As part of our coverage of the MiFO LGBT Film Festival, I was able to view the full King Cobra movie. Here’s what I thought. Do I have to say spoilers?
The film opened up with us meeting Brent Corrigan / Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton) auditioning for Stephen (Christian Slater), a scene we recall oh so well from the full preview (see below). As the audition and intro spins on, producers chose to mix in what seemed hundreds of credits into the first 5 minutes of the film, which was a little annoying, but the music helped us get through it. How did the Disney actor do? Garrett Clayton does a great job in keeping our attention from shot one and through the entire movie with his looks as well as his acting. Easy on the eyes, easy on the ears, and believable. What else is believable is Christian Slater as a maker of porn. Is this what he is doing now for a job in real life? I may think of him as nothing else besides Stephen from now on. Both leads did well in conveying the story.
And then there is the other side of the coin in King Cobra, James Franco as Joe and Keegan Allen as Harlow, the Viper Boys. There’s something wrong inside those heads of theirs and James and Keegan play it well. You laugh with them, cringe with them, and want to leave the room to get far away from them. They weren’t written as cerebral individuals and that was portrayed very well on the big screen. Who’s the more psychotic, scarred, messed up of the two? Time will tell.
The ladies of the film, Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald, showed their veteran skills to the audience. Playing sister and mom to Stephen and Brent respectively, their familial bonds were present. I would have loved to have seen more of these true Hollywood stars in this film.
Overall, the film was okay. I’m a hard one to please when it comes to film so I may not be the best one to ask. Other 30 and 40 something men that filled the Cinema Paradisio in Fort Lauderdale seemed to love the movie. Many of us lived through the Brent Corrigan age scandal and remember his first set of videos. Oh yes, we do remember.
The film grew on you and the film actually seemed to grow in itself as you watched. From the stumbling beginning with the intermingled credits, the film was slow to build. When the age scandal came out, it almost seemed that the film switched gears. Yes, I know that was a turning point in the film, but not only did it seem to switch gears, but it also seemed to switch camera angles with more close ups allowing you to care for the characters a little more. We felt the story a little better from that point on compared to before when it seemed the film was just telling a story from a reserved distance. It was so drastic of a feel for me, I was thinking they might have changed directors at that point.
See it for the sex scenes? Maybe not so much. If you wanted sex, there were other films to view this weekend, like Paris 05:59 THEO & HUGO (mentioned below). See it for the emotional rollercoaster? I would vote for LAZY EYE. See King Cobra at all? I would say yes. I’m content that I did view the film, saw some great performances by some wonderful actors, and learned a little more about the story. Yes, there were some unanswered questions we had after the film. Needless to say, we were Googling the facts and names on the way home.
As for a couple of the other movies shown at MiFo LGBT Film Festival …
Passions reignites and hidden secrets are revealed when a graphic designer in Los Angeles reconnects with an ex-lover he hasn’t seen or even heard from in 15 years. Over the course of a weekend at a vacation house, they must determine whether or not they have a future together. The film is about roads not taken, unfinished business, and what happens if the one-that-got-away suddenly returned. Set amidst starlit swimming pools and the luminous Joshua Tree landscape,Lazy Eye features assured, naturalistic performances from its two handsome leads.
I found LAZY EYE to be, well, relatable. The acting was superb and the story was very believable. I would see this one again.
PARIS 05:59 THEO & HUGO
An audaciously graphic sexual and lengthy opening takes us inside a Parisian sex club where two young men only have eyes for each other. They soon leave and settle into a romantic night wandering Paris. However, something happens that forces both men to question their ideas about love, personal responsibility and desire. The two leads are excellent; their physical performances matched by the emotional intensity of their post-sexual journey. Paris 05:59 could unfold in almost any city and anyone who has sex in the modern gay world will identify with the issues it raises.
You can head over to YouTube here to see the trailer for PARIS 05:59 THEO & HUGO and you can find the whole film online, too, with a little searching. The first 18 minutes take place in the downstairs of a "gentlemen's club" and you see just about everything and then some. This movie in itself is like "Porno meets a P.S.A." I would as well see this again and no, not just for the public sex scenes.
If there is an LGBT Film Festival in your town. Take a chance. Not all of them will be winners, but you may just find a new favorite.