After the murder of his fiancee, Katherin, floundering screenwriter Don Malek is hell bent on revenge. Plagued with personal demons, Don checks into a seedy motel room to enact a bloody rampage. When he checks in, no one checks out.
The first time we see writer Don Malek (Stephen Geoffreys – who bears a resemblance to actor Andy Serkis), he is brutally torturing his boss Stanley Glissberg (Anthony Colliano), who is bound and naked in an ice filled bathtub. We’re not sure why this is happening. The accompanying soundtrack sounds like the swarming of a hundred electronic bees.
Malek stays at this hotel because the ambience is beneficial to his writing. His agent is Ava Collins (Tiffany Shepis) whose every sentiment is littered with so many profanities, she (possibly inadvertently) provides this strange, dark film with its few moments of raw humour. As time goes on, she is revealed not to be quite the stabilising influence on Malek she initially seems.
The small budget and direction conspire to give the hotel a pleasingly run-down atmosphere. The walls are permanently stained and there is clutter throughout, and Malek’s neighbour Spitz (Ezra Buzzington, who would give an effective performance in 2012’s ‘Lost Lake’) is a rampant sexual, permanently furious paraplegic.
Corey Hiam, who died in 2010, also features as a drunkard called Jasper Crash, inexplicably with a (bad) British accent. Other than that, he is surprisingly effective, Crash’s wrecked disposition sadly reflective Hiam’s own at that time.
This collection of grotesque characters helps imbue ‘New Terminal Hotel’ with a heightened sense of the macabre, so much so that the characters, no matter how finely explored, remain raw and enigmatic. This gives the film a truly odd, skewed sense of horror that is commendable for resulting in a production unlike anything else. Definitely an acquired taste, and deserving of more than just one viewing.
Released as ‘New Terminal Hotel’ in 2010, this met with little fanfare and was rereleased as ‘Do Not Disturb’ three years later.