“Pornography” resorts to the oft-used suspense hook of digging into the backstory behind snuff movies. Trouble is, the source is never really found, and initial intrigue dissipates as the pretentious narrative maze leads nowhere. Catchy title (generally billed offscreen as “Pornography: A Thriller”), the casting of some actual gay porn performers and fulfilled expectations of bared bodies aplenty signal decent niche prospects for David Kittredge’s writing-directing debut.
The script switches between two protags (one presumed dead) at irregular intervals. First up is Mark Anton (Jared Grey), a resentful ex-porn star who makes the mistake of accepting one last, mysterious escort gig. Fourteen years later, guppies Michael (Matthew Montgomery) and William (Walter Delmar) move into a Brooklyn apartment rife with hidden clues about a secret society dealing in videotaped torture killings of comely men. Finally, mid-career L.A. porn celebrity Matt (Pete Scherer) conceives “The Mark Anton Story” as his next film; violent hallucinations ensue. Aiming for David Lynchian nightmarishness, the pic has atmosphere but becomes a tiresome tease with too little humor and character interest, let alone story payoff. Lensing and music are highlights of the proficient low-budget assembly.