I must admit, I was a little disappointed with Bruce La Bruce's Otto Or Up With Dead People. Sure, it had plenty of microbudget creativity, but it just didn't deliver on the gay zombie front. When I hear a movie described as "ya know, that gay zombie porno", I expect a throbbing, pulsating bonerload of gay zombie porn. Scene after scene of sweaty gay zombie on gay zombie bumlovin'. Well-hung gay zombies cornholing pert gay zombie ass, slobbering gay zombie tonguelove all over gay zombie ballsacks, slurping out gay zombie shitholes and spurting massive loads of warm gay zombie ejaculate all over silky-smooth, immaculately waxed gay zombie chests and gay zombie eyebrows. I have standards, and Otto sadly didn't meet them. Fortunately, Brucey well and truly rectumfied this gay zombie shortage with his follow-up feature, LA Zombie, a movie that fully deserves the title of "Ya know, that gay zombie porno".
It's important that I state upfront that I'm not the target audience for this movie, because I'm not gay. Seriously. Not even a little. My fashion tastes are rubbish, I don't own any skin moisturising products, I'm a terrible dancer and I didn't get one single erection when I watched Fight Club. Given the choice between eating a chocolate icecream and having a lengthy bout of frantic anal sex with another man, I'd choose the icecream everytime. And I don't even like chocolate icecream all that much. If a male friend of mine wore a trendy new pair of pants, I probably wouldn't notice, and even if I did, I'd just say something like, "Hey bro, cool pants." I definitely wouldn't say, "Hey bro, cool pants. The tightness in the crotch really accentuates your nicely-sized and highly desirable penis which, incidentally, I'd love to have thrusting vigorously inside my aching man-minge over and over until it gushed baby yoghurt all over my lower back." Nope. Wouldn't even think something like that. That's how not gay I am.
So now that any doubts about my sexuality are out of the way, it's time to press Play and watch a bunch of hot, big-dicked studs fuck the fucking shit out of each other. FUCK YEAH!!!
Our undead homo poonfest begins with the main character, hereafter referred to as "Z", wandering out of the ocean, looking all zombieish and with his dead gay johnson flappin' around in the waves. He hitchhikes naked for a while, as gay zombies tend to do, before being picked up by a handsome young man. In fact, almost everyone in the movie is a good-looking male - a fairly sensible casting choice for any gay porno. Anyhoo, a car crash ensues which leaves the driver splattered all over the road and Z with an aching death-boner in need of a warm hole to be filled. He has sex with the dead guy's intestines for a while, which brings him back to life. Not particularly plausible, but I applaud any movie that prizes gutfucking above medical accuracy. The two dudes have some more sex (this time in the bumbum instead of the abdomen) before Z pulls out and delivers a massive bloodspunk facial from his horned cock. Even for a straight dude, this is already way more badass than that fancy-schmancy Pirates crap.
The movie is, like most porn, structured around the sex scenes, only with a gay zombie twist. We get a series of unrelated events where Z happens across tragedy and raises the deceased with his unholy hard-on. Death lurks behind every corner, ready to fucked back into the light.
There's enough variety to keep things interesting though.
Take the scene where a dead gangbanger is dumped out of a car with a gunshot in his forehead and Z does his Lazarus thing by rubbing his dick on the bullet hole. Original, to say the least. This moment also highlights what a low-budget endeavour this is. A higher budget would have been nice for better FX, to give us viewers the full pleasure of a forceful skullfucking. I guess, even among gay porn enthusiasts, not many people want to chip in funds to see some dude in zombie makeup pounding his fuckin' hardon into another dude's gaping cranial wound. That's the tough thing about being a filmmaker - balancing cash against pure artist vision; making allowances and on-the-spot aesthetic judgements; forever being assaulted with difficult questions like "Does my movie really require graphic closeups of a zombie splunging his fuckstick into a corpse's trephinated skull-pussy?" All the greats - Murnau, Welles, Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Coppolla, Spielberg, Nguyen, etc - have had to ask themselves this exact thing at some point in their career.
