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ALPHATRIBE AT THE MOVIES – INTERIOR, LEATHER BAR

A real live Hollywood superhero and 5 minutes unedited cocksucking. 
This is the famous 2013 movie shot by James Franco and his team which seemed largely to exist simply to satiate the Hollywood stars ongoing fascination with everything gay and in particular the harder more fetish side of ass sex or has he often says ‘What is normal and normative’. The premise of the hour-long movie that was a Sundance Festival sensation is that it supposedly features the hard leather sex stuff what supposedly went on during the 40 minutes that was removed and destroyed to avoid a triple X rating from the original Al Pacino gay fetish epic ‘Cruising’ thriller about guess what – Leather bar and dark room cruising’ that we have already reviewed in a previous Alphatribe magazine.

© Peccadillo Pictures

To briefly summarise just as we were leaving the freewheeling 80’s as Village People hit number one at the height of the disco boom and AIDS was not yet known about. Hollywood was ready to produce its first gay fetish film. Massively successful director William Friedkin who had had a very successful couple of years producing hits like The Exorcist and The French Connection decided to turn his attention to the burgeoning leather scene in New York’s Village. The film was basically a standard serial killer thriller with superstar Al Pacino cast as a cop who goes undercover in the Leather BDSM scene to catch the murderer involving loads of club and dark alley musclemen cruising and where he slowly gets drawn in by the hot gear, bum fun in slings and the heady smell of poppers, piss and Crisco that the rest of us know about all so well. What Pacino did not know well which we all do is ‘One you have eaten man ass you ain’t ever going back to pussy’. The movie garnered an obvious X certificate meaning for over 18’s only due to violence, bad language and of course leather sex scenes. The latter assplay would be seen as pretty vanilla to the average AT reader but to get that certificate and garner the 18 certificate 40 minutes had to be cut from the original Al Pacino film to avoid an XXX Certificate which would in those days class it as a porno for only sex cinemas and regardless of its star studded cast then its earning potential would be hugely reduced. The 40 minutes according to urban fact or fiction was apparently destroyed.

Move on 33 years and James Franco enters the fray who as we have mentioned before is absolutely fascinated by the gay world and in particular the darker fetish side of things, You will know him from the likes of The Spiderman movies and 127 hours but also the Oscar winning story of gay politician Harvey Milk in ‘Milk’, a gay activist in ‘I Am Michael’ and the story of gay porn megastar Brent Corrigan in The King Cobra (Which we are featuring in a forthcoming AT at the Movies) etc, you get the pattern here of where Franco’s interest lies. Therefore, he decides to move his attention to the leather scene and in particular that 40 minutes that was removed from the original famous ‘Cruising’ movie back in 1980 which is the premise and starting point of Interior, Leather Bar. 

© Peccadillo Pictures

In this movie which is part a talking head documentary interspersed with live action acted scenes from a leather bar but before anyone gets excited James Franco does not have gay leather sex in this movie so put down your cocks now but many other guys do. It is generally thought that many took part in the movie hoping to have sex with Franco or watch him having sex and that certainly also applies to Millions of the film’s viewers too. Continually through the movie in the background are real leather men having full penetrative fucking sex, fisting, pissing, tit play CBT, BDSM etc all in the gear we love. It is the most explicit meeting of Hollywood and our gay fetish world from the depths of The Boots, Ramrod, New Action or Touche you will ever witness. To provide context the movie takes those ’40 missing minutes’ as just a springboard to investigate the appeal of leather fetish and extreme gay sex and sexuality. Furthermore, it works; as Manohla Dargis of the New York Times states ‘ It is one of the sharpest and best surprises at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival’. Internationally renowned director Gus Van Sant loved it and described it as ‘Awesome, complicated, strange and Avant-Garde’. The New York times quote was proudly used later when the film was released on DVD for home consumption where it has had its biggest viewership. It also won Best Documentary Film or was nominated at Award shows in America, Brazil, Italy, Germany and Portugal amongst many other territories.

Nowadays the film is most easily sourced on Amazon Prime Video and it has been on Netflix hopefully returning soon, but what actually happens?. Well the movie splits into two areas one of which is largely about the Moviemaking process and many of the interviews including those with Franco and his partner in this project Travis Matthews who was also the writer, which is all very interesting in itself especially as it leans on our cultural freedoms and background areas to the gay/straight psyche and balance between the Two. Then of course there is the staged scenes which we think were largely on a soundstage as opposed to a real LA leather bar etc. Here the actors and the extras are as fit as fuck, they all look great in leather and there is so many close ups from arm bands to chap to asses you will have a field day. As you can imagine the actors who take up rolls of sub, master and other well-known Leather stereotypes stay within the bounds of standard Hollywood gay sex that would have been allowed in the original ‘Cruising’ movie without affecting its X Certificate. 

© Peccadillo Pictures

Yet it is the background leathermen who we understand many were recruited from the Californian Leather scene often in their own gear who were told to just do what they normally would in a leather bar darkroom…..a very dangerous thing for a Director to ask. These background extras hold nothing back and really get into it as if it was the last 5 minutes before closing time down the local Eagle. The forefront is as staged as any movie that ventures into a gay club although pushed right to that X Certificate limit but behind them is a pure leather stag/porn film in action from your favourite XXX gay studio like say Colt or Titan from back in the day. There is so much smoke and every guy is coated in real or induced fake sweat and body lotion and it looks great, although nothing we have not seen in a thousand circuit parties from Amsterdam to San Francisco. They get away with it because of the documentary format and all the cerebral talk that goes on by the talking heads and overlaying commentary but the grunts and groans are fucking real as we have been in many such venues and watched several years’ worth of gay porn and we know the difference between fake and genuine gay sex noises. 

Val Lauren playing the character Steve who is in fact the original straight cop played by Al Pacino in the earlier movie is repeatedly forced to negotiate his boundaries during scenes on and “off camera, as the extreme sex carries on all around him. He basically has the same dilemma that the Pacino character had about whether he is straight, Bi, maybe int man ass or even the biggest shirt lifter this side of Ricky Martin’s personal trainer. He is particularly tested by a character called Master Avery also from the ‘Cruising’ film played by the fucking gorgeous Christian Patrick. The film itself is constructed as a play with boundaries remaining entirely queer in subject and form.  To quote Val from the most famous line in the movie ‘Dicks are out. Balls are out. People are paddling each other in the ass. There are bruises. There are fucking welts. Sucking. Fucking. Armpits. Balls. Assholes. Everything is out, dude’. Meanwhile showing the outsider docu approach he takes Franco says ‘I don’t like the fact that I feel I’ve been brought up to think a certain way. I don’t like thinking that. I don’t like realizing that my mind has been twisted by the way that the world has been set up around me. And what that is is straight, normative kind of behaviour. And it’s fucking been installed into my brain’ all very CNN or BBC but the Two quotes ideally trail what you get from this Movie. There are problems though the biggest of which maybe that Franco claims that he is bothered that gay love isn’t shown as fully as straight love, but then he immediately shows 5 minutes of a man sucking another guy off, possibly exploitation in its worst form.

A very interesting film for anyone who has ever stepped into a leather bar or dark room and well worth checking out but be aware that this is not porn but something at a much higher and therefore more interesting level for those evening when you fancy raising your mind out of your pants for an hour or two. Perfect for fetish weeks and circuit parties to arrange an in gear viewing off too….let’s face it we have all seen the Tom of Finland and IML movie now so maybe try something different.

Master

Written by Paul Stag

Paul is an international porn star and a long time editor for Alphatribe magazine.

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