Motel Cactus


"I hope I'm not sounding too vague, but "Motel Cactus" is nothing but a big, fat, confusing bore."

- Mighty Peking Man

Motel Cactus (1997)

Director: Park Gi-Yong

Producer: Cha Seung-Jae

Cast: Lee Mi-Yeon, Jeong Wu-Seong, Jin Hee-Gyeong, Park Shin-Yang, Kim Seung-Hyeon, Han Wung-Su, Kim Ae-Ra, Shin Dong-Hwan, Lee Su-Nam, Choi Seon-Jung

Running Time: 91 min.

Plot: Motel Cactus consists of four episodes, all of which take place in Room 407 of Motel Cactus, a love hotel in Seoul. Each episode is prefaced with a vignette showing one of the characters. Choi celebrates her birthday with her boyfriend Lee Min-Koo in Motel Cactus. Room 407 is the only place she feels entirely secure with Lee. Student Sung Joon-Ki has rented room 407 for several hours to shoot a scene for his video film, a college project. Salaryman Kim Suk-Tae meets Choi Hyun-Joo in a bar. Both very drunk, they arrive in room 407. Kim Suk-Tae is back in the room, alone. He is soon joined by his old flame from his college days. Both are vaguely hoping to rekindle their old relationship...

Availability: This title is available at


MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: "Motel Cactus" drags. It's 91 minutes long, but feels more like 3 hours. I wish I can get into the plot a little, but other than the first 20 or so minutes, I had no idea what was going on; or what the point was. I hope I'm not sounding too vague, but "Motel Cactus" is nothing but a big, fat, confusing bore. In fact, it's not even worth trying to make out what's going on. For what it's worth, think of it as a compilation of flashbacks from three different films...

Fine-cinema enthusiasts will probably seek out "Motel Cactus" for the presence of master-cinematographer Christopher Doyle, Wong Kar-Wai's favorite camera man who's film resume includes "Hero", "Chungking Express" and "In The Mood For Love". Doyle does his handywork here, but sadly, even his artsy-skillful touch doesn't make it watchable. If anything, the mix of Doyle's luscious camera work and Park Gi-Yong's convoluted going-on's makes it a bewildering experience for the eye. In other words, all you Christopher Doyle fans should save your money and/or your time.

The best thing about "Motel Cactus" is the Korean ballad that plays over the DVD menu and during the end-credits. Anyone know the name of the song or who performs it? Please don't make me pop in the DVD to hear it again.

Even nineballninja from wouldn't give this film a good score, and that guy likes every movie he watches.