Surrender Dorothy

Ladymol's Review

This isnít a gay film, as itís about a manís obsession to turn his male room mate into his girlfriend. Brian doesnít want Lorne as a man, but as a woman. Fortunatley for Brian, Lorne is a drug addict and dependent on him to supply his drugs. Lorne will do just about anything for the drugs so gradually becomes more and more trapped in Brianís sick fantasy.

I say sick fantasy because Brian is clearly not stableónothing to do with the fact he likes the idea of a man dressed as a women. He masturbates, for example, stabbing around the inside of his mouth with a fork women in the restaurant he works in have eaten with. He cherishes memories of biting other children when he was a boy. When Lorne is kicked out by his brother and has nowhere to go, Brianís generosity in letting him stay gradually turns from slightly amusing role play to something utterly deranged.

The film is shot entirely in black and white and looks quite rough. It has minimal gay contentónothing more than a few kisses. It is worth a look at for the issues it raises about the varieties of human sexuality, but Iíd suggest you rent it (as I did) rather than buy.

Cerisaye's Review

This film features an m/m relationship, but it isn't a gay movie, or not your typical one anyway. Itís dark & disturbing, horribly tense but with moments of very black humour.† Probably not for everyone, but I rather liked it.† A low budget independent with good actors (wow!) and a well thought-out script like nothing Iíve ever encountered before.† Not a movie thatís easy to forget.

Trevor isnít one of lifeís winners.† The kind of weedy, non-descript who never gets the girl.† Heís a misogynist whoís obsessed with women.† His sex life is non-existentÖactually he appears only to have one friend, Dennis a drug dealer.† Trevor lives in a warehouse apartment and works as a bus boy in a busy city restaurant.† Hard not to feel sorry for him heís so weedy and pathetic.† After work he takes home bits of cutlery used by female diners to aid his sexual fantasies.† There are some rather unsettling scenes over his toilet bowl, the first clue that this is a film about sexual perversion.

Lahn is a junkie whoís been stealing from Trevorís dealer friend.† Dennis is after Lahn, who stole a gun and a stash of heroin, so he needs to disappear.† Trevor comes up with an interesting solution:† Lahn will become Dorothy, Trevorís ideal of femininity, totally submissive & subservient, the perfect little wife, and heíll provide a refuge. †Real women scare Trevor so getting Lahn to dress like one seems harmless enough.

If the set-up sounds far fetched, the film makes it work by showing just how desperate Lahn is to secure the drug he craves.† But I wonder whether there isnít an element of suppressed male desire going on too, to explain why Lahn is so willing to play along with Trevorís increasingly elaborate fantasy.† Lahn clearly allows himself to become a victim, sub to Trevorís dom, as the story explores obsession and sexuality.† Mild-mannered Trevor is transformed into a sadistic brute.

This isnít an exploitation movie despite disturbing subject matter.† The characters have depth, so you really care what happens to them.† Trevorís increasingly obsessive behaviour seems very real, as does Lahnís slavish acceptance- though his choice of reading material from the local library gives Lahn understandable cause for concern.† Trevor wants to be everything for Dorothy, and all she has to be is his perfect woman.

My only concern is that straight audiences might come away from the movie thinking characters are depraved and perverted because theyíre in a gay relationship not because childhood experience and adult dysfunction have made them incapable of normal healthy relationships of any kind.†

Grainy B&W photography only adds to the tense, increasingly chilling atmosphere.† Itís got an ending thatís open to interpretation, and for once I was very glad the director yelled Cut! when he did.† Highly recommended, but prepare to be shocked.