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Released: May 01st, 1985
Running Time: 90
Director: Kim Christy
Company: Essex Video
Cast: Desiree Lane, Nick Random, Lisa DeLeeuw, Colleen Brennan, Beverly Bliss, Jamie Gillis, Tantala, Cody Nicole, Magnificent Margo, Herschel Savage
Critical Rating: AAAA
Do you know how movie advertisements scream lines like, "If you loved Gone With The Wind, and you reveled in Deep Throat, then you must see Friday The 13th, Part VII"? Ad execs are always trying to point out other movies, similar to the one they're advertising, so that people will rush out and see their film. Most of the time, the films have little to do with what they're being compared to.
But here's an honest advertising hook. "If you liked Liquid Sky, if you loved Café Flesh, and if you thought New Wave Hookers wasn't new wave enough, then you must rush to your local video store and try Squalor Motel."
Now that means simply that Squalor Motel is not for everyone. In fact, if there were a group of people classified as "young, urban, pseudo-new wave, punk-chic-porn," this would be their cult film. In fact, if promoted properly, Squalor Motel could overtake Café Flesh, Liquid Sky and even The Rocky Horror Picture Show on some midnight movie circuits.
But for the adventurous crowd, Squalor Motel pushes standard adult filmmaking to new heights and breaks new ground on many levels. Director Kim Christy, best known previously for Sulka's transsexual films, has crafted a sleazy, slimy motel, where inhabitants live in their own dirty netherworld.
Colleen Brennan plays the kinky desk clerk and Nick Random, in a superb performance, portrays the owner of Sq7ualor Motel. Both voyeurs, they thrill to the sexual exploits of their guests, as they watch the various sexual dealings via peepholes throughout the motel. But most of the action takes place in the Reptile Room, a distinctly new-wave version of Plato's, where guests are greeted by Jamie Gillis selling sex aids and Preparation H.
Desiree Lane plays a bride, sent by her new hubby to wait for him at the Reptile Room. But this sex, naïve woman in white falls prey to the weird and wonderful characters of squalor and eventually ends up like, well, everybody else.
But there's so much more to Squalor Motel. Just when the story seems to be getting too weird, director Christy throws in some very hot, not very typical sex scene. A penis comes through a wall of the Reptile Room and a girl begins sucking it. Two very punkish people have swarmy sex in a black and white checkered room that looks like the set for a new wave rock video. Desiree Lane takes care of Jamie Gillis in the Reptile Room. A beautifully mounted fantasy lesbian segment between Desiree and redheaded Colleen Brennan takes place with funky orange blinking lights adding an overwhelming sensuousness. And the best sex scene involves a man who is arguing with his inflatable love dolls about lack of sensuality until one comes alive to take care of his needs.
There's more: anal sex, interracial sex, black transvestites, shaved women and a nazi doctor who treats his frigid patient with jumper cables on her breasts. Everything is done with a touch of humor and a real sense for absurd situations that work.
Nick Random, as Manny the motel owner, steals the show in a small part that brings new definition to the word "sleaze." Desiree Lane looks and acts great, as does Colleen Brennan, who's quickly becoming one of adult video's best performers. The production values seem flawless on the small screen, with nice art direction, sets and cinematography. My only gripe is that the camera sometimes seems a bit stationary. But with that bouncy, electronic rock score blaring, you know you've entered a new dimension when you've walked into Squalor Motel.