An unfunny comedy that ribs film noir conventions, Desire and Hell at Sunset Motel is set at a second-rate motel in 1950s Anaheim that is run by a fussy and nosy manager (Paul Bartel, invoking the ghost of Billy De Wolfe). Checking into the hotel is toy salesman Chester DeSoto (Whip Hubley) and his sultry wife Bridey (Sherilyn Fenn), who likes to take midnight swims in the motel swimming pool in sexy black negligees. She seduces local lady-killer Augie March (David Johansen), who happens to be blackmailing her husband concerning his past Communist Party associations. While Bridey is giving the once-over to Augie, Chester is busy himself -- hiring a screwball private detective by the name of Deadpan Winchester (David Hewlett) to spy on his wife. With the hotel manager peeking behind the curtains, one person turns up dead, and those left attempt to link Deadpan Winchester to the murder.
by Paul Brenner synopsis