Jan 2, 2013


Gay serial killers seem to be a dime a dozen, especially when its comes to the exceedingly sexually erratic sort of lone-wolf exterminator, yet there seems to be a lack of homo-cidal murderer movies and even less that take an unwaveringly intimate approach to this absurdly unspeakable subject, thus I was quite impressed when I discovered abberosexual American auteur Todd Verow’s sod sex slayer Frisk (1995); a film where one man’s fiendish fantasy for mutilated flesh turns into a life-consuming obsession of the most ominous and – at least for the character – odorous sort. The virtual ‘American Psycho of gay serial killers films,’ Frisk is ultimately more gritty and controversial and less cartoonish in comparison to the feminist-directed and lesbian co-penned black comedy, not least of all due to the fact that Verow's film takes a matter-of-fact approach to the subject that was not meant to spare anyone, hence why the wanton work was condemned by a sizable segment of politically correct poofs. In short, Frisk has no moral compass, let alone a fag fabulous political agenda. Featuring a sicko sad-ass jock type with a redundant tribal tattoo as the calculating blood-lusting, cock-busting serial killer of swinging punk Sodom, Frisk has a lot in common with the aberrant German arthouse flick Prince in Hell (1993) aka Prinz in Hölleland in terms of featuring the sort of severely subversive depiction of Dorian Love that most uppity and hysterical pc homos would like to see put back in the closest, so it should be no surprise that Michael Stock – the writer/director/star of the curiously crude cock-sucking kraut flick – also plays a Teutonic hustler twit in Verow's film. Indeed, featuring fag-murdering fags and Aryans, and lacking any sort of stale sentimentalist social commentary, Frisk is not exactly the sort of flick that would have been distributed by the Weinsteins. Featuring a less than uplifting but certainly catchy and complimentary soundtrack by post-industrial group Coil whose lead singer John Balance was so similarly self-destructive of a homo as the hopeless hustler in Verow's film that he died rather randomly after  after falling from a two story balcony (apparently, as the scatology-spirited singer serenaded many times before, "there was too much blood in his alcohol"), Frisk is a fag flick that isn’t actually 'faggy,' at least in the prissy and pretentious sense, as it transcends the STD-riddled ghetto of mainstream gay ‘culture,’ opting for being perversely provocative over poofter pussyfooting, stern sadism over sappy sod sentimentalism, bodacious brutality over barren buggery, hate over happiness, and fleshwounds over fecal matter in a work that never demands tolerance, but instead that one have enough gall and balls to sit through the whole thing. 

