One of the many transgressive pleasures derived from watching direct-to-video movies is seeing past-their-prime pop-culture icons reduced to acting in embarrassing, lecherous erotic thrillers. Sadly, the central joy of watching Motel Blue—the scene in which Punky Brewster's Soleil Moon Frye gets it on with a creepy older man—is undermined by lighting so pitch-black that Frye's body double could be Carol Channing and nobody would notice. Frye stars in Motel Blue as an ambitious young Department Of Defense investigator who must determine whether important scientist Sean Young should receive additional security clearance. Apparently, this task entails a good bit of sneaking about, peeping in windows while Young has sex, and generally behaving more like a stalker than a government employee. Frye has been warned by her superior (Robert Vaughn) not to get involved in Young's life, but like everyone in every erotic thriller ever made, she cannot stay away, and soon finds out that Young is involved in erotic deceptions, illicit pleasures, scandalous desires, and many other two-word phrases that could double as video titles. An erotic thriller devoid of both eroticism and thrills, Motel Blue is so generically overheated that it can't help but be campy fun, but it's incompetently written and directed in such a way that its central revelation comes off like an afterthought. Those interested in erotic and/or immoral deceptions should enjoy Motel Blue, but for everyone else it's easy to skip.

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