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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Play Motel [Blu-ray]


(Mario Gariazzo, 1979)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Midia Cinematografica

Video: Kino Lorber / Raro Video



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:33:12.420 

Disc Size: 24,262,819,067 bytes

Feature Size: 22,326,675,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case in cardboard slipcase

Release date: August 25th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English, None



• The Midia's Touch (18:41 - Italian with English subtitles)

Hard Cut Scenes (7:11)

Fully illustrated booklet by Nocturno Video





Description: Prolific screenwriter Mario Gariazzo directed this entertainingly low-rent softcore romp set at a shady no-tell motel where a photographer surreptitiously photographs trysting lovers in order to blackmail them. For no other reason than Gariazzo's extensive background in Giallo thrillers, there's a black-gloved killer roaming around, and Gloria Fava belts some horrendous songs to Ubaldo Continello's peculiar score. Ray Lovelock stars with Antonio Sabato, Marino Mase, and Antonio De Teffe. Fans of Andrea Bianchi's flamboyant Malabimba (released the same year) will be amused to see Enzo Fisichella and Patrizia De Rossi together again. There is, of course, plenty of skin for the casual viewer.



The Film:

A milestone production from Mario Gariazzo, notorious for his tasteless sexploitation epics such as The Sexorcist /L'Ossessa. Assembling here one of the worlds finest trash film collectives and eschewing all correct agendas, the director punctuates his fleshy tapestry with incredibly sleazy imagery involving Marina Hedmann/Frajese and Patrizia Di Rossi/Webley, the sluttiest actresses in Italian cinema. At the garishly lit Play Motel, these two warhorses and other bleached blondes are first seen being secretly photographed while having kinky sex. As the film serves also as a Giallo, they are later stabbed to death by an assassin dressed in black. Conveying a sense of mad comedy, this inexhaustible supply of indignities and leopard skin underwear should be sought out at all costs.

Excerpt from Amazon located HERE

Welcome to Play Motel, a nice little motel just outside of town, where rich and respectable men come to secretly live out their perverted sexual fantasies with busty call-girls. In the film’s opening sequence we are introduced to Rinaldo Cortesi (Enzo Fisichella), a respectable upper-class citizen who discreetly picks up a sexy blonde woman named Loredana (played by the notorious Swedish porno diva Marina Frajese) in the lobby of Play Motel, and brings her to a room upstairs. Here, Mr. Cortesi reveals his depraved nature as he dresses up in a devil’s costume while Loredana dons a nun’s habit. Her half-naked body is soon caressed with a pitchfork before they get down to the nitty gritty.

Excerpt from Euro_Fever located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Play Motel is quite waxy-looking... but consistent. It seems oddly devoid of grain and unnaturally smooth.  We've seen this thickness before from Raro and I don't know what process the film transfer went through, but I'd prefer texture. Colors are decent with some vibrancy (reds) and depth plus it is reasonably clean without damage. The 1.66:1 is matted with a slight edge at the bottom and top of the frame but most systems won't pick that up. Once you accept this waxy-appearance that this Blu-ray exports it elevates to be, only, 'watchable' depending on your sensitivity for HD visuals.


















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track at 1536 kbps for both the option of English (DUB) or original Italian. Audio selection includes this screen:

There aren't any substantial audio effects in the film - but the annoying score by Ubaldo Continiello is played at an irritatingly intrusive level. It all sounds weak but, my guess, a direct function of the production levels rather than the transfer. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.



Extras :

Included are an 18-minute Nocturno video piece - “Il tocco della Midia” aka The Midia's Touch with film-o-phile writer David Pulici, producer Armando Novelli, and others, supplying information in Italian with English subtitles and there are 7-minutes of, what is titled, "Hard Cut Scenes" - more of the same un-erotic sex-romps and the video quality is extremely poor. The package contains an 8-page leaflet with photos and an essay.



I don't know if Play Motel would pass as ' Giallo' - but it is certainly at the sleazier end of the sexploitation genre of the 70s. The unusual thing is that the murder-mystery aspects are decently formulated and the best part of the film. The 'aged' nudity and perversity thrown-in disrupt from the flow of the suspenseful crime-drama, but I suppose it was the main focus of the selling feature. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray
is far from stellar but it will give fans of the genre the opportunity to see the film in 1080P. While it was not my cup-of-tea there were a few redeeming facets to the production, but I doubt I will ever re-visit Play Motel. To each his own. 

Gary Tooze

July 28th, 2015


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze






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