I first saw this film at a special screening in 1982 or 1983, and it is so burned into my memory that NOTHING that Raphael Sbarge has done since can supplant some of the scenes from "Abuse," which is not to disparage his 21 years of subsequent work, but to praise this film. I have made it a point to try to see EVERYTHING else Sbarge has appeared in because I was so awed by "Abuse."
SPOILER: I am using "hot" terms to describe this movie because of one scene in particular, in which Thomas is pinned to the floor by his parents and burned with a lit cigarette. The scene is unbelievably shocking and demonstrates the horrible abuse which is too often visited upon Gay kids.
One of the saddest things about "Abuse" is the number of people who will find the relationship between Thomas and Larry (the Gay man who tries to rescue him) to be somehow "more abusive" than the torture of Thomas by his parents!
This is not a film for the squeamish, but I highly recommend it.
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