Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 2002. Maximum Vacuum. Screenplay by Ken Hanes. Cinematography by Tamas Bojtor. Produced by Michael Selditch, Randi Snitz. Music by Mark Strano. Production Design by Michael Selditch. Costume Design by Arlynn Wilson. Film Editing by Randi Snitz.
This film opens with a young gay man in the office of a psychiatrist, asking his doctor to cure him of his homosexual urges. We soon find out that he is actually a journalist who has been put up to the task of doing an exposé of this controversial doctor, who claims to specialize in converting gay men, by his own boyfriend who is himself a therapist. What should be a straightforward task of baiting an ignorant proponent of conservative rhetoric through lies and manipulation, however, gets tricky as the con goes on: Frank’s counselor is not a Bible thumper but has a charismatic way about him that starts to pull our protagonist in many directions, forcing him to question his beliefs, his confidence and his loyalties. Sadly, this marvelous premise is executed terribly by non-existent direction and bad lighting, and the habit of having characters speak to each other beyond physical boundaries, a technique which would have been effective in a play, comes across as amateurish and awkward here.