 Based on the 1991 novel of the same name by Dennis Cooper – a punk poof writer whose early written works were heavily inspired by the Psychopathia Sexualis-worthy writings by Marquis de Sade and Arthur Rimbaud – Todd Verow’s sin-saluting cinematic adaptation stays true to the roots of the novel, at least in spirit, but at that same time it is an original work in its own right that features experimental editing with distorted video imagery and a soundtrack that lecherously livens up the psychopathic pig room celluloid party. Centering around completely crazed yet curiously charming anti-hero Dennis (Michael Gunther) – a stoic homo that began developing a fetish for dead bodies and murder after checking out some snuff magazines when he was only an highly impressionable teenager – Frisk automatically lets the viewer know from the get go that it is not your typical serial killer flick as the work is from the first-person perspective of the necrophiliac butt bandit himself. Most of Frisk is narrated through a series of letters written by Dennis to his surely sick yet slightly less sadistic sometimes-boyfriend and dubious best friend Julian (Jaie Laplante); a fiercly foul fellow who has quasi-incestuous relationship with his own younger brother Kevin (Raoul O'Connell), who himself is gay thanks to his brother’s warped mind, on top of seeming rather autistic. Needless to say, when Julian moves to Europa, Dennis – a cunning alpha-fag that is always conspiring a plan to transcend his already rather perturbing peversity – moves in on Kevin and earns his trust and love even more so than his own brother ever could. Of course, Dennis' main motivation in life is man-handling and mutilating corpses of timid teen twinks, but he needs to build up enough confidence and further desensitizes his already terribly tainted conscience to go from simple cock-sucking to corpse-fucking. After a young hustler named Henry (Craig Chester; who played the infamous Jewish homosexual child murderer Nathan Leopold Jr. in Tom Kalin’s New Queer Cinema classic Swoon), who Dennis originally intended to killed but chickened out is murdered by a bourgeois leather-fag, the novice necro decides he no longer wants to play gay games and inevitably murders his first hustler; a bleached-blonde cum and beer chugger. After his German hustler friend/fuckbuddy Uhrs (played by Michael Stock) catches wind of his original plan to kill and dismember him, Dennis’ trail of rent boy blood is tracked via the killer’s letter by the kraut cock-sucker and his nihilistic female friend Ferguson (Parker Posey). Motivated more by her perverse and unquenchable hatred of humanity than a fetishistic fondness for blood and guts, Ferguson and her creepy fag friend end up joining Dennis for a Ménage à trios of murder and mayhem. Writing off Dennis’ letters as being the “same old apocalyptic porn,” feminist femme fatale Ferguson brings a certain “logical approach divorced from emotion,” thus enabling the necromantic to evade the law. In one especially standout scene, pre-tranny Robert “Alexis” Arquette plays a punk hustler that is so fucked up on ‘Cocteau’s kick’ that he does not realize that the three psychopaths are in the process of murdering and dismembering him as they collectively strip him while wearing latex surgical clothes so as to not get their oh-so dainty hands dirty. After Dennis barebacks the punk gigolo (who states “that’s the best you can do, big boy” while getting sodomized sadistically), the terrible threesome ties him up and guts him like a pig. Of course, Dennis has more personal motivations than his two intellectually insipid compatriots, so he looks to his best friend Julian’s younger brother Kevin for macabre answers. 

 What I noticed immediately upon watching Frisk is that it seems like libidinous lunatic Luka Rocco Magnotta – the gay Canadian porn star and homo go-go dancer who murdered and dismembered the body of a cock-sucking Chinese student named Lin Jun and mailed his body parts to the offices of various Canadian political parties and even an elementary school, thus earning the title of “Canadian Newsmaker of the Year for 2012” after there was an international manhunt when he fled his own country for Europa – must have watched Verow’s film and viewed it as a kind of spiritual blueprint before carrying out his frenzied campaign for necrophile fame, as such a rather raunchy and wretched murder-romanticizing work would surely give the extra push needed for less than a psychologically stable individual to carry out their carnal corpse-caressing fantasies. As one can expect from such a uniquely uncompromising work, Frisk has been condemned by a number of hysterical homophile film reviewers as being ‘homophobic,’ as if shoving one's fist up someone’s ass or eating shit is not bad enough. A virtual “film for all and none,” Frisk may feature a lot of homo-sadist imagery and whatnot, but it is surely not a distinctly ‘gay film,’ at least not in any conventional sense, sort of like William Friedkin’s Cruising (1980), albeit causing more shit-stirring (pun intended), if not at a more marginal work being an independent film. Unfortunately, director Todd Verow has yet to direct another film with the same idiosyncratic intensity and awfully aberrant aesthetic imagery as Frisk and has settled for directing more softcore, low-budget fag-friendly films for his production company Bangor Films. As the son of a Northern New England politician who became a hustler after swooning over a punk streetwalker as depicted in his later work Between Something & Nothing (2008), Verow did lend a certain autobiographical authenticity to Frisk, so i'ts a shame he later settled for being a relatively unknown hack filmmaker as opposed to leading a life like the anti-hero in his infamous sodomite serial killer film.  If Frisk is anything to go by, Verow would have at least been more successful in his libertine lust-killing than murderous attention whore Magnotta.  At the very least, Verow could go back to his roots and cinematically redeem himself by directing a bodacious and brazen biopic about Mr. Magnotta and his macabre man-meat-mutilating monkey business.

-Ty E

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