Given the cheapness of the production, it all looks quite nice though. Hard to judge porn on its technical qualities really. I'm not gonna pretend the acting is Oscar standard, but I can say that the main actor, Francois Sagat, is totally hot. I'd blow him. Not in a gay way obviously. But after a few beers, if he asked nicely, I'd tentatively give his penis a squeeze and delicately wrap my lips around his glans (wiping away any precum first, coz I'm not gay), then rub the tip of my tongue over his frenulum and corona while jerking his shaft (only lightly though, coz I'm not gay), cupping his scrotum in my other hand and tickling his perineum with my index finger, slowly moving it further back to softly probe his anus (only up to the first knuckle though, coz I'm not gay), while I finally engulf his entire length and work it with hand and mouth while massaging his swollen testicles, until he reaches exploding point and jets man-seed in my hair (obviously I wouldn't swallow any, coz I'm not gay). That's as far as I'd go though. Just a totally straight dude giving some other dude a non-gay blowjob for being especially handsome. Ain't nothin' gay about that. Hell, I'm so goddamn hetero, I'd probably pretend it was a woman's dick in my mouth.
An extra layer of interest is added to the film by reality
becoming skewed as the perspective flips between Z being a zombie and being a homeless bum. Is he an actual undead saviour with a life-giving boner, or just a mentally ill tramp? The latter option adds an extra layer of discomfort, purely due to the scene where Z gets his asshole tongued out. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally cool with analingus. I thought the mass ass-eating orgy was the finest scene in Sorority Sex Kittens 4. Even for fellas that love fellas, if you've got some fresh-faced twink who's just had a shower, then sure, go wild. Part those silky smooth ass cheeks and give his pristine, pink, puckering hole a tongueload of passionate loving. But a scungy homeless guy? How's that erotic in any way? You yank down his piss-stained pants that haven't been changed in a month. You stretch apart his grimy buttcheeks. Congealed anus-sweat causes his ass hairs to cling together, with dried ancient dregs of unwiped shit caught in them, like flies trapped in a spider web. You part the strands and dig your tongue inside. Slobbering saliva causes the dags of feces to moisten and smear against your cheeks and mouth, as wafts of unwashed rectal stench assaults your nostrils, so thick you can feel it in the back of your throat. Anyone turned on by that? Cause I'm not. And I'm a pretty weird guy.
On the other hand, this zombie/bum dichotomy does add depth and provide the movie with its overarching theme, which is alienation. Regardless of which he is, Z goes about his business deliberately ignored or abhorred by everyone. The freeform, non-plot driven porno style gives the whole thing an almost existentialist slant; the lonesome wandering of the outcast, trying to understand an alien world. This is outsider art about the plight of the outsider. Director Bruce LaBruce is an anomaly among gay filmmakers, in that he produces queer art that rejects standard gay culture as being no less normative than any paradigmatic exemplar of the hetero status quo. He uses the queer film template not to conform the culture to the norm, but to be anarchic within it; gay porn designed to be rejected by the gay community. From the Nazi regalia of Raspberry Reich, to the anal amputee stump-fucking of Hustler White, to the zombie porn here, to the zombie terrorist porn of his photographic art, LaBruce is the black sheep of the gay world, relatively unacknowledged even among the most liberal and accepting. This is quite special considering the GayVN happily handed a lifetime achievement award to Roger Earl, director of the piss-and-rape gay classick Born to Raise Hell. In a world where those desperately trying to stand out from the crowd are starting to become the biggest crowd of all, LaBruce makes being a genuine oddity seem natural and effortless.
I can't help but think that LA Zombie is an intentionally
grotesque satire on the whole porn industry. Watching porn that you're not turned on by really shows how ludicrous it all is. At the end of the day, zombie makeup, fake gore and blood facials ain't that much different to excessive eye-shadow, silicon tits and money shots. But more than that, it drives home how silly-looking sex itself is. All the tangled limbs and sweat and moaning and shuddering and protein mess. Take off your libido goggles and the whole thing is quite ridiculous. In a way, that's what makes good sex so awesome, because you don't care about looking ridiculous. It's where you can leave behind all your worries, forget about the outside world and truly live in the now. An orgasm is where you shed your entire personality and momentarily become a being of pure sensation. Even zombies deserve that feeling.
|Bruce LaBruce: Artist. Iconoclast. Pervert. Legend.|