed finale, but it’s a kooky, funny, utterly stupid, maniacal little horror that is oddly compelling. It won’t win awards for… well… anything, but it’s a solid piece of horrory fun. Bonkers, but in a good way.

Heavily religious Helen owns a hotel in the middle of nowhere, and has a daughter who has aggressively gay tendencies. Coming from an extremely strict religious background, Helen feels the best way to quench her girl’s evil thoughts is to marry her off… to a gay man. Inviting a GLTB group (Gay, Lesbian, Transsexual, Bisexual, for those who don’t know) to enjoy a weekend there, the guests arrive and quickly realise all is not well. At all. The hotelier and her daughter are massively deranged and something called Manfred has escaped his cage and is on the loose… and he’s very hungry.

The initial scenes showing the hotel’s visitors arriving contains terrible acting, stodgy dialogue and is filmed like an ancient television drama – but it’s bizarrely quaint. You quickly realise the dialogue’s been added in post-production, and although it feels like you’re watching a poorly dubbed foreign film, when they finally arrive at the “gay friendly” hotel, this nuisance disappears and the fun really begins.

The characters’ introductions are brief and obviously functional – “I’m the reigning Mr Leather – you’d think they’d hold a room” – as the director / writer clearly wanted to get to the insanity inside the hotel. And it is insane. The arrival scenes are interspersed with the hotel staff (of two) preparing their guests stay – in a creepy, weird and foreboding manner. It’s a clash of cultures waiting to happen.

The script at first feels clunky, but it gradually becomes funny, in a highly bizarre way. The hotel guests are repeatedly asked “Who wants a hot fresh home-made mince-meat muffin” and the hotelier reveals how obviously deranged she is when she tells her hideous daughter “We’re going to find you a nice handsome man to marry – who will convert and save you from Satan”. Occasionally it can be hilariously terrible, but it can also be very funny and downright disturbing – “You put Manfred back in his cage or we’ll never find you a husband”.

The majority of the hotel guests are stereotypical, but deliberately so. You become ambivalent to most of them, only really caring for the pretty lesbian couple and the down-trodden songwriter whose girlfriend treats her with disdain. When the mysterious Manfred begins to dispatch the guests it’s not exactly a shame, and is actually rather gleeful, and when hotel manager Helen decides all the heathen scum should die then heads literally begin to roll.

The Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror doesn’t scrimp on the violence either – earning it’s 18 rating with severed body parts, buckets of blood and a vile-looking monstrous creature in the form of Manfred. Although his lower-half is a sleeping bag trying desperately to be a demented slimy slug thing, his top half is genuinely vile-looking and disturbing. There’s also the occasional flash of penis and breasts, but nothing close to the dirty pornography you might have expected from the title.

The film is tragically let down by a very lengthy, very confusing denouement, featuring some completely unexpected character changes and too much sleeping-bag-legged Manfred pushing the realms of realism off a cliff. The reason for Manfred’s existence is hilarious and utterly depraved, but seeing him up close somewhat ruins the mystery. In this case – much less is more.

The Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror is very cheap and enjoyably daft. It is occasionally badly acted, written, directed and ends very poorly, but it’s a watchable and totally crazy experience.

Rating: ★★★★★½☆☆☆☆

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