Film Review: ‘Hot Guys With Guns’

An enjoyable comedy-mystery set in the more privileged echelons of Los Angeles gay society.

Marc Anthony Samuel, Brian McArdle, Trey McCurley, Darryl Stephens, Joan Ryan, Jay Huguley, Alan Blumenfeld, Kamar de los Reyes, Shaw Jones, Gregory Zarian.

Despite the pretty cheesy title, Doug Spearman’s “Hot Guys With Guns” is an enjoyable comedy-mystery set in the more privileged echelons of semi-closeted, industry-focused Los Angeles gay society. Starring Marc Anthony Samuel and Brian McArdle as a sort of West Hollywood Nick and Nora Charles, investigating a crime spree by “sex party bandits,” it’s an above-average piece of niche-audience escapism that balances banter, action and beefcake to pleasing effect. Pic should run the full gamut of LGBT fests, with good ancillary prospects and a chance at limited theatrical farther down the road.

Danny (Samuel) is an actor waiting for his big break while working as (what else) a waiter. Patrick, aka Pip (McArdle), doesn’t appear to work on much of anything, save his abs. Though still close, they’re no longer a couple, in part because Pip lives under the roof of his rich but crazy and blatantly racist mother (an over-the-top Joan Ryan). In preparation for a possible starring TV series role as macho African-American detective, Danny is taking a course in private investigation taught by gruff veteran P.I. Jimmy (Alan Blumenfeld).

The skills learned there come in handy when Pip begs his ex to help him solve a series of recent robberies — all of which took place at private, invite-only gay sex parties whose revelers were somehow rendered unconscious for a few hours while their homes and wallets were ransacked. The police haven’t been notified because there are too many “famous faces and names” (not to mention drugs) at the bashes, and such publicity would be a major problem. Beyond simply wanting to stop this spree, Pip hopes to get back an item of significant sentimental value. And while his short-attention-span and insensitivity (as well as his public makeout sessions with his new squeeze, played by Trey McCurley) regularly exasperate Danny, the residual spark still between them motivates the actor to help, however reluctantly.

Chemistry between the leads — as well between them and Blumenfeld as an even more reluctant, crusty heterosexual helpmate — is breezily bickersome in screwball fashion. Though Pip and Danny get into some increasingly dangerous situations, the pic manages to keep their amateur bumbling funny while downplaying the violence. The mystery itself is no great shakes, but “Hot Guys With Guns” is essentially a comedy in the guise of a thriller, finding room along the way for effective moments of drama, romance and insider Hollywood jokes, plus an opening sequence that gays up the usual James Bond sexy-psychedelic-credits cliches.

Thesp Spearman, in his first writing/directing gig, delivers a polished package on a low budget (purportedly $200,000), one that only palls a bit when occasional scenes peter out without much development or purpose. Still, the whole is likable enough that one hopes the helmer has a sequel up his sleeve.

Film Review: 'Hot Guys With Guns'

Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, June 22, 2013. (In Frameline, Outfest.) Running time: 110 MIN.

Production: An Ogden Group Entertainment presentation. Produced by Kelly Jones, Suzan Kaminga Jones, Mervyn Warren. Executive producers, Doug Spearman, Joel Heisey. Co-producers, Ben Patrick Johnson.

Crew: Directed, written by Doug Spearman. Camera (color, HD), Kelly Jones; editors, Christo Tsairas, Scott Draper; music, Mervyn Warren; costume designer, Lisa Norcia; sound, Thomas Orozco, Eugene Thompson, Mike Colton; re-recording mixer, Jon Lyga; supervising sound editor, Rick Larimore.

With: Marc Anthony Samuel, Brian McArdle, Trey McCurley, Darryl Stephens, Joan Ryan, Jay Huguley, Alan Blumenfeld, Kamar de los Reyes, Shaw Jones, Gregory Zarian.

More Film

  • Whoopi Goldberg addresses the crowd while

    Inside World Pride's Opening Ceremony: An LGBTQ Celebration With a Tinge of Politics

    World Pride officially kicked off on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. About 8,000 people packed into the arena for a three-hour show that began with Cyndi Lauper singing her hit “True Colors.” The performance ended with a gaggle of dancing drag queens who pranced alongside Lauper as she turned the train of [...]

  • Amy Adams (left) as Lynne Cheney

    Film News Roundup: Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Sets Awards Show for Jan. 11

    In today’s film news roundup, the 2020 awards season schedule gets finalized; AFM will cover immersive content; “Murderous Trance” and “7 Days to Vegas” get acquired; and Kate Katzman has been added to “The Comeback Trail.” AWARDS DATE The Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild has set Jan. 11 as the date for its seventh [...]

  • Disney Pandora World Of Avatar, Lake

    The Piano Guys Play 'Avatar' Theme in Disney World (Watch)

    The YouTube sensation The Piano Guys have taken a trip to the world of Pandora for a performance of the theme to “Avatar.” Shot in the bioluminescent floating forest in Disney World, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and pianist Jon Schmidt put their spin on the score to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster. The video immerses the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Billy Drago, 'Untouchables' Star, Dies at 73

    Billy Drago, who often played harming but chilling gangster roles and appeared in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” and Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider,” died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 73. The character actor played Al Capone’s henchman Frank Nitti in 1987’s “The Untouchables.” On TV series “Charmed,” he put [...]

  • Grant Sputore

    'I Am Mother' Director Tackles Margot Robbie-Produced Thriller 'Augmented'

    Warner Bros. has hired “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore to helm the science-fiction thriller “Augmented” which Margot Robbie is producing, Variety has learned exclusively. Michael Lloyd Green is rewriting an original script by Mark Townend. Denise Di Novi and Tom Ackerley are also producing. Production companies are Robbie’s LuckyChap and Di Novi’s eponymous Di [...]

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus Teases 'Charlie's Angels' Collaboration with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey

    Three of the biggest female pop stars have joined forces in a new song for the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of “Charlie’s Angels.” In a tweet posted Wednesday, Miley Cyrus hinted at a collaboration between herself, Lana Del Rey, and Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film. Alongside a 14-second teaser, originally posted by Sony Pictures, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content