'Lusty Crest' Is Hilarious, Absurd, And Feels Like A Wild Live-Action Anime [SXSW]

(The SXSW Film Festival may have been cancelled, but our coverage will go on with reviews of films and TV shows made available to our critics.)There's something strange afoot at the lecherous hotel Lusty Crest. Humans and the supernatural alike come together to have their darkest desires satisfied in Lusty Crest's ridiculous and fun pilot, and it's up to Kasha (Erica Dasher) to get to the bottom of the sexy mystery. The young maid may have come to the sex hotel to escape her romantic past, but she quickly finds that past isn't as done with her as she is with it. Just to be clear from the jump, Lusty Crest is hot nonsense. If that's not your thing, you're probably not going to have a lot of fun with this one. With that in mind, the SXSW jury thought it was fun enough to receive special jury recognition for comedy. After my own viewing, I have to agree with that assessment. If you've ever wondered what it would be like for an over the top anime script to be played out in live action, this pilot is the answer. It does take a moment to get over the weirdness of it all. But once you know what you're in for, everything just becomes a joy. Every single thing in this pilot is dialed up to eleven. The costumes are absurd, the dialogue is extravagant with each line delivery exaggerated, and the sets are all done up to the extreme. It's actually worth diving a little deeper on the sets, because they're all quite gorgeous. Everything's got this pink hue going on, driving home the vibe that the viewer has stumbled into the pages of a romance novel. Little did they know that the romance was also a mysteryKasha's told by hotel manager Mr. Josh (Nate Smith) that tokens are banished. What are tokens? We're not sure. Why are they banished? Well I hope we find out! While both are very important questions, it seems as if tokens aren't the only problem around the hotel. Kasha's also charged with helping solve Lusty Crest's peeping tom issue. The thing is, those suckers have infiltrated deep into the grounds. Like, they're literally in the walls. Though her past haunts her, it appears that it will be exactly what helps Kasha solve the mystery of the sex crazed hotel. Peculiar voices and plagued spirits come to her in her dreams, urging her to seek out the forbidden tokens and to learn the secrets of her strange new home. Now might also be a good time to mention that said home, though fantastic, does reside on Earth. You see, everyone's so horny because the hotel was built atop the planet's Sex Core. While weird from start to finish, Lusty Crest's pilot is at least fun. It's a distraction from the world's insanity by bringing in its own version crazy. You might say "what?" out loud more than once, but you'll also likely giggle from time to time. Don't take it too seriously and just let yourself get lost in the insane world of the hotel Lusty Crest.