Ariztical Entertainment // 2012 // 117 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // June 25th, 2013
"We'll make great pets. We'll make great pets." -- Jane's Addiction
D'Agostino is a film about what happens when a man meets a stray clone, and decides to keep him.
The story begins with handsome Londoner Allan (Keith Roenke, Is It Just Me?) inheriting property in Santorini, Greece. Upon arrival, he finds a naked man (soccer star Michael Angels) covered in dirt hiding in a closet. The mystery man, D'Agostino, turns out to be a genetic experiment meant for harvesting body parts, someone who has no identity and shouldn't exist. He's escaped from captivity and is now searching for purpose and a reason to be. Allan decides to make him over in his own image, and the results are the disastrous happenings when good clones go bad. It's a kinky take on the Frankenstein mythos, complete with tons of male nudity, scenic views of Santorini, and a story that might have made a better short film than full-length feature. But it does go for broke, and things head to a logical conclusion. D'Agostino owes much to cinematic classics Caligula and Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom for its bondage imagery and over the top sexuality, but this one is never quite as difficult to swallow.
The whole project was inspired by the passing of filmmaker Jorge Ameer's cat. If you don't believe me, there is a whole section in the bonus features where he talks about it, and shows us documentary footage taken at the vet as his beloved pet was euthanized. D'Agnostino is a meditation on what would happen to a man if we treated him like a cat. The clone even makes cat noises for most of the film. It's an interesting concept, and certainly one that makes the basis for this kinked out sci-fi flick to spin on its axis. I just wish there was more meat here, but it does take you on a journey. The acting is a bit stilted, and the digital photography keeps it from feeling properly cinematic, but for an indie flick it does an admirable job.
Ariztical offers a Blu-ray fully loaded with all you need to know about the film and the process. Up front are three featurettes that concentrate on Jorge Ameer's inspirations and methods. We get the aforementioned cat footage, and shots of the journey from London to Santorini. There is also a deleted scene, an interview with an actress who plays the confused wife, and several audience reviews and reactions from different festival showings. The 1.78:1/1080p HD transfer is super clear and well detailed with a lot of nice color saturation. The simple Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix services the film well, since most of the dialogue is front and center.
D'Agostino is a gay title that offers a bit of sci-fi with its male nudity, but has a nice sense of place thanks to the Santorini setting. The script stretches the plot's concept a bit thin, but it's worth a look if you're curious about getting it on with a clone. If nothing else, it'll make you look at kitty litter a bit more suspiciously.
Guilty of making a man into a cat, and then playing dirty with him.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Ariztical Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scene
* Audience Reactions