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CampBlood Reviews: Senseless Rants from a Picky Sissy

 

Beastly Boyz Dave DeCoteau 2006

That's Not What They Mean When They Say "Torture Porn"

Oh, lordy.You may have noticed that my relationship with the films of David DeCoteau has been like that of a boozy good-time gal and a leather-clad tough from the dodgy side of town. Basically, we start off having a swell enough time (Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Nightmare Sisters) sharing stolen cigarettes, drinking rotgut from the bottle and straddling their crotch-rocket, but before too long they start beating me in front of their friends (Final Stab, The Brotherhood) and I keep straightening my wig and crawling back for more abuse (Voodoo Academy, Leeches, etc.). Well, I think that the latest Rapid Heart film, Beastly Boyz, is the movie that will finally lead me to reclaim my dignity and fight back, woman-scorned-style. This is my Burning Bed.

I haven’t been a fan of the whole Rapid Heart concept from the beginning (vacant twinks in underwear play-acting horror movie setups without any of the gore, violence, nudity, profanity, or drugs that make most genre movies interesting in the first place), so when the mini-studio announced that they were introducing Rapid Heart Extreme to cater to a more mature audience with edgier fare, I was all over it. After all, wooden acting and recycled plots can be much easier to handle with a few splashes of blood and a tight shitbox or two – hell, the American slasher cycle was pretty much founded on the fact. From both a horror lover’s perspective and a gay man’s perspective, Rapid Heart’s business model is like the biggest set of blueballs ever imagined: the basic ingredients are all there (attractive casts, good production values), but no one ever turns on the oven. I seriously don’t see the difference between most of these movies and Bowflex commercials.

So when Beastly Boyz came along promising more intensity, more blood, and more sex, I was all for it – finally, we’d shake off the feeling that these movies are prancing around the issues and finally get down to business. It’s amazing what a good kill or a bit of naughty can do to an otherwise tepid flick – sure, it’s not going to make a masterpiece, but it can elevate a stinker to something with at least some entertainment value. Sadly, Beastly Boyz not only doesn’t deliver the “edginess” or intensity it promises, it also abandons any attempts at telling a story whatsoever. People, there’s NO SOUND in this movie. Not a word of on-screen dialogue, and not a single scream. Just some random circuit-party music and hilariously misplaced foley effects (since when does running through tall grass sound like someone chewing Grape Nuts?), and what feels like hours of replayed voiceover. Which begs the question: when a hairless male model falls in the forest, does he sound as dumb as he looks?

Boyz starts with Travis (Sebastian Gacki), a typical DeCoteau boy (young, pretty, and hairless) finding his twin sister on a dock with a dribble of raspberry syrup coming out of her mouth, which means that she’s dead (that's as gruesome as it gets, kids). Travis vows to avenge his sister’s death, which apparently came at the hands of a handful of disgruntled Abercrombie and Fitch employees, as evidenced by the brief psychic flashes that Travis sees. And sees. And sees. Seriously, don’t bother paying too much attention, because you’ll end up seeing all this footage again about 20 more times in the next 80 minutes, and besides – there’s exercise to do! For the next 12 minutes, we watch Travis stretch, run, and make hilarious crazy-eyes at a butcher knife in either his underwear or flimsy running shorts. TWELVE. MINUTES. This should have been called Greenwood Cooper: The Revenge.

Finally Travis does some kind of low-rent séance (he sits Indian-style and scribbles names on paper with a marker) to find out who the guys are who killed sis. From here we sit through 6 or so agonizingly redundant silent scenes of guys exercising while Travis watches in full view from the bushes. If nothing else (and that’s pretty much the case here), the setting is nice – it looks like a nature reserve or old scout camp of some sort. But given that the camp seems to only house 8 men who live in separate cabins (they never interact, as interaction might include talking, and there’s apparently a strict vow of silence for hot men in Canada) and have nothing better to do than exercise in nothing but flimsy shorts and underwear while cheesy circuit party music plays on the soundtrack, you might wonder what this camp is there for, exactly. Is it a White Party training facility?

So the guys hang out in their undies and eventually get killed. Now, again – I’ve got nothing against a little muscle-worship, and seeing one shirtless himbo run a knife along the glistening, impossibly tight abs of another himbo is totally cause for popcorn. But not if that’s all that happens for an entire movie. This isn’t even a movie – it’s like a porn with all the sex cut out. And again, if that knife actually WENT somewhere, we might be on to something – but no, it gets wiped around on a few thighs and chests and then disappears off-screen, where it apparently finds soft ground – but not like we’d know. Only one killing of half a dozen even features any blood – and it’s just the dump-a-bucket-on-the-floor routine, total kid stuff. Not once does a knife actually cut anyone, and we don’t see a single wound, rash, or anything. I totally dig on the idea that this guy is fetishizing these men’s bodies out of desire for them as much as the drive to destroy them, but he doesn’t really do either. If he’s getting off on manhandling them, why not take their tidy whiteys off? If he’s so intent on killing them, why not really make them suffer? I was hoping to see tight, tanned asses with knives shoved up them, and what I got was about as edgy as a commercial for the new Mach 4 razor.

So here we have a plotless movie that allows attractive men (well, I only found 2 of them attractive, but there’s really no eyesores in the bunch) hanging out as someone follows them around with a knife. And seriously, that’s it. There’s no tension, no scares, no dialogue, no sex, and no gore. It’s the equivalent of flipping repeatedly through a fitness magazine while waiting in a Muzak-filled dentist’s office for 80 long minutes. Recently there have been a lot of articles about the current “torture porn” trend in studio horror – movies that revel in the debasement and suffering of others. Boyz is the exact opposite: it makes porn torturous, and in the end you’ll be the only one who suffers.

Rating (out of 5):