Monday, 28 July 2014

Atomic Hotel Erotica (4 Stars)

As you might guess from the text on the poster above, this film is based loosely on the famous song by the Eagles, "Hotel California".

Jason and Rob (played by Frankie Dell and Ryan Driller) are software developers. They have been asked to optimise the company's search engine, and the first one to succeed will receive a sizeable bonus. This might sound ridiculous to Europeans, but it's the way business works in America. In Europe everything is about teamwork, but in America employees are encouraged to work against one another. This is why offices in America have an unpleasant atmosphere, compared to Europe. In the case of the film's fictional company, the competition imposed by the bosses is pointless; both men know that Rob is the better programmer and will solve the problem first, so it would have been much more sensible to give Jason another job. As it is, since Jason knows he can't succeed by fair means, he wants to steal Rob's work and hand it in first, pretending that it's his own solution.

Jason and Rob both have beautiful wives, as is to be expected in any film directed by Dean McKendrick. Jason has a happy relationship with his wife Elena (Sophia Bella), but Rob complains that his wife Laura (Krissy Lynn) hasn't had sex with him for six months. At first we feel sorry for Rob, but when we see him at home we realise that it's all his own fault. Laura wants to have fun with him, including going dancing and having sex, but he's always too busy working. The silly, silly man.

Rob is sent an anonymous letter offering him an all expenses paid weekend for four at a luxury hotel, the Atomic Hotel Erotica. What's that they say about things that seem too good to be true? Since the holiday is for four, he invites Jason and Elena along. At the hotel there's only one other couple, the wealthy rancher Vince (Eric Masterson) and his girlfriend Sasha (Mary Carey). The hotel is run by the creepy owner Grismer LaVey (Mike Gaglio) and the equally creepy hotel porter Wilfred (Frankie Cullen). As the viewer sees, guests are captured in photos and never allowed to leave. Is that a reference to "The Shining"?

The guests are oblivious to their impending doom and continue to work against one another. Elena seduces Rob so that she can steal his computer program from him. Laura gets over her sexual frustrations by having sex with Jason and Wilfred. Only poor Grismer, the film's evil puppet master, never gets laid. But then again, Mike Gaglio never gets a girl in any of his films. At a quick count I own 12 films that he stars in. We ought to start a petition to get him laid.

The film has great performances by Eric Masterson, Ryan Driller and Mary Carey. As a low-budget sex romp it succeeds, and I'm sure its target audience won't be disappointed.

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