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This is how the meetings go around FANGORIA’s office: “Hey, guys,” says the big boss, “I’ve got a new title that features naked men in it. Any takers?” When nobody goes for it, the consensus is, “Give it to the new girl.” I don’t know how long I’m going to be “the new girl,” but I get the distinct feeling I’m going to continue to get most, if not all, of the titles with serious male nudity and bisexuality involved.
Bring it on, suckers.
Anyway, that’s how the latest guys-touching-guys genre flick ended up in my hands. FRATERNITY MASSACRE AT HELL ISLAND, on no-frills DVD from Ariztical Entertainment, is never going to be confused with the classics of the horror world, or even the good movies of the horror world—just the really crappy almost-rans. It does feature a couple of cute boys, but even that only goes so far to overcome the very lame premise and execution.
The fraternity brothers of Zeta Alpha Rho (or ZAP) are about to haze their latest group of pledges by leaving them in what appears to be a closed amusement park. That idea actually holds some promise, and one can easily imagine the killer chasing the young men through funhouses and on rides that suddenly come to life. And there are plenty of possibilities for the villain: Is he the escaped mental patient? The frustrated roommate? How about the hated dean? Or is it one of the frat boys themselves, out for revenge? The plot is almost as obvious as a SCOOBY-DOO cartoon, but not nearly as much fun. And what’s with the subplot of the four Glee Club singers who were killed decades ago, with their spirits trapped on the island? What do they have to do with the plot?
Tyler Farrell is Jack, the young pledge who seems to be the focus of all the attention, though it’s unclear why throughout the movie. The kid is your basic twink: cute, but not worth all the fuss. He sort of reminds me of a young Jason Bateman, just without the comic timing. Some of the dialogue is clever: The names of several frat boys, when read out loud, prove to be those of baseball players (Billy Martin, Kirk Gibson, Darrell Porter, J.D. Drew), and one scene evokes STAR TREK dialogue between Scotty and the Captain. This is the sort of thing that makes a DVD reviewer feel it would have been nice to view the movie with an audience, to see if anyone else got a chuckle out of the name play.
There is also one nice ass shot (Farrell) and some half-moon shots as the frat pledges drop trou, plus a few male kisses. For the boys, there is one exposed boob, but don’t get too excited; it doesn’t lasts very long. The lack of special features means there are no witty insights from the director or stars, or a behind-the-scenes look at the production. The box art is more suggestive of a fright flick than a campfest, but it might work for you.
First-time director Mark Goshorn Jones previously served as writer/producer on the gay-themed comedy ELI PARKER IS GETTING MARRIED? and demonstrates a potential to take his movies to a higher level; he just needs a budget and better actors. In the meantime, if you have trouble finding FRATERNITY MASSACRE AT HELL ISLAND at your local video store, you can purchase a copy from Ariztical here.
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