Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
Alternate title: Skin Gang
Germany/Canada/United Kingdom/Japan, 1999. CAZZO Film Berlin. Screenplay by Bruce La Bruce. Cinematography by James Carman. Produced by Luis Hoyos. Music by Gavin Brown. Production Design by Peter Armstrong. Costume Design by Edgar Langer. Film Editing by Jorg Andreas, Manfred Mancini.
It’s hard to know where Bruce La Bruce is going with this 67-minute oddity, one which uses the plot structure of gay porn (the plumber shows up and the pants come off) and performers who are experienced in that world, but then avoids overly explicit sex (when compared to porn, that is, at least in the version I saw), cuts away quickly from the dirtiest situations and focuses on characters monologuing about their ambivalent feelings about their sexuality. Also included is the kinky festishizing of one of La Bruce’s favourite obsessions, skinheads who are actually big homos when no one’s looking (that it’s co-produced by a German porn company makes that all the more awkward). A group of tough thugs find their prey when an upwardly mobile male couple crosses their path and become their victims. The guys are all very pretty (which is actually odd for La Bruce, given that it is obviously softer men playing rough guys and he usually goes for more authenticity), but it is neither satisfying as drama (they’re holding knives to throats and they really don’t mean it) nor is it ripe enough compared to the best porn you’ve ever seen.