a graphic 'boy-meets-boy' look at hustling LaBruce style
In his third cinematic opus, Bruce LaBruce stars as Jürgen Anger, a 'no relation to Kenneth' German writer on a mission to document the men who work L.A.'s Santa Monica Boulevard and inparticular object of desire Montgomery Ward; a hunky hustler with a hit and run to his name and a list of contacts to match, each of whom is into sex - for a price that is. But for some, is it too high a price to pay?
And that's basically all there is to it, given this is but a celluloid canvas on which to showcase the raw, the kinky, right down to the outright bizarre of sexual acts (and if you think you've seen them all, then think again). Only if the idea was to shock, then consider it done, as even after all these years certain scenes are clearly not for the narrow-minded; nor for the squeamish for that matter. Yet into such a varied (some would say gross) selection of sexual proclivities, LaBruce injects a good old-fashioned love story of the boy-meets-boy kind, even if the boy in question just happens to be a street hustler.
To that end, Tony Ward as Monti delivers the hustling goods and a lot more beside, given his one-time relationship with Madonna secured LaBruce 'mainstream coverage' in the media. Not that there's anything mainstream to be found here, with its infamous amputee sex scene, together with the character reference to the 1985 'black mask' murder of
twenty-six-year-old Norwegian fashion student Eigil Vesti, having prompted many a cinema walkout. Yet between such lies moments of genuine tenderness; albeit ones that have to fight for the spotlight with acts of graphic S&M, a blaxploitation styled gang bang and a singing cowboy riding a young stud - literally!
Of note is that two years later Tony Ward alongside extreme performance artist Ron Athey, porn star Kevin Kramer and co-writer / co-director Rick Castro would feature in Jochen Hick's fly-on-the-wall look at Sex Life in L.A., a documentary that offers more insight into the pros and cons of hustler life, than that seen here. But then, this is not a documentary. Nor for that matter is it pornography. What it is, is the BadBoy of gay cinema doing his thing and for those not accustomed to such, then prepare to be shocked by a film that lives up to its reputation ... disturbing for many, hilarious to others, unconventional for sure. Interestingly the Peccadillo Pictures special edition release of HW includes a fifty-five minute conversation between LaBruce and two real-life hustlers viewing his work, one that in true LaBruce fashion, is revealing in more ways than one!