a short film by Carter Smith
2006 | 36 mins | US
›› Bugcrush
a terrifying take on gay love, teenage crush style
Bugcrush by Carter Smith When the new kid on the block arrives in town, sweet natured Ben is unable to control his burgeoning fixation on man of mystery Grant, to the point of ignoring the be careful words of advice from his best friend Amber, who senses that Grant and his two dangerous-to-know friends are best avoided. Only try telling Ben that, who having sneaked glances at the naked object of his desire in the school shower, jumps at the opportunity to come over and have some fun with Grant and the boys. Only given they get up to some pretty weird shit, is this one invitation best said NO to?

Written and directed by Carter Smith, as based on a short story by Scott Treleaven, this well-executed, if disturbing work lures you in with the gentle tale of gay love, teenage crush style, only to take an abrupt turn into far more darker territory.

Bugcrush by Carter Smith Then again, this is a film in two halves; a tender first act whose warning signs of danger ahead are blatantly ignored in order to deliver a shocking finale. For make no mistake, this is a short that gets under your skin, ingrained as-it-is with a strong sense of foreboding, given you just know that something lies in store for our lover boy in the closing reel.

Then again, it is clear from day one that Josh Caras as the innocent All-American boy is way over his head in love with Donald Cumming, as bad boy Grant. And here check out those wonderfully realistic eye movements from Caras. Only you cannot help but feel that it is Smith who has the most fun here, delighting in the creepy narrative, one that clearly is not for those with a-liking for either happy or indeed neat and tidy conclusions, given the ending on offer here is of the ambiguous nature, one that cannot help but leave you wondering exactly what happened to our boy hero and moreover as to why? A horrific delight for some; a squirming short for others. Need more be said?
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue - 'Boys on Film 3: American Boy' release
screened as part of the 20th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2006
starring: Josh Caras, Donald Cumming, Eléonore Hendricks,
David Tennent, Alex Toumayan, Billy Price, Harlan Baker
Copyright 2009 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #243
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