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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

'Kiss Me, Kill Me' Theatrical/VOD/DVD Casper Andreas' Pink Noir

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unreal TV has recently interviewed "Kiss" director Casper Andreas.]

Embrem Entertainment concotes a great cocktail for big boys in the form of the new pink noir (complete with a triangle) film "Kiss Me, Kill Me." The December 7, 2016 VOD and DVDs releases are on the high heels of an absolutely fabulous Los Angeles red-carpet premiere the previous night.

The well-deserved festival love for this latest project by Casper Andreas (sorry boys, he's taken) of "Going Down in LA-LA Land" and "The Big Gay Musical" fame includes largely sweeping the awards at the 2016 FilmOut Festival in San Diego.

The related best elements about "Kiss" are that the star-studded primary cast is an ensemble of 30- and 40-something men who are no longer doe-eyed or have freshly-scrubbed skin that likely glows in the dark. These lad further to their  own selves are true without being screaming queens. In other words, this is not your twink house boy's gay thriller.

The dynamic duo of Andreas and writer David Michael Barrett further make the day of lovers of quality queer television in casting former "Queer as Folk" stud/awesomely open real-life straight dude Gale Harold as reality show producer Stephen, It is even more awesome that Barrett writes Stephen in a manner that allows "Queer" fans to realistically image the life of Harold's Brian Kinney in the decade since the series finale of that program.

The aforementioned gay drama. a fourth-wall breaching reference to which Barrett cleverly integrates into the script, begins at the spectacular birthday party for Stephen at the lavish home that he shares with live-in boyfriend Dusty. The bad news is that Harold "Queer" love interest Randy Harrison does not play Dusty; the good news is that equally adorable "As the World Turns" veteran Van Hansis plays his part very well and rocks every love (and lust) scene.

Every party guest is mostly happy until the appearance of awesomely named Stephen ex Craigery, whom veteran of  "LA-LA Land" Matthew Ludwinski plays with terrific evil glee. This tall, thin, hairless, leather-wearing bleach-blonde Billy Idol clone aptly is a gogo boy who dances with himself. He further proves the television and film truism that the villain is often the most interesting character.

The escalating drama associated with the presence of Craigery leads to Dusty causing a scene and storming out with Stephen in hot pursuit. The ensuing confrontation ends with Stephen dead and Dusty unable to remember the exact circumstances of that killing,

The circumstantial evidence that Dusty is guilty sets the stage for bringing in a "Law and Order" style team of police detectives who serve as a Greek chorus throughout "Kiss." One investigator is a black lesbian who clearly channels Wanda Sykes, and the other is a straight "RENT" (as in the Broadway production of the musical) boy.

The other assorted characters from the world of Dusty and Stephen are English psychiatrist/friend/hypnotist Jeffrey Kinlan, former (?) drug dealer/friend Travis, attorney/fag hag Amanda, and a drag-queen hating lesbian couple.

Andreas and Barrett maintain a good pace throughout the film and include several memorable lines, such as a great joke about convenience stores. They further keep multiple intersecting story lines going well and expertly choreograph a few complicated scenes.

The ending stays true to the spirit of "Kiss" by having good camp without going ENTIRELY over-the-top. There is plenty of mayhem and drama, but no screeching. A fourth-wall breaching line this time adds wonderful context to this.

The copious special-features include commentary by Andreas and Barrett that your not-so-humble reviewer regrets passing on. There also is a "behind-the-scenes" documentary, a second documentary from the FilmOut opening, and a music video.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Kiss" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.