SUN KISSED

NR
Reviews

Gay aspiring novelist Teddy (John Ort) takes advantage of his professor's offer of his home in the desert as a writer's retreat, and encounters caretaker Leo (Gregory Marcel), to whom he is instantly attracted. They get drunk and do the deed, but Leo is one enigmatic soul. Is he indeed gay? Was he really married, and did he murder his wife (Laura Leigh)? What other murders may he have committed? And what's his deal with the professor, anyway?

One would like to say that gay indies are better than ever, but then something like Sun Kissed comes along and drags the whole shebang down to rock bottom again. Patrick McGuinn, in an attempt at suspenseful depth, convolutes his tale into pure incomprehensibility. Clumsily edited, intercut scenes of bloody violence--which may or may not have really happened-alternate with arid, "pictorial" sequences of the comely lads driving, screwing or basking that go on for an enervating eternity. To utterly no avail, he relies on static, torturous close-ups as much as he does a rock score by The Sea and the Cake. The so-real-that-it-hurts, improvised-feeling dialogue makes heavy use of the word "amazing." You watch this thing in a benumbed state, haplessly aware that you're in the hands of an "auteur" whose style has yet to evolve from student experiments.

Under these dire circumstances, Ort and Marcel manage to acquit themselves rather honorably. With no help from script or director, Ort conveys something approaching a writer's sensitivity, while Marcel's Byronic good looks and intensity are at least fitfully compelling.