Jun 16, 2013

The Endless Possibility of Sky

As far as gay American auteur filmmakers are concerned, Todd Verow is undoubtedly the least tamed and infected with the politically correct LGBT mainstream that has homogenized the homos and turned them into an automaton collective that is no less banal and braindead than Evangelical Christians. Leaving his big and infamous impression on the independent/ New Queer Cinema world with his sweetly scandalous sodomite serial killer flick Frisk (1995), a wicked work based on the seemingly unfilmable 1991 novel of the same name by poofer punk author Dennis Cooper, Verow has displayed an almost pathological and superhuman knack for churning out films like Rainer Werner Fassbinder and, naturally, like the German New Cinema alpha-auteur, many of his films are ‘hit or miss.’ While I thought Verow had gone flaccid with queer melodramas like Between Something & Nothing (2008) and The Boy with the Sun in His Eyes (2009), he has created a number of idiosyncratic and sexually iconoclastic works of the delightfully disturbing sort, including the documentary Bottom X (2012) and The Endless Possibility of Sky (2012), in the past year or so that are worthy of serious attention. While Bottom X, a sort of quasi-anthropological study of an AIDS infected “bareback mancunt” who has fifty different strangers sodomize him over the course of a weekend without using rubbers, is a virtual real-life horror show about a muscular maniac of a homo with a serious death wish, The Endless Possibility of Sky is an aberrant arthouse flick full of lunatic libertinage that takes a look at a group of self-destructive fags with self-absorbed swag who consume any and every drug they can find when not (but also oftentimes while) engaging in suicidal sex and addiction-inspired prostitution. A sort of strangely hypnotic piece of arthouse (anti)erotica featuring scenes of kaleidoscopic yet minimalistic anti-hipster animation of the pop degenerate variety, The Endless Possibility of Sky, as expressed in its allegorical yet matter-of-fact tag-line “Once you reach the sky…it’s all downhill from there,” shows what happens when too much sex, drugs, and indie rock consume a small clique of cocksucking compatriots who rely on a demented fag hag for their daily doses of hardcore narcotics. An innately nihilistic piece of anti-Wes Anderson-esque arthouse meets hysterical hagsploitation and Halsted-esque S&M art-erotica, The Endless Possibility of Sky (2012) is the sort of uncompromising ‘no bullshit’ work of queer cinema that, much like an AIDS-infected shot of semen, strikes pulsating, penetrating fear into the quivering, angst-ridden hearts of "we're just like everybody else" gay rights activists and phony pro-egalitarian art fag hipsters alike.

 Drew (Brad Hallowell) is a gay man from the middle-of-nowhere Waterville, Maine, so he naturally finds himself addicted to a life of vice after becoming part of little Sodom subculture in New York City. A former Christian churchgoer from an isolated and sheltered background, Drew eventually adopts a simple nihilistic and hedonistic philosophy in NYC that he describes as follows, “Life and all that other bullshit doesn’t matter. Its just the stuff that gets in the way in between parties because there is no afterwards. The party must never stop. I’ll do anything to keep it going…sex with strangers who have more…sex for money to get more. Steal money…steal drugs…sell drugs. Whatever it takes not to have to stop…that feeling is too good to just go away.” Drew, like his sexually fiendish friends, is a patron of a psychotic woman who claims to get her drugs from aliens and is a self-described ‘venture capitalist’ named Mistress Datina (Verow ‘diva’ Philly), a wreck of a woman who invites “clean” (she sprays their penises at the door!) albeit AIDS-infected homos over for sexual and narcotic debauchery as she has never gotten over the death of her son, thus her fag friends, who engage in meaty manwich orgies right in front of her, act as sort of surrogate sons. A fellow with a certified ‘poz-cock,’ Drew valiantly admits “I don’t know when I became positive” as it “doesn’t matter,” after having one too many lewd libidinous encounters with dozens of other lascivious bugchasers; later on, he learns that his first great lover Christian (Michael Vaccarro) is also HIV positive and he has no interest in taking the drugs that will save his life, but he certainly has a perturbing proclivity for popping the pills that will put him in an early grave. Mohawk-sporting Mestizo Rob (Rob Ordonez) is a punk rock poof that gets carnally involved with Christian, even popping his so-called “slam cherry” by shooting him up with his first shot of "Tina" aka crystal meth and then proceeding to assfuck him silly while he's high as a kite. Rob is not a particularly intelligent individual and almost finds himself cut up into tons of tiny pieces after he overdoses at Mistress Datina’s pleasure dome, but he survives the ordeal, only to become the sex slave of a Dionysian ‘Poppa Bear’ fellow who looks like Peter Kern after he is drugged and repeatedly sodomized over a number of days. Indeed, trouble in poofer paradise comes to the gay boi hustlers, porn stars, and badly damaged dick-stabber druggies of The Endless Possibility of Sky, a film that explicitly but not (too) exploitatively demonstrates that with every great high, be it erotic or narcotic, once must come down and very likely fall very hard in the process. In the ridiculous libertine renegade realm of The Endless Possibility of Sky, once someone enters a figurative hell, there is virtually no return, unless you come back as a self-righteous recovering addict who is willing to literally kill to prove a point. 

