This public service announcement is a cautionary tale to adolescent and young teen boys to beware the kindness of older male strangers, some who are mentally ill in that they are ...
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This public service announcement is a cautionary tale to adolescent and young teen boys to beware the kindness of older male strangers, some who are mentally ill in that they are homosexuals preying on them. An easy way for these homosexuals to make their move is to pick up unsuspecting hitchhiking youths. Such is the case of young Jimmy Barnes, who, when thumbing for a ride, is picked up by a strange man - "Ralph" - who ultimately befriends him: gives him ride after ride, gives him gifts and takes him on outings. It isn't until after Jimmy accepts all these favors that he learns Ralph's true intentions of wanting sexual favors from him in return. Jimmy is lucky in that he ultimately is able to report Ralph to his parents and the authorities. Young Mike Merrick is not as lucky, he who is befriended by a stranger at the playground, the stranger who ultimately takes him away and kills him. Boys should also beware of strange men who tell what may sound like an emergency situation, such ... Written by
"Boys Beware" would be comic if it wasn't painfully tragic. I'd like to think this was one of those community projects directed to schools that were watched by a bunch of students that later grow up bigoted, full of prejudice and whatever they learned from the film was spread to many others, and by that standard I'd like to think only 500 people have seen it and forgot it. And the problem in saying "that was then, this is now" and we have evolved a hell of a lot doesn't change because we still have cultures and people who spread the pedophilia and homosexuality are a common link. And that's why "Boys Beware" hits a nerve and is a tragic piece because lots of people saw it and reinforced the notions of homophobia, prejudice and violence. The movie calls the attention of viewers by whenever a similar situation happening (of a man offering a ride home to a teenager or a kid) to call the cops; but the movie makes a full generalization saying all homosexuals are alike, always going for boys and what the paranoia develops on "frightened" folks: let us be violent and kill them. Too bad I'm not allowed to say what I think about this movie in pure and simple words.
This ridiculous waste of celluloid is one of those projects destined to warn children of the dangers of meeting strangers who want to have sex with boys. But the film keeps saying ad nauseam that those kinds are homosexuals, big emphasis throughout the film, and that they're ill. Comes a colorful and happy presentation of the life back in the 1960's, jolly music and it was all hilarious until the narrator goes by saying that homosexuality was an illness of the mind and you already have an idea on how far behind humanity were (still is, I'm afraid). The clueless creators don't know how to make the distinction between pedophiles and men who feel sexual attraction for other men. The failure of providing a distinction when already there was one available is what kills this dreadful and horrid film. And if there's the goal of saving lives, the movie only hits 10% right: if you're young don't go out with friendly strangers. If someday some guy say they watched this thing in high school and the recommendation was helpful because they escaped from a certain fella named Jeffrey Dahmer, or someone similar then I'll say a word of praise to this - but doing the math correctly, this kid would be too old to have met Dahmer but you get the point.
And it's so strange that a film like this came out at the same time when "The Children's Hour" was released, a movie that portrayed a gay character in a great humanistic light (despite the low outcome of the story, blame it on that era), and many other great films of the decade that were allowing more and more decent presentation of gay characters on the screen - far from the heaven of flicks and series we have these days but a good ladder up to go. But comes this wreck to ruin everything. It's not a total disaster because the so-called production values and presentation are strangely well-made. The voice-over works, the acting is relevant and it's nicely put together. What makes this unbearable and lame is the ideas conceived, the lack of discernment and the total disregard of truth, an incoherent and damaging short film. Careless and harmful project at its worst. 2/10
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