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Home arrow Reviews arrow Reviews By Duane arrow Reviews By Duane arrow Judas Kiss
Judas Kiss PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Duane Simolke   
Sep 05, 2011 at 08:31 PM

Judas Kiss brings special effects and some twists on the familiar redemption tale to gay cinema. Though both work well, the strong ensemble cast in particular makes this new J. T. Tepnapa film memorable.

Besides his novels, screenplays, and constant appearances in gay films, Charlie David has worked as a host on several TV networks. His easily recognizable face and voice become slightly haggard and troubled in his role as Zach, especially after Zach’s friend Topher convinces him to serve as a judge at a film festival.

Unfortunately, Zach previously derailed many of his ambitions by cheating with his entry years ago, at the same festival. So returning brings back countless bad memories. Those memories become worse after an anonymous one-night stand. The young man from that night appears before the judges, using Zach’s real name, Danny Reyes, and presenting Zach’s film, Judas Kiss.

By this time, the audience can already see that Zach has entered some sort of alternate time line or parallel dimension, in which he can interact with his younger self, to put it mildly. The film’s descriptions and trailer give away these same details, and much more—too much, really.

Richard Harmon gives a brooding and sometimes creepy performance as Danny, the young film student with a dark past and a desperate need for people to see his film. Harmon’s previous movie and TV roles include Smallville, The Killing, Caprica, Tower Prep, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians.

The cast also includes Brent Corrigan (In The Closet, Milk, Chillerama, The Big Gay Musical); Genevieve Buechner (Caprica, The 4400, Finding A Family, The Killing); Timo Descamps (a Belgium actor/pop star who also sings on the soundtrack); and several other talented actors. They all give strong performances, certainly much better than some of the wooden acting in otherwise likeable gay films.

In fact, the productions values in general easily rival mainstream work. While the plot might rely on familiar conventions, it also takes some risks, and allows the actors to make its “What If?” questions appealing. As a fan of both gay film and science fiction/fantasy, I had long looked forward to finally seeing this completed project, after reading about early plans for it at the doorQ gay scifi/fantasy/horror site. Besides enjoying the end result, I want to see more from the makers of Judas Kiss.

Director J. T. Tepnapa plays a gay officer in the long-running web series Star Trek: Hidden Frontier. He has received numerous awards as a writer, director, and actor. He co-wrote Judas Kiss with his frequent collaborator, Carlos Pedraza, whose film credits include several web-based projects. Jody Wheeler, known as a writer/director and for launching doorQ, co-produced.

judas-kiss

Duane Simolke is currently writing a sequel to his gay-themed novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.


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