a film by the Shumanski Bros
2010 | 67 mins | US
›› Blackmail Boys
a surprisingly sweet X-rated tale of gay love.
Blackmail Boys by the Shumanski Bros Fans of the work of the Shumanski Bros of Wrecked fame will know what to expect in this sexually explicit, if unmistakably romantic home movie styled piece.

And it all centres around art student Sam; loving life in Chicago only without the love of his parents, ostracised by them on account of his sexuality. Turning tricks to pay the rent, it isn't long before his long-distance boyfriend Aaron up sticks to the Windy City, only to be shocked not so much by Sam's rent boy ways, but rather by one of his clients being infamous homophobic Christian author Andrew Kenneth Tucker. Turning the tables on this hypocritical preacher of hate, they covertly film him in the act of man-sex, intent on blackmailing him to secure their future together. Only with Tucker desperate to protect his heterosexual façade at any price, have the boys bitten off more than they can chew?

Blackmail Boys by the Shumanski Bros Sexually graphic from the onset, this porn with a plot piece and to its credit does touch upon a number of serious issues, as the like of religious hypocrisy, let alone the constitutional right to gay marriage in America are voices to be heard. Only with clothes dropping faster than a male stripper's Friday night special, the partners-in-crime premise on offer here has been turned on its sexual back, prompting questions on whether the stars of the show were cast more in terms of their willingness to get naked in front of the camera, than their acting credentials. Then again, nudity is nothing new to Nathan Adloff and noted indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg, both having got down to basics; albeit not together in Swanberg's web based series Young American Bodies, namely a "no-holds-barred look at the intersecting love lives of a group of twenty-somethings."

Likewise this sexual film noir is upfront with what it is, given there's no doubting its gay to the core nature, as acts of unsimulated masturbation, penile close-ups and erections provocatively contrast with a series of tender and quite beautiful moments between the boys. Complete with the plot device of direct-to-camera narrative monologues, the result is a surprisingly sweet X-rated tale of gay love, even if its limited duration cannot help but make you wonder whether the brothers ran out of ideas, money or nudity? Need more be said?

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - sexually explicit. 
Overall - file under ... 2+ stars. 
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue 08.August.2011
screened as part of the 3rd POUT LGBT Film Festival Tour 2011
starring: Nathan Adloff / Sam, Joe Swanberg / Andrew Kenneth Tucker, Taylor Reed / Aaron
with Danny Rhodes / Dr - Friend, Tammy Fana / Mrs Andrew Kenneth Tucker, Spencer
Parsons / Forrest Albernathy and Marc Singletary as John Singulaire.
official website: theshumanskibrothers.blogspot.com
Copyright 2011 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
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