The story of a small-town policeman who is outed and beaten is really just a brief setup for a softcore exploration of the gay "circuit party" scene in "Circuit."
By DAVID N. BUTTERWORTH
According to the press materials for "Circuit," Dirk ("Man of the Year")
Shafer's new film "follows the journey of a naive and closeted police
officer in a conservative small town who is outed and brutalized by his
fellow cops. Seeking the chance to live as an openly gay man, he ventures
to West Hollywood, CA, and quickly falls into the fast-paced, seductive,
and bacchanalian world of the Gay Party Circuit."
What the press kit fails to mention is that the above happens in the
film's first 30 seconds!
|Directed by: Dirk Sharfer.|
Written by: Gregory Hinton, Dirk Shafer.
Cast: Jonathan Wade Drahos, Andre Khabbazi, William Katt, Kiersten Warren, Daniel Kucan, Nancy Allen, Paul Lekakis, Brian Lane Green, JM J. Bullock, Brian Beacock, Woody Schultz..
Related links: Official site | All of David N. Butterworth's reviews at Rotten Tomatoes
Shafer doesn't spend a whole lot of time setting the scene. The film
opens with our hero, the generically named John, lying face down on the
white tiled floor of a Red Party bathroom. As he pulls himself together,
we flashback to his time in uniform, to his brutal beating by fellow
officers, to his commanding officer's suggestion that a relocation to a
part of the country that "better tolerates his lifestyle" might be a wise
decision for all concerned.
Cut to a scene of John moving into a West Hollywood apartment building,
sans uniform, ready to party.
The rest of the film, an unashamed gay interest soft-porn flick with
lashings of sex, drugs, and dance music, pretty much follows John (played
by John Wade Drahos, sort of a cross between Antonio Banderas and Rupert
Everett if you can buy that) as he hops from one dance-driven weekend
celebration to the next trying, if only for a short time, to escape from
the normal "straight" world. "Surrounded by beautiful men, VIP parties and
decadent night-into-morning dancing, John strives to stay afloat in an
ever-deepening pool of hustlers, money, sex and deception" the press alert
Drahos gives his best in the lead but this is a film that fares better in
the audio/visual department than in the skilled use of dialogue. Shafer
utilizes some interesting camera tricks and angles, not to mention a
plethora of flashily edited images of naked male torsos bumping and
grinding the night away. Other cast members who also impress include Andre
Khabazzi as Hector, the volatile Latin hustler who falls for John, and
Kiersten Warren as John's high school friend Nina (Warren is probably the
best thing about "Circuit" she's smart and funny and doesn't take herself
too seriously). Name performers William Katt and Nancy Allen are also on
hand to give the proceedings a boost but their contributions are slight;
the film has more than enough energy to get by on its own.
Like the driving, pulse-ridden techno beat provided by veteran DJ/mixer
Tony Moran and Centaur Entertainment's Nick DiBlase, "Circuit" is a
single-mindedly monotonous movie-going experience. But as a glimpse of an
alternative lifestyle a fast, frenetic, and flesh-ridden invitation into
the glamorous world of the gay party circuit it offers up something a
little bit unique.
|APRIL 26, 2002|
OFFOFFOFF.COM THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
Reader comments on Circuit:
Circuit from Francisco N Rodriguez, Jul 28, 2002
Circut from vaitalianboi, Jun 8, 2003
Paul from Frerickmoreno, Feb 23, 2013
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