Surprising: a real movie with Gay hardcore content
I knew Joe Gage (and his wife Cynthia DePaula, at the time president of NY Women in Film) in the '80s during the "hetero" segment of his film career, as Tim Kincaid, director of cheap action & sci-fi movies. I never saw his gay porn, though he memorably gave me a tour (circa 1984) of his downtown studio for shooting same in NYC.
A recent DVD reissue reveals that Tim's true calling was probably the porn, as L.A. TOOL & DIE plays like a real movie, and is far superior to any of his R-rated mainstream efforts. If distribution (and exhibition, in older days) and audience tastes didn't dictate strict pigeonholing of product, this film could be treated as a regular movie, just with XXX scenes interspersed with the action.
To overdo the issue, which is of great interest to me, many mainstream films today are "real films" in which the particular audience-beloved fetish has taken over the content to such an extent that they are analogous to porn-driven features. Many mindless action and CGI special effects pictures de-emphasize the story and characters just like a porn director does -the audience is impatient to get to the next gore scene, fight scene or explosion set-piece, just as the porn hound is assumed to be only interested in the sex.
But stripping away the sex, L.A. TOOL & DIE is a classic road movie, both in structure and mood. Tim uses this structure to knit together the sex vignettes (which commercially are the only reason for the film to exist) into a loose storyline.
Will Seagers is Wylie, a mustachioed young man who we first see at a bar in El Paso, turning down an offer (for sex) by burly hero Richard Locke as Hank. Seagers is headed to L.A. to take a job at the title company, and his (as well Hank's) adventures make up the narrative. Locke also starred in Tim's two preceding companion films to TOOL & DIE.
Immediately unusual, and proof that Tim was consciously trying to expand the form of gay porn beyond its wall-to-wall sex constrictions, is the presence of two important female characters. Terri Hannon plays Raven, a sexy girl that guest star Casey Donovan picks up on the road in New Mexico, only to be waylaid by her accomplice, a guy who handcuffs Donovan to a tree and sodomizes him. This turns out to be a case of role-playing by the trio, and an interesting diversion.
Even more significant is beautiful porn star Becky Savage, who is humped by a guy at a rest stop where Wylie has previously been. This hetero sex scene is watched by a young peeping tom, who after the couple leaves, retrieves the used rubber and uses it as a fetish when he masturbates. But the boy/girl scene in a Gay porno movie was unique (as far as I'm concerned).
There are other sexual liaisons, and Tim keeps up a clever use of the radio where we hear nut-case right wing preachers saying weird things I thought only Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination uttered -it's probably real though an end credit assigns the lingo to "Reverend Spoonball".
Wylie arrives at his destination, and in several brief scenes and montages Kincaid beautifully extols the beauty of hard labor -almost a PSA for labor unions back in the day when unions were on the ascent, but in context a vibrant paean to manly men. Film climaxes with some elaborate sex scenes after Hank arrives to reunite with Wylie and consummate their remote love affair.
The film's many subplots are all quite interesting, including an almost requisite Vietnam War tie-in, as Wylie keeps suffering from flashbacks (he's without mustache in the service scenes) cradling a dying buddy who says: "Don't forget me man; just love somebody else someday, promise me!".
End credits are interesting, not only listing Joe Gage among "The Gage Men" (so I would presume Tim took part personally in the sex scenes), and thanking peers Wakefield Poole and Tom DiSimone. I find Gage's creative storytelling approach infinitely more effective than Poole's overrated male sex fantasies, most of which have been revived recently on DVD.
IMDb lists this as a 1982 film, but it dates from 1979 (even displaying that year as copyright); apparently this mistake is due to an ill-advised revision by the website whereby it relies on known foreign release dates to substitute for unverified or estimated domestic dates; fortunately I printed out the old listings from five years back before the wholesale change and errors were blessed.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this