Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dirty Tricks TV

I was curious about Naked Sword's Dirty Tricks because it was promoted as a twelve-part gay porn TV sitcom, but what kind of broadcaster would ever air this? (I know it's a web series. I'm just trying to make a point.) Basically it's gay porn in which each segment is framed with an irritating GreenDayish-Offspringish-Sum41ish 'youth' theme song and a credit sequence.

My lack of charity might stem from the fact that I requested a review copy, but was charged $20 COD when the disc arrived. What cheek! Well, I'm reviewing you anyway. There are two discs of 6 episodes each. The episodes are about ten minutes long. Each episode opens with the cast assembled after hours at Dirty Tricks, the NYC gay bar where they work. They trade quips, then cut to theme song, go to fuck scene, then end with credits.

Dirty Tricks is written and directed by Andy Fair. The cast includes Epiphany as Ginger Beef, summoning the usual bad drag queen comedy; Damon DeMarco, a real beauty, as Eddie the bartender; James Riley as Martin, a skinny straight boy who dances a the gay club for tips, and he's so cute I could eat him whole; and the series' star, billed as 'Reality TV Celeb' (from Big Brother, apparently) "Crazy" James as Alex, a boy with atrocious hair and wacky tats. Among others, he has a Brawny paper towel logo and a bolo tie tattooed on his upper chest and the words "I am God" on his left buttock. Classy. Plus there are various 'trick of the week' guest stars like Wolf Hudson, Osian and Cory Koons.

The stories range from "How can James afford his rent?" (easy - he sucks and fucks the landlord) to the more simple and direct "let's fuck on the first date" stories. Points for inventiveness, however: one sex scene, set in a dark and dirty porn theatre, is shot in infrared and virtual silence. If Bergman made porn ... There is also a funny bit where clueless straight kid Martin notices a hand beckoning under the washroom stall partition, so he obliges by handing over a wad of toilet paper. Seconds later, blow jobs occur. The trick's name is listed as Larry Craig. And there is one completely bizarre episode, in which Cory Koons' asshole is magnetized, pulling all the furniture in the room towards it. I am not making this up.

Sitcoms are dangerous and difficult to attempt. To fail is to fail spectacularly, and Dirty Tricks fails utterly and spectacularly as a sitcom. As porn, however, it's quite entertaining. But I'm left wondering, does gay porn really need more comedy? Or do those lousy network prime time sitcoms need more cock?

Another Gay Sequel

The only reason I watched either Another Gay Movie or Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild was so that I could make fun of Scott Thompson for agreeing to be in them. Both movies are strange, abysmal comedies that use heterosexual teen flicks as a starting point, then infuse them with lots of gayness and gross-out humour. In other words, nothing for me.

Another Gay Sequel is full of gay celebrities who have no problem embarrassing themselves. It is safe to say that most of them - Ru Paul, The Lady Bunny, Scott, Michael Lucas, Perez Hilton - have all done better work. Few have done worse. The problem with the movie is that it practically urges its viewers to wince, a peculiar ambition for any filmmaker to have.

There are some appalling moments involving crabs (using gigantic prop crabs moved with visible wires), a musical number about water sports, and a scene in which a bunch of characters, including good old Scott, vomit on each other. On the extras disc, Scott says that he is proud that this might be someone's fetish. But the only thing that made me want to vomit was the relentless product placement.

The film isn't totally horrible. There are smidgens of charm, humour and sexiness, and I liked Euriamis Losada, the actor playing Luis, the only cast member to emerge with a shred of dignity. The thing is, I'll bet it was fun to shoot, with all those cute young actors in minimal wear and those over-reaching drag queens and the Florida weather and the silly special effects. (The bonus disc also features a segment in which actor Brent Corrigan is transformed into a merman with a big green tail, and he shows a lot of skin. It's a segment infinitely more interesting and sexy than any of the actual footage in the movie.) Ultimately, though, the good vibe can't come through. It's obscured by all the self-conscious mugging.