a film by JT Tepnapa
2011 | 94 mins | US
›› Judas Kiss
a sweet tale of gay romantic redemption; sci-fi style.
Judas Kiss by JT Tepnapa For those yearning for something new in the gay narrative department, then this sweet tale of gay romantic redemption from co-writer and director JT Tepnapa of In The Closet credit, takes a step back in time, literally, to tell its love 'n' drama story, sci-fi style.

And it's all to do with ex film school golden boy Zach; a washed up director who failed to fulfil the potential seen in his critically acclaimed short Judas Kiss. Now all but forgotten about, his return visit to the Alma Mater that launched him on the road to faded fame makes for a bitter experience, even more so when enlisted onto the University judging panel, one of the festival entries bears an all too uncanny resemblance to his former work. Yet the similarities do not end there, given its director's life story and very name, one Danny Reyes, is that of his real life own. Seeking guidance on the perplexing situation that he finds himself in, a mysterious campus official and a Dean who knows all too much reassure him that to change his ill-fated future, he must alter his aka Danny's present. Only can Zach make his all too ambitious student self see the error of his ways, before true love exits stage left?

Judas Kiss by JT Tepnapa More gay romance, than sci-fi, here Tepnapa keeps CGI effects to a minimum to charm with a gay variant of the what if scenario, that of what would you change if you had a second chance at life and love. And in Zach's case, it's a lot. Thankfully Tepnapa relishes in the scenario, offering clues along the way as to the romantic outcome of star of the show Charlie (Mulligans) David, even if it was never really in doubt. Yet mixed in between some telling lines, together with the disturbing nature of the in-film short, lies a series of hot encounters for the boys, with Richard Harmon seductively strong in the role of career obsessed Danny, willing to sacrifice everything for Hollywood fame and fortune, even if that means casting aside his one chance at love in the process.

Sure, some may have preferred Tepnapa to have pushed the fantasy envelope further, but the whole feature is impressively packaged in David Berry's fine cinematography, with Timo Descamps as Chris' cocksure love triangle rival Shane and stereotypical bad boy of the piece, nevertheless rejoicing in a delicious "proud to be out" take on life. Complete with the lush backdrop of the University of Washington grounds, coupled with a Glee inspired musical end credit sequence, the real surprise is Sean Paul Lockhart, aka adult film star Brent Corrigan, who as lover boy Chris delivers a beautifully tender performance throughout. Yes it has its faults, but at the end of the day it's entertainingly sexy and like Eric Rognard's outstanding piece OEDIPE -[n+1] remains one of relatively few works to go gay, the sci-fi way. But then, you can always count on Tepnapa to boldly go where few have gone before.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue 07.November.2011
starring: Charlie David / Zachary Wells, Richard Harmon / Danny Reyes, Timo Descamps / Shane Lyons,
Julia Morizawa / Abbey Park and Sean Paul Lockhart as Chris Wachowsky.
co-starring: Samantha Rund / Rebecca, Laura Kenny / Mrs Blossom, Dale Bowers / Old Man Welds,
Vince Valensuela / Daniel Reyes Sr., Troy Fischnaller / Topher Shadoe, Julian LeBlanc /
Nate, Genevieve Buechner / Samantha and with Eric Helland as Shane's father
and Sephanie Hillbert as Shane's mother.
official website: judaskissmovie.com
Copyright 2011 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #437
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