 Near the beginning of The Endless Possibility of Sky, protagonist Drew sums up the wanton Weltanschauung of him and his copulating compatriots as follows, “I felt like an outlaw…like before being gay become all mainstream…before gay became so fucking boring…getting married, having kids, being in the military…back when they would have sex in late night parks, in dark restrooms, trucks…there was a danger, there was an excitement. Yeah, I know…full of self-loathing and internalized homophobia. But it's bullshit…trying to fit in, trying to copy straight bourgeoisie culture…that is self-loathing, that is homophobia. We’re animals, we are the new sexual outlaws. The knowing looks…the codes…the secrets…the only difference is that now, it’s all about the drugs…not the sex.” Indeed, like all of Verow’s digital dimestore works, The Endless Possibility of Sky features no phony LGBT sermonizing or far-left diatribes as the characters of the film are neo-leather-fags (minus the leather) of the designer drug age who form an erotically erratic elite, at least in their own drug-addled minds as they engaged in ritualistic bacchanalia of the boy-buggering variety. While I personally find the severely sadomasochistic behavior portrayed in The Endless Possibility of Sky to be rather repulsive and even reprehensible, the film itself is a thematically liberating affair that bows down to no one, especially the mainstreaming cocksucking queens in Hollywood that have created a pre-packaged pansy ‘gay culture’ that seems to be all the more loathsome and hideous than a couple of anti-p.c. poofs who are proud to have diseased poz-cocks like those featured in Verow's film. Unlike sell-out sods like Gus van Sant, Todd Verow rightfully seems to realize that Fred Halsted is infinitely more important and less deleterious to both gay and straight culture than Harvey Milk.  Undoubtedly, The Endless Possibility of Sky features vulgar people doing vulgar things, but it has more aesthetic grace than Hebraic homo sitcoms like Will & Grace.

 In a manifesto entitled “NO More Mr. Nice Gay” that he wrote for the Berlin Film Festival Teddy Awards, Todd Verow concluded with the following words: “No more Mr. Nice Gay! Aren't you tired by now of these buff, shiny, happy, pretty pretty gay people in (alleged) comedies about hooking up and being shirtless and oh-so-pretty and oh-so-vacant. No more documentaries about gay marriage and about "how just like everyone else" we are. No more conformity, (whatever that is) and whatever happened to "We're here we're queer get used to it!" Stop pretending that AIDS (or at least the devastating effects of AIDS), homophobia (outside and inside the gay culture), violence, rape, oppression, murder, censorship, don't exist. We are outlaws, we are outsiders and we always will be. You don't need a cock just a camera (and it doesn't have to be a big camera but you have to have the balls to face down the status quo.). Pull it out. Stroke it. Dare the audience, the critics, the programmers, etc. to suck it. Create like there is no tomorrow (in this modern world, you never know) and shoot, shoot, shoot!”  And, indeed, if we were to judge him by his work The Endless Possibility of Sky, Verow is thankfully a man that practices what he preaches, so much so that it is rather incriminating, but, more importantly, culturally iconoclastic. However, one can only hope that Todd Verow doesn't have quite the same deletorious death wish as most homos but that, if he does, he's not going to quite such extreme lengths as the curiously debauched poz-cock possessing, "bareback mancunt" of Bottom X or the deliriously drug-addled Christian of The Endless Possibility of Sky so that he can continue producing some of the most aberrant and incendiary American-made homo films of our time.

-Ty E


Unknown said...

Thank you for this amazing review. Makes all the hard work we put into this film so worth it. -Brad Hallowell


Working with Todd Verow was an amazing experience,he has such talent and a great mind!
The part I found funny about this review is: Vulgar people making vulgar things! This is real acting,is not who we are,we are actors and I am proud to be in this movie.Thank you for this review is interesting, fascinating and entertaining. Rob Ordonez