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a film by Brandon Ruckdashel.

2016 | 83 mins | US.

a cautionary tale on the ugly underbelly of the glamour industry.

principal players: Jon Fleming / Rich, Brandon Ruckdashel / Tim, Sarah Lazar / Sarah, Julian Gavilanes / Austin,
Joshua Dye / Christian, Jay Reum / Kyle, Jose Ramos / Dwayne and introducing Tyler Austin as Luke.

Adapted Synopsis:

Luke, an innocent teenager, in search of his sexual identity, leaves his abusive home in the suburbs for the promise of a modelling job in New York City. Once there he meets Rich; an unscrupulous model agent and Tim; a photographer who in spite of being engaged becomes obsessed with the young man in front of his lens, only for Luke to find himself dragged into the dark world of New York's nightlife.

Dave says:

Okay, let's cut to the chase, for there's many a good point to be had in this film; in particular the cast handle their varied roles well. Unfortunately, they appear to be working within a cinematic straitjacket, yearning to break free and set the screen alight, only to be prevented by the films' padding, with all too many scenes having clearly been left to run so as to make feature length duration. The result is a work that drags, the narrative constantly kept from flowing by scenes that should have been trimmed, or cut altogether; a shame given the story is and to Ruckdashel's credit, without a single mention of the clichés of drink, drugs or prostitution - how's that for a rarity.

Indeed and in a tale that's been told many times before, writer, director and co-star of the show Brandon Ruckdashel adds some neat touches to the narrative, one that showcases the life of a young man who arrives in the big city so as to seek his fame and fortune, in this case in the modelling industry, only to find that the streets are rarely paved with gold. And that is, in many ways, the ingrained flaw of this work, given Tyler Austin's character Luke is just too naïve to believe, being only too happy to let boss man Rich provide him with food, money and a bed for the night, but seemingly unaware that most things in life come with a price tag attached, even when it becomes apparent that he's just the latest in a long line of Rich's used and abused models. That Rich also runs a "glamour mag" called Rock Hard and yes, you read the title right, should have sent alarm bells ringing as to the true nature of the agency and an ending that is all but telegraphed in advance.

Yet the finale, as harrowing an act as it is, is frankly poorly staged, thereby lessening its emotional impact, leaving photographer Tim's intervention to make for an alternative shocking close of play. Having said that, Ruckdashel has to be applauded in delivering a cautionary tale on the ugly underbelly of the glamour industry, one that and like Hollywood itself, has seen all too many wide-eyed pretty boys seek their fame and fortune, only for their hopes and dreams to be found face down in the gutter of disappointment. Need more be said?

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 2+ stars. 

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Copyright 2017 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
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