a film by Dan Lantz
2011 | 74 mins | US
›› Into the Lion's Den
a sexy horror-shocker; road trip style.
Into the Lion's Den by Dan Lantz Charting the loss of innocence, here we find director Dan Lantz, alongside screenwriter Philip Malaczewski delight in the classic road trip scenario; albeit with a deadly difference.

Not that it was meant to turn out that way, when best friends Michael, Johnny and Ted left West Hollywood for the bright lights of Broadway. Only that was before party animal Johnny opted to take the slutty route, slow-tracking the group to New York by way of taking every sexual lay-by he can find. All of which explains why three out-of-place, out-of-towners are to be found in the secluded country 'n' western backwoods bar of the title, awaiting Johnny's next manly encounter. Only this time, could it turn out to be his last?

Into the Lion's Den by Dan Lantz Seemingly competing with Matthew Montgomery for the busiest actor in gay cinema award, Jesse Archer's apt delivery of the biting one-liner is now homed to perfection, even if here the bitchy façade of his screen persona gives way to reveal the heart of a man all too aware that his club-by-date is fast approaching. Yet whilst Kristen-Alexzander Griffith as somewhat naïve Ted provides the moral compass of the piece and here cue the opening scenes that in typical horror fashion come full circle, many a viewer will no doubt be tuned in for the hunky presence of Ronnie Kroell; Make Me a Supermodel US reality star, actor and of late Playgirl cover model. And suffice to say that Kroell doesn't disappoint his fans, being more than happy to show his manly appeal.

Only this is a film in two parts, with the initial fun styled delivery of the road trip well played, before settling down into its twisted element, a cinematic turning point that casts aside any serious narrative development (and there were some good early scenes) between man-hungry Johnny and his opposite number Michael. That Lantz and Malaczewski all but bask in a series of kinky, bloody and at times bizarre thrills, goes without saying, cross-cutting their work with flash-forwards and blood stained surreal sequences for dramatic effect, whilst leaving Michael McFadden and Jodie Shultz to revel in the roles of the resident psycho and his equally disturbed, crossbow-attired wife. True, I would have preferred to have had more outdoor footage, given the wilds of the Amish land of Lancaster, Pennsylvania when well shot and here cinematographer Steve Cameron does a good job, can be so menacing. But that said and in terms of the sexy horror-shocker genre, Lantz delivers the goods for the boys, with adult actor Jake Steel left to make a big impression on you, in his own special way.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
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 Breaking Glass UK catalogue: 8.October.2012 / UK.
available on DVD as part of the Breaking Glass Pictures catalogue: 20.December.2011 / US.
starring: Jesse Archer / Johnny, Ronnie Kroell / Michael, Kristen-Alexzander Griffith / Ted, Michael McFadden /
Frank, Jodie Shultz / Betty, Adam Danoff / Hotel Manager, Jade Froeder / Darla, Laurence Mullaney /
Bruno, Ryan Aloisi / Band Leader and Jake Steel as The Mechanic.
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #458
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