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The Paradise Motel

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On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of… hmm, that doesn’t smell like colitas, whatever those are.

It smells like something else, like a Z grade thriller made by beings from another planet. Yes, it seems we’ve missed the exit for the Hotel California and wound up in the deeply confusing yet oddly compelling Paradise Motel!

The Paradise Motel is brought to you by some of the same folks behind the shark-free shark movie Apex Predators. Including Mel Novak as a creepy motel manager who reads human taxidermy books for fun. And the one and only Dawna Lee Heising, who can best be described as “if Weird Barbie from the Barbie movie was really, like really, weird.” Dawna stars as a woman on the run from her awful marriage to a man who’s furious she won't return “this crap” to the store, without ever specifying what the “crap” actually is.

From there, she picks up a couple of the world’s most annoying hitchhikers on a deranged, low-budget Lynchian trip that brings her to the town of Paradise and its eponymous motel. Beyond that, you’re gonna need a corkboard and a whole lot of string to sort out the timeline of the plot, who’s who, and why they’re doing any of the things they’re doing. In short, it’s an instant RiffTrax classic.

Almost forgot to mention, the movie soundtrack includes original songs sung by the director, who also acts in the film. Yep, it’s one of those. Pack some snacks and a tarp to throw down over the mattress, it’s time to join Mike Kevin and Bill on an unforgettable road trip to the Paradise Motel

Written by: Mike Nelson, Conor Lastowka, Sean Thomason, Jason Miller, and Zach Shatzer

Includes some scenes of domestic violence, PG-level sideboob and buttcrack, smoking, drinking, and Mel Novak.

Digital Video file formats

Legacy devices (280.59 MB)
Low (439.02 MB)
Medium (790.3 MB)
High (TV) (1.28 GB)
Burnable DVD Image (3.7 GB)

Digital HD Video file formats

Legacy devices (280.59 MB)
Low (439.02 MB)
Medium (790.3 MB)
High (TV) 480p (1.28 GB)
HD Low 720p (813.76 MB)
HD Medium 720p (1.26 GB)
HD High 1080p (6.63 GB)
Burnable SD DVD Image (3.7 GB)

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Art by Mattie Lubchansky
Art by Mattie Lubchansky

RiffMeter rating

Average: 9.3 (121 votes)

Content Rating


Drug use
Sexual content


Movie Decade

Release date

November 17, 2023


70 minutes
Captions (Streaming Video)