After living on the tough streets of LA for a while, India hopes that every gay basher will meet his destiny. In this case Destiny is a black, 6 foot, high heel wearing, gun toting, drag ...
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After living on the tough streets of LA for a while, India hopes that every gay basher will meet his destiny. In this case Destiny is a black, 6 foot, high heel wearing, gun toting, drag queen with an attitude and a soft place in her heart for homeless gay boys. Written by
Everett Lewis is a writer/director who continues to look at the various aspects of gay life and the way it is influencing young people. His work is a bit raw and unpolished as yet, but his sentiments are strong and translate well in the films he has created thus far.FAQS is a strong conceptual film and one with a new take on gay activism.
India (a talented natural actor Joe Lia) is a young runaway from Colorado who has come to Hollywood where he can be the gay person he accepts he is. Living homeless under a bridge he is obliged to make his living as a hustler, and as we meet him he is participating in a demeaning pornography film at the smarmy hands of a cheating pornographer. After the shoot he is ambushed by two gay bashers and is saved only by the intervention of a tall, flamboyant black drag queen Destiny (Allan Louis) who gains India's respect and is invited to live with Destiny in her small apartment, a place she shares with other gay people in need such as the lesbian cross dresser Lester (Minerva Vier). Destiny sets down rules of the house: no drugs, be careful of straights, spend two hours a day naked in respect for your body, always use condoms, etc. and India settles in, feeling 'home' for the first time. Soon he meets another hustler Spencer (Lance Lee Davis) who is bent on killing his bigoted parents (just as India is bent on revenge for his pornography adventure), but who falls for India's loving attention and the two become lovers.
At the time of India's encounter with the gay bashers Destiny takes the coat of one of them for India's warmth, a coat which bears the basher's name Guy (Adam Larson) and address. India and Spencer decide to find them and take retribution, but when they confront Guy, India senses Guy's sexual proclivities and the three return to Destiny's ever growing 'family'. The manner in which the other basher intervenes and the changes that occur among the tenants of Destiny's home supply the predictable but satisfying end.
So why with all this praise does this film only rate 3 stars? There are production problems that prevent a higher rating: the sound is poor, the dialogue is often buried in ambient noise, the editing is choppy, etc. But the actors are surprisingly good given the fact that most are inexperienced. Allan Louis as Destiny gives a bravura performance, one of the finest roles of a drag queen ever filmed. There are some well managed sexual encounters and some frontal nudity (but only with Joe Lia and that is so in character that it works well): the chemistry between India and Spencer is palpable and credible.
But despite these minor flaws (each of which is imminently forgivable) this is a well-made film that shows the power of 'extended family' in the lives of gay youths at risk in a homophobic society. There is tenderness, there is comedy, and there is a solid amount of political statement! Recommended. Grady Harp
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