a film by Todd Verow.
2013 | 80 mins | US.
starring: Brad Hallowell / Rick, Brett Faulkner / Mike, Todd Verow / Jay, Erica LaChance / the Girl at the Bar and Candice Hill as the Doctor.
Adapted Synopsis: "When man on a mission Jay meets cutie bartender Rick and invites him to spend the weekend with him and his boyfriend Mike in their country cabin, events are destined to turn from good to bad, as copious amounts of sex, drugs and alcohol give way to acts of a decidedly dark nature."
From the highly prolific film stable of writer and director Todd Verow of Bad Boy Street fame, comes this disturbing tale of love, lust and if anything, sexual molestation. Inspired by true events, here Verow has taken the love triangle scenario and turned it on its head, underpinning his feature with the premise that the same event witnessed by many, can be remembered by them in variant ways, resulting in different interpretations of "the truth." It is one that is all the more alarming when the central act in question, is date rape.
Time frame lead and divided into the recollections of its trio of principal players, including Verow himself in the unnerving role of the friend or foe of the piece, the result is akin to trying to put together all of the pieces of a jigsaw, only with differing pictures to guide you. For here we have some glaring narrative gaps, ones that can only but leave you wondering if all of the pieces of the cinematic jigsaw have been played?
Happier times in Tumbledown.
Thankfully Verow juxtaposes the brutality of anal violation, with a series of tender moments between the two young men. That is when he's not letting his camera linger on the male physique in all of its seductive form, along the way rejoicing in his now trademark style, that of a rebellion against film conventions, suddenly introducing split-screen into his finale, whilst presenting closing credit footage upside down fashion. Yet take a narrative turn and you'll find Verow to his credit preaching the safe sex message by way of the consequences of unprotected sex; albeit in this case, a forced entry.
Boys in love in Tumbledown.
Sure, the end product is far from five star material, with Verow yet again coming so close to delivering a more rewarding and if anything, darker feature. But that said, there's equally a lot to like here, including some lush cinematography of Tumbledown Mountain, Maine in all of its breathtaking beauty. Above all however, this is solid gay to the core filmmaking, proudly showcasing same-sex love in all of its naked glory, complete as-it-is with a large slice of full frontal nudity, in this instance notably by Verow himself. Yet it is Brad Hallowell as Rick who holds the film together, giving it his all and at times - literally. More than just the films' co-star, co-writer and co-producer, his collaboration with Verow has seen the screen filled with a series of out and proud features for the boys. As to this provocative work, well it may well leave you with more questions, than answers, in particular as to who is telling the truth; if indeed anyone is? I rest my case, M'Lord.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the full monty.
Overall - file under ... 3 stars.