Crime, Giallo, Horror, Romance, Thriller

Play Motel (1979)

Comments Off on Play Motel (1979) 29 January 2016

play motel

Studio: Raro Video 

Theatrical Release: 1979

Blu Ray Release: August 25, 2015

Director: Mario Gariazzo

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Review by Travis North

Tette e culo. That would be Italian for tits and ass, which this movie delivers in big heaping helpings like a plate of fur-silli pasta. Mangia! It actually has a moderately interesting plot to go along with all the skin. It certainly was an interesting time capsule of Italian cinema that was at a crossroads.

The Play Motel is your standard hourly rental stabbin’ cabin where people go to have kinky affairs. It’s all good clean hairy fun until prominent people start to get pictures of them banging women dressed as nuns or cramming champagne bottles up ample fannies. One guy instantly calls his lawyer for advice, who just happens to be having an affair with the poor dopes wife. Needless to say I was enjoying this as a semi-serious sex romp. We find out that the motel is running a scam by running personal ads in the back of porno mags, hoping to trap high profile johns. They use a two-way mirror to allow an unseen photographer take his blackmail material in private. As a young horny couple takes it upon themselves to do some investigating, this suddenly veers into giallo territory with black gloved assailants garroting or bashing in the head of anyone who gets too close to the truth. A little strangulation always pairs well with nubile titillation. When you feel like this can’t get any more Italian, the cops on the case follow poliziotteschi tropes by being total dicks and enjoy slapping the shit out of everyone. Layer everything with a 70s bass guitar heavy soundtrack and a cheesy sung main theme, and this movie turned out to be a pleasant trashy surprise.

Raro treats this film with an appropriate amount of care. The picture itself looks great, making you especially grateful when you compare it to some of the hardcore outtakes included as an extra. I am always partial to liner notes and appreciate this extra production cost (it always seems like a rip-off to pop open a movie case only to find a loose disc rattling around cheap, flimsy plastic). This covers most of the same points included in the bonus interviews, and provided me with a good reference of where the Italian film industry was transitioning into as the 70s turned into the 80s. Hint….SEX!

One thing I found funny is the cast members getting pissed about the use of body doubles being used after the day’s shoot was over to quickly film harder footage. I think they all protest too much. I have a hard time following the logic of being ok with extreme close ups of your furry labia all day, but once you splice in some mismatching penetration and suddenly the actress feigns anger. It comes off as genuine as all the Italian directors who suddenly turn innocent when asked about filming animal abuse. Sure you had no idea. Stop taking the high road; you’re all scumbags!

Overall this was a surprisingly fun movie that comes in a well-rounded package. If you are a fan of Italian genre movies, or even just want a nudity fest that could never be made anymore, this is well worth the investment.

Movie Rating: ★★★½☆

Blu Ray Rating: ★★★★☆

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