Budapest, the early 1990's: Dancing teacher/prostitute Vida (Kashia
Figura) has just had a fight with her pimp/boyfriend Yuri (Yorgo Voyagis),
then her alcoholic sister Ludmilla (Barbara Ricci) finds him dead in the
washing machine. And it's not long before it's found out that Vida's other
sister Maria (Ilaria Borrelli) has had an affair with Yuri ...
inspector Stacev (Philippe Caroit) arrives on the scene, the body is gone,
as are all traces of the body - and it's less than certain that there ever
was a body even, since it might just have been an alcohol-induced delusion
of Ludmilla. Stacev figures there's nothing to investigate, but then the
sisters follow him around, all three of them, and Vida pretty much forces
him into having sex with her while Maria uses more subtle methods to
seduce him. Also, the women drop clue after clue after clue, and start
accusing each other, too.
But still, something seems to be wrong with
the whole affair - and only very eventually, Stacev figures out what. This
isn't about murder, this is about a suitcase full of jewels he himself has
confiscated at a crime scene but then "forgotten" to leave at
the police station. Now he has found out, he plans to use the jewels to
flee the country with Maria and start a new life abroad. But while he's
out planning this with Maria and shagging her in the process, someone has
broken into his place, stealing the suitcase full of jewels.
day, Maria awaits Stacev's call - but instead finds his dead body in the
washing machine. He was killed by ... Yuri, who isn't dead at all but has
only set up the whole game to get his hands on the suitcase full of
jewels, and he has killed Stacev to teach Maria a lesson. Because in fact,
he has been in league with Maria, Vida and Ludmilla all along. But now ...
Maria kills Yuri! Because hey, he's been officially dead anyways, and the
less persons to split the loot with, the better, right?
way, this could have been a good film, it's game of lies-structure
is vaguely reminiscent of Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects, which
wasn't made until two years later, the Budapest locations are wonderful to
look at and perfectly moody, Ruggero Deodato is a competent enough
director to handle any kind of thriller, and the three women playing the
sisters may not be the best of actresses, but one can't denie their sex
appeal ... and yet, The Washing Machine is basically a big
disappointment, mainly because the script is over-convoluted and doesn't
seem to be too thought through, most of the sex scenes are woven into the
plot too clumsily to work, and there are a few too many plotholes - even
within the game of lies - for this to make sense. A pity, really.