A teenage runaway gets more than she bargained for when she moves into an old hotel in this wildly offbeat shocker from director Paul Bartel. Cheryl (Ayn Ruymen) fled an unhappy home in Ohio for the sunny skies of California with her best friend in tow; however, after they have a falling out, Cheryl is left with no place to stay. Remembering that her Aunt Martha (Lucille Benson) runs a hotel, Cheryl arrives at the King Edward, a decaying residential inn located in one of L.A.'s less desirable neighborhoods, and persuades Martha to give her a room for a few days. Cheryl soon discovers the King Edward is home to a wide variety of eccentrics -- defrocked priests with muscle-men fetishes, falling-down alcoholics, senile old women, and a voyeuristic photographer named George (John Ventantonio). Cheryl, who indulges her own voyeuristic impulses by sneaking into the rooms of her fellow boarders, is attracted to George and enjoys playing dress-up as he watches her though a peephole, despite Aunt Martha's warnings not to interact with the other guests. But when Cheryl decides to cross the line into physical action with George, she learns his obsessions are more dangerous than she imagined -- and that both he and Aunt Martha have some rather surprising secrets. Private Parts was cult figure Paul Bartel's first feature film; it was produced for MGM, but was released through their Premier Productions subsidiary, perhaps in deference to the film's kinky sexual content.
by Mark Deming synopsis