The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures (1976)

 

Jose Mojica Marins returns once again with yet with another Coffin Joe style character in The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures, a sleazy, surreal, yet ultimately underwhelming tale of life, death, and existence. In The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures, Jose Mojica Marins plays the innkeeper of a hostel who was raised from the dead by voodoo ceremony. The hostel itself houses the recently dead and serves as a final resting place for the soul where all manners of sin are welcome: gambling, drunk hippie orgies and passionate sex, which the innkeeper runs with the help off his 4 staff members whilst rambling off Coffin Joe’s usual philosophical garbage ad nauseam.

At first sight, The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures is a much more visually appealing affair than Jose Mojica Marins’ other cinematic ventures. The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures sports impressive cinematography and very eye-catching, experimental editing. The film incorporates plenty of surreal imagery – such as Brazilian drumming, dying animals, and a beating heart – that is accentuated by a keen focus on stylized red and blue lighting, and the film’s main surreal sequences that occur at the start and end of the film are artistic and visually pleasing. Content-wise: The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures does contain scenes of nudity and erotica, but unlike other erotic exploitation films such as Awakening Of The Beast, The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures isn’t a purely erotic film, but neither is it a horror film. I would classify The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures as primarily a surreal art-house film with a Coffin Joe twist; something very different to any other Jose Mojica Marins’ film.

However, The use of surreal sequences and imagery subdues the story and the characters therein: the story and characters are far too shallow to be investable, empathetic, or even identifiable. The only identifiable character is the innkeeper, but even then, the character is hard to understand because his dialogue is made up of confusing existential nonsense. The worst aspect of The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures, however, is the story. The overall premise may have potential, but it’s far too shallow to create a feature film out of. The premise of a hostel for the recently dead would work reasonably well as a short film, maybe 20 minutes in length, but as a 76 minute feature length movie, The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures is incredibly boring. There isn’t enough story depth to keep a viewer interested. The surreal sequences are reasonably entertaining, but without substance to emphasize what’s happening thematically, it’s very hard to stay entertained, or even focused. By the end of watching The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures, I was mentally exhausted because the film was so hard to sit through until the very end.

All in all, The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures may be one of Jose Mojica Marins’ worst films. The film has very little substance to it once you look past the positive production aspects, and, in the end, it’s just an absolute slog to get through. In my opinion, The Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures isn’t really worth watching, not as much as other Jose Mojica Marins films, and can be easily skipped.

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