Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bug Chaser (2012)

Of all the strange and icky fetishes out there, bugchasing is certainly one of the more horrifying. Otherwise known as 'the fuck of death' or 'getting pozzed up', bugchasing is the practise whereby gay men deliberately and knowingly have unprotected sex with HIV-positive partners in order to become infected with the disease themselves. In the small bugchasing subculture, HIV+ men are highly prized and known as 'gift-givers'. I'm guessing you knew all of this already... or you're currently staring aghast at your computer screen, with your jaw hung open and a small sliver of your hope for humanity flying out the nearest window, never to be seen again. Don't worry, we all react like that the first time.

Bugchasing has received only minimal attention from the media, outside of the occasional documentary like the BBC programme I Love Being HIV+ (2006). More recently, Todd Verow's controversial doco Bottom (2012) followed a young gay man's personal challenge to take 1000 unprotected jizzloads up his ass over the course of a single year. Although not strictly a bugchaser, at one point he describes sex with an obviously HIV+ partner as extremely hot. Gay porn began to cater for the highly niche market of bugchasing with the 1998 launch of the controversial San Francisco production company Treasure Island Media. Known among some gay circles as basically AIDS porn, Treasure Island's all-bareback output usually involves disease-riddled manwhores sharing their sickness with each other.

But as far as fiction goes, Bug Chaser might be the first ever cinematic work centred around this truly bizarre and unsavoury kink. Though that's a little unfairly misleading on my part, because there's no homos ravenously drooling over immunodefiency viruses here. Instead, what we got here is a nifty and demented body horror short, disturbing enough on a directly visual level, but even more disturbing if you pick up on the layer of subtext. That's why I gave the unnecessary intro on the in-and-outs of bugchasing, because I want you to get the most out of this film. Also because I delight in introducing y'all to odious sexual concepts that you'd probably prefer to not know about. I'm kind of a dick like that. :)

We start with 2 dudes arriving at a fancy apartment for a night of vigorous, anonymous sex. Tongues are thrust in mouths. Shirts come off. Pectoral muscles are sensuously caressed. Penises are released from the strains of their undergarmentary prisons. It's all pretty darn gay. But when one of our donut-punchers drops down for some salad-tossing action, he discovers a rather revolting, bulbous growth on the other shirt-lifter's poop chute. If that weren't gross enough, the anal growth becomes increasingly larger and more painful over the following day. And that's all the plot you're getting from me.

Special mention must go to Brendan Shucart in the main role. His performance as the hapless butt-tumour bearing homo is shameless and fearless. Barely a single scene passes without him providing some full-frontal or full-dorsal nudity. I would say that homophobes will find this movie unappealing, but considering most shots of Shucart's bum involve a giant bulbous, pustulous boil on his chocolate starfish, I'd say even the most ass-crazy women and gay dudes will struggle to find anything appealing. Make no mistake, despite the rampant nudity, there is some pretty damn sick shit here. Enough to make even extreme horror fiends say to themselves, "Damn, that's some pretty sick shit!"

Of the small handful of reviews I've read for this short, the main complaint seems to be the ending, some calling it lousy and trite. I couldn't disagree more. The quiet finale is where it goes from being a mere grossout to fully embracing the extent of Cronenbergian body horror. Where bodily mutations are merely a physical manifestation of dark psychological trauma. Where the visceral and cerebral combine.

So if you wanna see bugchasing, then... well, you should probaly skip this and go straight for Dawson's 50 Load Weekend (2005), The 1000 Load Fuck (2009) or Viral Loads (2014). But if you're keen for a good horror short with brains, guts and plenty of cock, then this sucker is more than worth the 19 minutes you'll spend watching it. Believe it or not, it's even more entertaining than letting an HIV+ dude blast a load of pathogenic spunk up your shithole.


Check it out here -