Judge Brett Cullum goes back to 1982 to see beers, steers, and romantic queers.
Wanna help a buddy out?
Longhorns plays out as a gay homage to the likes of the big eighties sex comedies such as Porky's and The Last American Virgin aiming to be just as raunchy and carefree. It is even set in 1982 on the campus of the University of Texas to give it the right time period to play in. Straight frat boy Kevin (Jacob Newton, Fired Up) leads a normal life of keg parties with sorority girls, but his world is turned upside down when he meets an honest to God homosexual (Derek Efrain Villanueva, Fabulous High) who he unwillingly falls for. Suddenly Kevin sees his old friends and frat brothers in a brand new light, and realizes everybody around him is kind of gay and hypocritical about it. Things get especially strained when he decides he can't handle his new found feelings and visits with his old high school buddy (ex porn star Dylan Vox,The Lair). He begins to see that maybe worshipping Playboy Playmates and Ronald Reagan isn't the path he was meant for.
Writer/Director David Lewis (Redwoods) is trying his hand at broad raunchy comedy for this, his third low-budget feature. He has assembled a very likable cast of characters who apparently have no problem with full frontal male nudity. Every single guy in the cast delivers the full monty at some point or another, although ironically all truly sexual acts are performed under the covers and away from the camera's gaze. Most everything is played to be silly and sexy fun, so none of it gets bogged down with any serious issues. The director states he set his story in 1982 so he could stay away from the specter of AIDs, and have the promiscuity have no consequences or create fear. It's a world where sex is innocent fun for everybody gay and straight. He plays broad at every turn with exaggerated Texas accents, cowboy hats, and over the top frat boy bravado. None of it rings sincere except when the guys get it on, but that works here for the most part.
TLA Releasing does a pretty good job with this release, although there seems to be an issue with the sound on one of the extras. The transfer looks just fine for an indie flick with nice natural color and clear enough details. Sometimes colors look a little washed out, but that seems to be a directorial decision to get a more retro feel. Sound is clear too with a choice of full surround or simple stereo, both of which work well. Extra features include a nice set of deleted scenes, most of which should actually have stayed in the film. There are outtakes which are mainly people goofing off on set as well as some horses that decided they needed to be in the last shot. There is an interview with the director, producer Lewis Tice, and lead actor Efrain Villanueva. It doesn't fare well because the sound is off and a high wind coming across the mic makes it near impossible to hear anyone. It's a pity, because I wanted to hear more about what the inspiration was for this one.
Longhorns is a rowdy sex comedy that spins everything out through a gay angle. It reminds me a lot of recent gay comedy features like Eating Out or Bear City in that it seeks to simply be funny rather than say too much that resonates. Sure, it has a wry take on fraternal or jock bonding, but it stops short of actually meditating on any of that. Mainly what Longhorns wants to do is showcase naked guys and tell dirty jokes. It's fast fun, but doesn't take the material or the characters too seriously. Luckily the actors are accomplished enough to make them likable despite their constant obsession with little other than jerking off to porn. And also they are more than willing to drop trouser for the camera which is a plus here as well. It works if you want a silly diversion that will remind you of a time when the world was a bit more innocent and closeted.
Guilty of being just another teen movie with naked dudes added in.
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