BTB Productions // 2007 // 73 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // November 9th, 2007
From Bush League to Ivy League. How far would you go to even the score?
Homo homicide has long been a curious fascination of filmmakers. Sure it's not an official genre, but consider films like Rope, Swoon, and Compulsion. All of these films trace back to one famous murder case where a pair of college students killed someone to prove their intellectual and physical superiority. In real life the trial was known as the Leopold and Loeb case, but it's been fictionalized many times over. Skull & Bones takes the familiar idea of two gay college killers to the extreme, and into Hostel and Saw territory. The whole thing comes off as homosexual exploitation, a violent fantasy where rainbow flag waving killers off several high and mighty preppies. Get ready for assault with a cucumber, forced feminization with a Clinton mask on, and lots of rear male nudity. So many things get shoved up people's behinds you're mind will reel, and you'll shift uncomfortably in your seat.
The story is about two college roommates who share a bed, and a common love of gruesome horror movies. Nathan (Derrick Wolf, a theater actor) and Justin (Michael Burke, Between Something and Nothing) seem to know everything about serial killers and how they committed their crimes, yet their killing spree starts accidentally. They drug a straight classmate just to take advantage of him, but things go horribly wrong and he dies while the pair are having their way with him. They decide it's fun, and target a set of Ivy League members of the infamous Skull and Bones order (based on the Yale "not so" secret organization). One by one they kidnap, rape, and murder each member of the conservative fraternity that produced politicians such as George W. Bush and John Kerry.
Nathan and Justin are complete sociopaths with no remorse for what they do, and Skull & Bones is a rape fantasy horror film along the lines of Last House on the Left if John Waters had made it. There's a scene where the two killers wear masks of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden while they rape and kill their prey in a George Bush mask. They sodomize the victim with a night stick, force him to fellate and anally satisfy both men, then bite off his member, decapitate him, and drag him behind their van. It's a sequence that should outrage straights and gays alike, and the question becomes who is this film actually made for? The answer is angry gays who would like to see comeuppance given to white conservative sons of the powerful right wing. The rape scenes make Deliverance seem downright tame, but they are done with a tongue in cheek camp style that is a touch bizarre.
I'm not sure I want to meet first time writer and director T.S. Slaughter, but he has made an interesting film that I'd love to discuss with him (probably over the phone, for my own safety). It is a super violent fantasia that is hopelessly politically incorrect and disturbing in many ways. It all comes from a very twisted mind, and this is his first feature. Things are made to be purposefully stylized, like how each kidnapping uses the same dialogue over and over like a fractured fag fable. This keeps things from getting too brutal, since if reality intervened the story would be irredeemable. It reminds me a great deal of the literary works of Dennis Cooper where twisted brutal violence meets queer culture. Skull and Bones doesn't shoot as high as a literary work, but it does offer a completely new take on exploitation horror. The scenes drift from sexy, vulgar, to funny often without much transition. This is a brutal personification of class and sexuality lashing out at the haves of society, and giving it to them straight up the ass.
The DVD is bare bones featuring only a cropped widescreen presentation that looks fine enough for an indie film. A basic stereo mix delivers the dialogue and screaming pretty well. There aren't supplemental features supplied to talk about the film, and the sole extra is a spoiler heavy trailer. The film is available through the official site, and not through the usual Amazon channels. It is definitely far too offensive and sexually explicit to hit Blockbuster shelves any time soon, so the curious will have to make the purchase through unconventional means.
Skull & Bones is a sexually perverse film with all the sensibilities of Wes Craven during his Last House on the Left exploitation days. If you like the idea of queer killers sodomizing their victims by creative means before shuffling them off it should be right up your alley. It's an angry movie, but not one that lacks a sense of humor or the absurd. A radical idea turned into an interesting experiment that will definitely require a certain taste to sit through. If you like rough gay sex on film, and know your exploitation horror films well it fits the bill. On the back of the packaging it includes an endorsement from U.S. Senator Larry Craig who I'm sure would find this film terrifying on many levels. These queer killers take no prisoners and leave no orifice unviolated.
Review content copyright © 2007 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: BTB Productions
* Full Frame (Cropped Widescreen)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 73 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site