A supernatural monster from the jungle attacks the residents of a posh hotel--in a bloody, often hilariously corny,...



A supernatural monster from the jungle attacks the residents of a posh hotel--in a bloody, often hilariously corny, Saturday-matinee-horror-flick scenario. It's the grand opening of the El Dorado Hotel in the Latin American dictatorship of Panaguas, but because of anti-government terrorism only a few guests have shown up: chic newsmagazine photographer Chris Latham; suicidal travel-magazine writer Alan Reynolds; crass film-producer Irv and his starlet-concubine Dawn (they've come to beg funding from the Panaguas rulers); occult writer Margot Hampton (hungry for fresh voodoo-ish material); an enigmatic old creep named Curzon; and has-been rock star Scott Hershey. Heavy foreshadowings surround their arrival at the hotel, of course (shrunken heads, etc.), with mysterious appearances by rebel leader Vargas (who's disguised as a walter and saves Chris from drowning) and by a woman anthropologist--who, after telling Chris that an entire jungle tribe was wiped out to clear the way for this hotel, is the first to die a bloody death. And soon after the arrival of the dictator's minions (Vargas forces Chris into spying on them) the body count escalates: an indescribable creature/presence with a machete whooshes around decapitating people--primarily those who've been indulging in kinky sex of one brand or another. Finally, the survivors wait for a plane to whisk them to safety, but it leaves without them; and there's a gore-a-thon showdown with dancing shrunken heads, the machete-monster, and the woman anthropologist (who's really alive and psychotically inciting the vengeance of the massacred jungle tribe). In the opening chapters, Boorstin displays a knack for snappy dialogue, even a trace of satirical edge. Ultimately, however, all collapses into repartee worthy of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (""Was it. . . human?""/ ""It was. . . enormous"") and boogeyman-campfire narration (""The monster has come!""). So: more laughs (unintentional) than chills--and not quite enough of either to sustain the long, talky, gross goings-on.

Pub Date: July 15, 1980


Page Count: -

Publisher: Marek--dist. by Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1980