Into The Lion's Den Movie Review
Written by Sharon Davies
DVD released by Breaking Glass Pictures
Written by Philip Malaczewski
Directed by Dan Lantz
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 84 Minutes, Not Rated
DVD Released 8th October 2012
Ronnie Kroell as Michael
Jesse Archer as Johnny
Kristen-Alexzander Griffith as Ted
Michael Mcfadden as Frank
Jodie Shultz as Betty
Most people will have heard the Biblical tale of Daniel in the Lion’s Den: Daniel being thrown to the lions as punishment, but emerging unscathed the next morning due to his faith. Unfortunately in this movie The Lion’s Den is a hillbilly bar where the owners will not allow our three travellers to leave so unscathed.
In a nutshell three 30-something gay best friends are on a road trip to New York, . Meet Johnny – the outspoken, highly sexed leader of the three who with the help of a Bendr’ phone app will be hooking up with any hot looking guy he can (pause for an eye popping fellatio scene within the first few minutes) and generally being the fun addition to the team. His co-pilot is Mikey, the good looking, slightly reserved one of the three who has just broken up with a boyfriend and just found out he is HIV positive. With all this in mind he generally just wants to get to their destination and not be dragged into any deviations along the way. Lastly there's Ted, newly ‘come out’ who, along with his rich father’s generous hand-out, is looking to have fun along the ride and see what his new life has to offer.
Needless to say they stop off at the aforementioned Lion’s Den Bar and as much as the redneck drinkers aren’t pleased with the trio’s entrance they will soon find that the owners are more than a bit pleased with Johnny’s arrival. I won’t say any more than this, the storyline isn’t breaking any new ground, but rather than it being a group of idiotic teens slipping into the hands of evil do-ers it was rather refreshing to see how three grown men handle this situation.
This film is is more of a thriller with some ‘torture-porn’ parts thrown in for good measure, personally I cant bear this genre – I guess it does what it’s meant to and made makes me damn uncomfortable, but personally I miss good old slasher and gore. Any element of rape or torture for me is just OTT, although I did laugh my backside off when I saw how Mikey gets his revenge. Not to say that this doesn’t have the odd blood-filled moment but nothing to write home about.
The only complaint I have to make is that this is a film made by the LGBT community with some of the actors being well known in this industry and with this in mind I felt somewhat uncomfortable with the rednecks’ treatment of them. I know it sounds strange, but I just felt the constant use of the word “faggot” and other homophobic slurs a little bit much. The trio’s sexuality is almost irrelevant and they are just three guys after a good time, so all that hate seemed somewhat cringy and so typically redneck clichéd. As for the male nudity, there are quite a few cute guys in naked or semi-naked money shots. I’m SO not going to complain about that.
The film itself is good in a thriller sense, the acting is mediocre in some parts (and the male owner of the bar is cringeworthy in most of his) but the three main characters are played genuinely and well, and I would imagine the three actors probably had fun making the road trip. With it only being 84 mins long it could have done with maybe an extra 20 mins just to get some real cat and mouse tension between the bad and good guys and the ending is somewhat cheesy.
As far as a horror... I wouldn’t go that far. In fact I’d throw this into the horror lion’s den, but I bet it would get eaten alive
Video, Audio and Special Features
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.