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In Venice a detective is on the trail of a killer who commits a double murder (a married couple) then more grisly killings occur. Sex, drugs, gore and perversions are ingredients of this sadistic and sleazy giallo.
Forget Motel 6 and Holiday Inn—this is Motel 69 and Holiday Inn and Out!
After finding the dead body of a woman in the trunk of their car, aspiring actor Roberto Vinci (Ray Lovelock) and his girlfriend Patrizia (stunning blonde Anna Maria Rizzoli) are recruited by the police to investigate a motel where the rich and powerful go to indulge in S&M themed sex games.
Play Motel's weak murder/blackmail plot-line just about qualifies this shameless smut-fest as a giallo, but the movie is far removed from the more acclaimed examples of the genre, films that frequently fused sex with violence but rarely allowed the nudity and nookie to be the driving force. Here, death, intrigue and suspense definitely play second fiddle to the abundant bumping and grinding, with even the occasional hardcore shot thrown in for good measure. Argento this is not! Needless to say, the stylish visuals, bloody set-pieces and snazzy soundtracks synonymous with the giallo are completely absent, replaced by an excess of writhing naked flesh, a couple of pedestrian strangulations, and a wonderfully cheesy theme song that kicks in every time the characters get jiggy—which is a lot.
The movie's dreadful narrative and shoddy direction mean that it is unlikely to appeal to serious connoisseurs of the giallo genre, but if the Euro-sleaze of Joe D'amato and Jess Franco has somehow found a way into your collection, then Play Motel, with its bevy of gorgeous babes and copious scenes of kinky sex, should be a no-brainer.
6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.
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