Reel Affirmations 2005
Review by Randy Shulman
Rating: (1 out of 5)
Wednesday, 10/19/2005, 6:00 PM
Feature presentation, $0 at Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC
IN THE REALM of movies that surely don’t mean to but somehow wind up offending your artistic and aesthetic sensibilities, as well as your moral core, resides Last Ride, a musical-fantasy dramatization of the Matthew Shepard killing.
It’s likely directors Michael McAllister and Jonathan Harris were striving to make something original, that looked at a horrific event and made a profound point about the senselessness of it all. But their incompetence with a) filmmaking, b) actors, and c) songwriting, as well as their general lack of anything resembling good taste, converge to create a motion picture experience that is nothing short of appalling.
We know we’re in trouble from the start, when blond, fey Matt (charm-free Anthony J. Durand) steps into a spotlight and declares, ”I probably have a more active fantasy life than most people.” That fantasy life includes Doc (Rob Jerome Jones), a black chauffeur who serves as Matt’s Jiminy Cricket and who abandons him in his time of need — after he’s been beaten and chained to a fence by a couple of straight guys whom he met in a bar and made goo-goo eyes at. The straight guys have alter-egos, powered by an evil-looking lizard-eyed device, and sing a repetitive little ditty that goes ”We are the fag patrol. We are the fag patrol. Patrolling for fags. Patrolling for fags.”
Perhaps the most telling thing about Last Ride is buried in the end credits, which ”thank” about three dozen brands of beer and alcohol by name, leading one to assume that the only explanation for this film is that it was made under the influence.