Hustler White

Ladymol's Review

There is a moment toward the end of this Bruce Labruce (Raspberry Reich) movie where two men are kissing. As you cut between edits, one of the men looses and gains a coat over his shoulders. It fascinated me, and Iím still not sure whether it was just appalling editing (in an earlier scene the book a man is reading changes between shots, so there is some precedence for this theory) or something far more significance. In a movie where the weirdest and most wonderful is presented as the norm, you can never be sure. This really is a very odd movie and I wouldnít recommend it for anyone with a trace of squeamishness in them.

Monty is a hustler on Santa Monica Boulevard. Heís hired by Jurgans, a writer researching the hustling scene for a book, to take him on a tour of the hunting grounds. Building up to this we follow Monty during his day, often veering off to follow the stories of men he meets along the way (including the man he runs over in the most horrific yet funny scene Iíve seen for a long time). Being a hustler, youíd expect Monty to meet a weird, wonderful collection of men, but the world Labruce presents is almost scary in its degradation. Gang rape, torture, amputee sex (that was a new one on me), porn making and murder are but a few of the things Labruce explores in this movie.

Some of the acting is woefulóincluding Labruce who plays Jurgan. However, he is oddly pretty, with the sort of androgynous prettiness that makes it hard to look away. Tony Ward gives a great, energetic performance as Monty the hustler. He has the most amazing body, but as you know Iím not shallow, I wonít say that this film is worth seeing for his torso alone.

This film has one of the most unexpected and sexy kisses at the end that Iíve seen for a long time. If I were cynical, Iíd say that Labruce and his star fell for each other whilst making this film. If not, then Labruce is actually a better actor than youíd think from the rest of the film. A long kiss with real tingle factor (if you can ignore the fascinating disappearing coat).

Well worth seeing if you are fairly thick-skinned, have a robust sense of humour and are well versed in the more extreme aspects of the gay life.

Cerisaye's Review

A surprisingly tender and upbeat gay romantic comedy considering subject matter including extreme sexual violence and a notorious scene involving an amputee fetishist and the stump of a leg.† But this is a Bruce Labruce movie, so anything goes. Porno style sex scenes in a story about finding love on Santa Monica Boulevard.† With a darker side that delves into the often dangerous practices of those who sell their bodies and clients who demand so much in return.

Labruce is Jurgen Anger, prissy writer.† Anger arrives in LA and becomes obsessed with a beautiful hustler he sees in the street, Montgomery Ward.† We take a walk on the wild side following Monti on the job.† The sort of thing that gets Labruce into trouble for pandering to homophobic prejudices.† His characters arenít always positive role models.† But to pretend this doesnít go on, is head-in-the-sand foolishness.† Labruce may be controversial but heís never boring.†

The camera loves Ward.† And he IS gorgeous, all smoulder, muscle and attitude.† Surprisingly sympathetic as we discover why heís capitalising on his best assets.† Plus heís smart.† All he needs is the right man.†

Jurgenís bitchy attitude masks a lovelorn soul.† And a romantic.

Theyíre an unlikely couple but funnily it works.† And their sensual lovemaking and smooching much more erotic than the explicit material in the rest of the film.† Which is the point.

There are seriously disturbing scenes so itís not† for the squeamish.† A hit-and-run is shown in graphic detail with full sound effects.† S&M scenes involving cutting and a cautionary tale about a sadistic murdering mortician thatís quite disturbing.†

The story is told in flashback, from when Ward ends up floating face down in a jacuzzi at Angerís rented house.†

Itís cheeky, a no holds barred look at sexual desire, all kinds of kink, more extreme than conventional, and not always pretty.† Though with humour. Like the yodelling trick who likes to ride and the crinkly Englishman into pain who claims to be a Versace model.† The making of porn movies and the important role of the fluffer, who performs his duty nose in a book.

Performances vary.† Ward oozes macho sexuality and the kid who plays Piglet is good.† Labruce is convincing as the anthropological Anger, trying not to act like a kid let loose in a candy store.

Sex as a transaction contrasts with the expression of love, willingly given and received.†† And itís redemptive: no matter who or what we are, we can be saved by its grace.† I enjoyed the movie though itís probably not to everyoneís taste.† But if youíre open minded I think youíll enjoy it too.† Iím off to order Labruceís autobiography.