DEKKOO DISPATCH 040 – ‘A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE’

Title – ‘A Closer Walk With Thee

Director – John C. Clark, Brie Williams

Starring – Aj Knight, Gregory Shelby, Kelsey Boze, Megan Hensley

Release Date – 2017

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Lordy, lordy look what just turned 40! The Dekkoo Dispatch! We’re officially into daddy territory now and couldn’t be happier… We’re still butt deep in Halloween season so it’s time for another blood-curdling gay horror film to spice up your week courtesy of your friends at Dekkoo 😉

Last week we took you to Spain and into the minds of queer killers with ‘In A Glass Cage‘. This week we’re heading to Los Angeles where four Evangelical missionaries live together and work to convert the agnostic (that means they’re heathens sweetie) neighborhood they’ve set up shop in. Dubbed as a ‘Homoerotic Evangelical Exorcism Film’ – ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ is a devious piece of low-budget horror filmmaking with some great acting and some very lusty set pieces.

Aj Knight stars as Jordan, a simple missionary trying to do God’s work, but unfortunately gets distracted by Eli, the handsome pastor leading the mission. When Jordan is caught masturbating to Eli’s naked self in the shower the group gradually starts exploring the theory that his homosexual urges could be the work of a demon possessing his body and soul. The movie is full of awesome sexual awkwardness between the two and once it gets to the exorcism scenes you’ll definitely be enjoying yourself.

The directors (a gay and a lesbian! super awesome!) explain why they made the film: “We began ‘A Closer Walk With Thee with a basic idea: a religious horror film depicting ‘gay-conversion’ exorcisms, a fringe practice within the Evangelical community that has been growing steadily in recent years. We wanted to take the already emotionally charged experience of coming out of the closet and place it in an even more heightened environment  — amidst a group of fundamentalist young people living together in a house church performing exorcisms on their fledgling congregation.

As the story began to take shape, it became the story of one character, Jordan, experiencing a struggle that so many people face: being in a deadlocked battle between desire and religious conviction. The journey of the film is his journey — at first quietly uncomfortable, increasingly disorienting, guilt drenched, and ultimately madness-inducing. What started off as an idea to make a fun, weird religious horror had developed into a more complex drama/genre film, and it was one that we were excited to explore.”

Whenever I can invite a guest analyst to take a more academic approach to a film on Dekkoo I make sure to and this week I managed to snag one of the biggest contributors (both in filmmaking and with wild appreciation) to the world of Queer Horror, Michael Varrati who has this take on the film: “Amid lingering shots of male physicality and heightened sequences of youthful lust, ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ expertly threads an ever encroaching sense of unease throughout its narrative. By showcasing the schism caused when rigid ideology and primal desire clash under the same roof, the film exponentially magnifies that sense of unease felt by queer individuals forced into situations wherein they are not able to be their true and authentic selves.

More so, the film never goes out of its way to directly condemn the actions of the missionaries, and a gruesome, supernatural third act lends itself to a morally gray read of the movie overall. Perhaps though, this is A Closer Walk With Thee’s greatest strength as a horror film. Rather than visit the terror onto one individual, none are entirely absolved from the evil inhabiting their world. Shocking, thoughtful, and subversively sexy, ‘A Closer Walk With Thee‘ is the kind of movie that makes you want to free yourself from sin…if only so you may sin again.”

 

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Watch it with: Friends that love sexy men and scary movies

Mix it with: Sacramental wine blessed by your local sexy priest

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DEKKOO DISPATCH 017 – ‘SPRING’ AND ‘IN THE NAME OF’

Title – ‘Spring

Director – Hong Khaou

Starring – Jonathan Keane, Chris O’Donnell

Release Date – January 22, 2011

Title – ‘In The Name Of

Director – Malgoska Szumowska

Starring – Andrzej Chyra, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Maja Ostaszewska, Lukasz Simlat

Release Date – September 20, 2013

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Hey Dekkoo-ers! Hope your week is going swell. I’ve got two great flicks to talk about today, both with an inter-generational theme.

‘Will it hurt?’ asks the youth nervously to the camera. ‘Yeah it can’ replies the older and much more confident man sitting across the table at the cafe. Thus begins the movie ‘Spring‘, a short film about sadomasochism and Sub/Dom role-play. It’s a fantastically shot short film by Hong Khaou, the director of ‘Lilting’ and an intriguing investigation into a young man’s mind as he explore fetishes he’s only dreamt of. Definitely a short film you won’t want to miss!

A funny side-note about this film is that most of it was shot in a room that caused a bit of a scandal way back because ‘The King’s Speech’ was shot in it along with a gay porn film!

Alright after you’ve taken a bit of a break :ahem: post-‘Spring‘ it’s time to sit down with ‘In The Name Of‘. It’s a beautiful, poetic film centering on a country priest in Poland dealing with his repressed sexuality. The film deals with heavy issues, but spreads it out to great effect with sensitivity and beauty.

After having just been transferred from another parish, Adam sets up shop in the sleepy little town by opening up a halfway house for wayward youth. The rules are simple: work hard and don’t get into trouble. Adam is able to start a family in a way with these young men and seems to be really happy early on in the film. But just when everything seems to be going well a new boy joins the ranks who senses Adam’s growing relationship with Lukasz (whose looks draw an obvious correlation with Jesus Christ) and decides to shake things up amongst the guys.

The film really comes together in the final act so I definitely recommend staying with it through the admittedly slow first half. If you need motivation there’s plentyyyy of half-naked guys throughout the film. Right when the song ‘The Funeral’ by Band of Horses started playing over a religious procession through the country-side was when the movie really coalesced for me and became magical from that point on.

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Watch ’em with: Your local gay-friendly (or just plain gay) priest

Mix ’em with: Wine blessed by said priest

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‘Godless’ tackles the taboo topic of sibling passion

The film ‘Godless‘ was added to the Dekkoo library this week. It’s a film that deals with a taboo topic using intelligence and sensitivity. It screened at numerous film festivals around the country and comes from director Joshua Lim who also directed ‘The Seminarian‘.

After the death of their father, Nate (Craig Jordan) moves in with his mother, but his elder brother, Steven (Michael E. Pitts) continues his studies out of state. The brothers use this distance to end the incestuous physical affair they’ve shared since puberty. However, when their mother dies in a car accident, Steven returns for her funeral. During this time of mourning, the two brothers’ unrelenting love for each other threatens the secret they had buried.

Nathaniel Grey for Frontiers Media said, ‘What carries this film is that through the chemistry and performances of Jordan and Pitts, you want to know more about them. You wonder how have they retained their sanity and composure over the years while holding strong to their forbidden but shared love.’

He goes on to say, ‘…the film provides a great opportunity to experience a rarely offered and controversial topic.’

Godless’ is now playing on Dekkoo!