a compelling insight into the world of drug-induced partying
Having experienced first-hand the homophobic wrath of the law, ex small-town cop John Webster heads to the city of angels and the open arms of gay acceptance - West Hollywood style. Initially moving in with his cousin Tad; a budding filmmaker whose relationship with former partner Gill promptly ended when circuit DJ Julian moved in, the four soon find themselves at a party hosted by those ever ready for fresh meat.
Trying to avoid being bitten, it isn't long before John finds himself in the company of Hector; a fellow body beautiful by way of steroid injections and a man who when not having sex for money, introduces John into the drug-fuelled highs of life on the party circuit. As the John that Gill and college friend Nina know gradually becomes a figure of the past, the question beckons is the soul they once knew forever lost to the excesses of sex, drugs and techno?
Directed and co-written by former Playgirl 'Man of the Year' Dirk Shafer, this fictionalised insight into the world of drug-induced partying makes for an entertaining, beefcake laden, cautionary conscious work. For here Shafer doesn't hold back, delivering a feature laced with warnings over the dangers of sampling the ultimate chemical induced high and for that he has to be applauded. Yet the result is overlong, with a sermon that would have been better preached by way of the documentary format. That said, the music and circuit feel is spot-on, a throbbing nightclub beat that coupled with a bevy of good looking actors, can often be found misdirecting your attention from certain negative aspects of the production, not least of which is the somewhat amateurish acting. Naturally there are exceptions, for whilst Jonathan Wade Drahos stars as John, it is Andre Khabbazi as Hector who steals the show as a man whose partying days must surely be coming to an end.
For yes it's all here. Namely everything that goes hand in hand with the seductive glitz and glamour of the L.A. club scene, including the incredible hunks whose beautiful bodies may even be natural. True having Tad / Daniel Kucan make a documentary about the party scene is a neat 'film within a film' ploy on which to deliver a series of telling
observations on circuit life. Yet whilst Paul Lekakis as star stripper Bobby provides another side to the story, at its heart lies a love triangle between John, Hector and Gill, a man who has 'seen it, done it and moved on.' And as with the Jochen Hick work Sex Life in L.A., the bitter truth is left for the closing reel, given the lucky ones are surely those who have survived life in the L.A. fast lane and lived to tell the tale. But as here, as in real life, not everyone is that fortunate, all of which makes this a compelling look at an all too disturbing world, one as further examined in the eye-opening exposé When Boys Fly.
screened as part of the 16th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2002
starring: Jonathan Wade Drahos, Andre Khabbazi, Kiersten Warren, Brian Lane Green, Daniel Kucan, Paul Lekakis,
William Katt, Nancy Allen, Darryl Stephens, Jim J Bullock, Bruce Vilanch, Randal Kleiser,
Stanton Schnepp, Michael Bailey Smith, Brian Beacock
cameo appearance by Craig Chester as a White Party Customer