A gay hustler searches for an exit out
of a puzzling apartment building where he catches sight of himself in
director Joseph Graham's debut feature Strapped.
The boyish hustler (played by Ben
Bonenfant) eagerly molds himself into whomever the men he encounters
For the strapping young man who brings
him out of the rain and into the labyrinthine apartment, the hustler
becomes Alex, the man's boyhood friend who did not return his love.
In the hallway, he morphs into Eddie
for a man looking to reconnect with his youth, and is pressed into
service as entertainment once inside the man's apartment. Now joined
by three other men, Eddie dances against a surreal starry backdrop as
the men get high on cocaine and booze.
The party's host Leo insists he's
shared a colorful past with Eddie, describing in lucid detail how
Eddie turned down a well-heeled future bankrolled by his father to be
as God made him, a “dirty, butt fucking, cum eating whore.” But
two seconds later, he's asking, “Who are you?”
With another man – an allegedly
straight sociopath who baits the hustler to an empty basement for a
blowjob, after which he turns violent – he's nameless.
An aging civil rights warrior, expertly
played by Paul Gerrior, rescues the hustler, now going by Jeff, and
tends to his wounds in his leaky attic apartment. After selling him
sex, Jeff tenderly puts his hero to sleep.
Still lost and searching for a way out
of the building, the hustler returns to Eddie when he stumbles across
one of the men from Leo's party.
Once inside Gary's apartment, Eddie
rejects hundreds of dollars to make out.
“Sorry, I don't kiss,” he says.
“I don't want to fuck,” Gary says.
“I want to kiss you. I want to kiss you deep. For like days.”
“'Cause I know you're going to touch
my soul,” he implores. “That's really where I need to be touched
right now. OK. Not my cock, not my hole.”
“Right here,” Gary begs, pointing
at his heart. “Right here, this is my hole. And I'll gladly pay
Sharp dialogue and riveting
performances seamlessly glide a story of self-examination and
discovery to a satisfying end, making Strapped an easy
Strapped is not rated and is
available on DVD December 7.