Review: ‘Opencam’

Heavier on sex appeal than suspense, Robert Gaston's pic is ostensibly a serial-killer drama but spends most of its time getting its comely cast undressed. Set among Washington, D.C.'s young-gay-hottie set, pic conveys little sense of place, a missed opportunity given the capital's distinctive mix of "out" gay culture and government-related closeting.

Heavier on sex appeal than suspense, Robert Gaston’s “OpenCam” is ostensibly a serial-killer drama but spends most of its time getting its comely cast undressed as often as possible. Set among Washington, D.C.’s young-gay-hottie set, pic conveys little sense of place, a missed opportunity given the capital’s distinctive mix of “out” gay culture and government-related closeting. Additionally, low-budgeter doesn’t offer much character development, cinematic style or clever plotting. What it’s got is enough blatant sexiness to score niche DVD sales.

Gym-toned pretty boy Manny (Andreau Thomas) is an aspiring artist and occasional rent boy. Post-breakup, he gets commitment free jollies from an adult Web site geared toward live, simultaneous self-pleasuring among users with webcams on their laptops. Unfortunately, some obsessed party starts killing off anyone who has sexual interaction — virtual or otherwise — with Manny. Enter divorced police detective Hamilton (Amir Darvish, over-intense but still the most pro thesp here), who investigates while putting aggressive moves on the protag. Revelation of killer’s I.D. and violent climax are lame, while epilogue simply abandons central sexual/romantic tension for a subsidiary one. Tech, design, perf and pacing are indifferently handled.

Opencam

Production

A Lil Coal's Big Pictures production. Produced by Robert Gaston, Farrel Lever. Co-producer, Jerry Walterick. Directed, written, edited by Robert Gaston.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Doug Gritzmacher; music, Jerry Walterick, Houston Bernard, Warren Cuccurullo, George Draguns; production designer, Gaston. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 17, 2006. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Andreau Thomas, Amir Darvish, Ben Green, J. Matthew Miller, Christian Jones, Reiner Prochaska, John Geoffrion, Ryan Thrasher, Vincent Bradberry.
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