John, a gay Illinois small town cop moves to Los Angeles, hoping to fit into a place more welcoming of his sexuality. He soon discovers the "circuit," where he meets an insecure hustler, who draws John into drug abuse and illicit sex.
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John (Jonathan Wade-Drahos) finds himself regaining consciousness in a public bathroom at The Red Party. As he contemplates his image in the mirror, he flashes back to when he was a small-town Illinois cop, whose captain suggests a move to Los Angeles, in order for John to discover a more sympathetic environment. John packs up his truck, drives cross country, and moves in with his cousin Tad (Daniel Kucan), who's now living with his ex, Gill (Brian Lane Green) and Tad's new boy toy, DJ Julian (Darryl Stephens). Tad is making a documentary about the gay circuit and the party culture, while Julian is a circuit party DJ. Gill invites John to a Hollywood Hills party, where John meets Hector (Andre Khabbazi), a male prostitute, who's battling his personal demons of looks and age. John and Hector form a budding friendship as John experiences a downward spiral into the sex and drug-fueled world of the gay circuit party scene. Will John survive? Written by
Early in the film, John (Jonathan Wade-Drahos) drives into Los Angeles/West Hollywood, and as he drives, he passes by several iconic gay bars, Rage at 8911 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood; Mother Load at 8944 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood; Spike (now CLOSED) at 7746 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood; and Mickey's 8857 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069; in that order. However, it would be impossible to drive by those bars in that order, without changing direction at least three times. See more »
Non-judgmental examination of 'circuit party' scene
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Mono
A gay police officer (Jonathan Wade Drahos) is outed at work and subsequently relocates to LA where he becomes involved in the 'circuit party' lifestyle and is almost destroyed by its worst excesses...
Filmed in digital video format by director/co-writer (and former 'Playgirl' centerfold) Dirk Shafer, CIRCUIT casts an uncritical eye over the circuit party scene, exposing the highs and lows of a subculture driven by sexual excess. Drahos toplines a relatively unknown cast as the wide-eyed innocent torn asunder by corrupting influences, though he's upstaged by former soap actor Andre Khabazzi ("The Young and the Restless", "Sunset Beach") as a pumped-up party boy who refuses to have sex with anyone unless they pay for it, and is obsessed with growing old and losing his beauty (there are moments in the film when Shafer's camera lingers on Khabbazi's sculpted body, culminating in a memorable sequence where Khabazzi indulges his characters' narcissism in front of a full-length mirror). Equally impressive is Daniel Kucan as an aspiring filmmaker who records a series of video interviews with his circuit party friends (including Drahos, in a beautifully acted sequence where he's so spaced-out he can barely speak). Further down the cast list, veterans William Katt and Nancy Allen are reunited on-screen for the first time since CARRIE (1976), and while they both appear to enjoy playing against type, their roles seem pretty superfluous. Kiersten Warren and Brian Lane Green are solid as the only true friends in Drahos' life, and 80's pop sensation Paul Lekakis makes his screen debut as an erotic performance artist whose acts of self-mutilation will horrify all but the most hardened masochists. You have been warned!
Director Shafer revels in the beautiful gym-buffed bodies which form a crucial aspect of the circuit party scene, and he also includes a number of relatively chaste sexual encounters, mostly tender, sometimes dark and disturbing, always credible. The movie's production values are OK, and Shafer demonstrates a genuine cinematic awareness, helped by solid technical support all round. Look quickly for brief cameos by Craig Chester (SWOON), writer/comedian Bruce Vilanch (GET BRUCE) and director Randal Kleiser (THE BLUE LAGOON). Sensitive viewers are advised that the climactic party sequence contains prolonged flashing-light effects.
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