Ladymol's Review

I sometimes joke with Cerisaye that Iím on the elusive hunt for the perfect gay movie. It certainly wasnít this one.

Tom is a rent boy living with nasty, twisted gangster. He turns tricks so George (Mark McGann) can videotape the sessions and blackmail his victims. George is a sadist and all the scenes between them are abusive and very unpleasant to watch. George dies and Tom gets an American couple to help him escape to a cottage in Wales, taking some of the video evidence with him.

At the cottage, Tom has something of an epiphany discovering that the best sex in the world is actually heterosexual sex. Thereís some more extremely unpleasant violence and then itís over.

Okay, I donít want to trash a movie unnecessarily, but this film seriously tried to sell the premise that all a nice gay boy needs is a woman to snap him out of his gayness. Funny old thing that. Sure, she is the first loving touch heís possibly ever had, but it still didnít work for me. I get that he was looking for love, but why not make the character he turns to male? The one good man in the film has left the cottage by this time and is strapped in a chair being tortured to death. Did I mention that I didnít find this to be the perfect movie Iím looking for?

I also had a real problem with the actor playing Tom. Heís described as stunningópasses himself off as a model. Well, you do have to wonder what he would be paid to model for. It wouldnít include his face, thatís for sure. Compared to the beauty of actors in a film such as Latter Days, this was just ludicrous, and weíre supposed to swallow the premise that a top Metropolitan Police officer would risk being blackmailed for some rough sex with him. Even if you do suspend disbelief for a moment, are we seriously expected to believe that such an experienced policeman would enter what is clearly a set up room for sex, with a big glass mirror, and not suspect he was being filmed? Itís preposterous.

The film is stylish to start with and I really thought this was going somewhere special. The sets in the apartment, beautifully and atmospherically lit were wonderful. I adore the entire, talented McGann familyóif youíve never come across Mark, Joe, Paul and Stephen McGann, then watch out for some of their movies. Mark McGann was one of the main reasons I wanted to see this movie, and he does turn in a chilling, if slightly predicable performance. He was clearly very uncomfortable with the gay elements though, and even with all the scenes between him and Tom meant to be violent and abusive, there wasnít enough chemistry between them to make Tomís continued presence in this relationship credible.

Iím not sure why Iím even trying to discuss this movie. Itís shallow, exploitative, violent (I mean, seriously, would anyone interested in gay movies really want to sit through an extended and particularly brutal torture scene?) and often offensive.

Looks like Iím going to have to keep looking for that movieÖ.

Cerisaye's Review

This film is nasty.† I canít think of anything good to say about it.† Okay, Daniel Newman who plays rent boy Tom, convinces as a damaged kid, and he got my sympathy.† But the rest was so bad I just want to forget the whole, sordid mess.†

Why do British films have to be so bleak and depressing?† This one has graphic scenes of sickening violence, rape and torture, worse than what I watched last night in Frisk, because it served no useful purpose other than to shock.†

It is by no stretch of the imagination a gay film.† Tom is kept by brutal villain, George Norris, like a bird in a gilded cage, in a stylishly expensive warehouse loft.† Norris drops by when time permits, escaping his posh bitch, ice queen wife, for bouts of hard sex.† For which naturally he hates himself, and takes it out on prettyboy Tom.

Tom has flashbacks to some idyllic fantasy family life. That storyline shouldíve meant something but by the time we learn the truth I just wanted it to be over.

Norris has a totally repellent policeman in his pocket, who also abuses Tom, leaving him black & blue, after raping him.† Everyone uses Tom, like a piece of meat, a receptacle for their own self-loathing or for some twisted power game.†

Then Tom meets the friendly American couple who live downstairs.† They invite him round for a meal, and for the first time Tom is wanted for himself, not for his beautiful and compliant body.†

Of course Norris takes exception to Tomís attempt at normality, being the jealous kind.† Everything goes pear-shaped and the film descends into predictable melodrama.†

Surprise, surprise, Tom isnít gay at all.† All he needed was the love of a good woman to set him straight.†

It all gets very silly, and still with the nasty scenes of torture and brutality.† We canít see loving gay sex, but someone having his fingers smashed with a hammer is fine and dandy.†

I canít be bothered thinking about this film anymore.† Iím advising you not to touch it with a ten foot pole. Simply revolting.† I feel contaminated. Give me honest porn any day.† Avoid.† Please.