Hot Guys With Guns: Film Review
Marc Anthony Samuel
Two former lovers team up to solve a series of robberies targeting gay sex parties in Doug Spearman's comic noir thriller.
Considering its title, it’s not hard to figure out the target audience for Hot Guys With Guns. But while it’s unlikely to break through to a non-niche audience, writer/director Doug Spearman’s gay-themed, comic noir mystery set in modern day Los Angeles offers some breezily amusing moments. Receiving a limited theatrical release, it should prove a popular item on home video formats.
Beginning with a credit sequence that nicely spoofs the James Bond movies, complete with melodramatic theme song, the film proceeds to introduce us to its central protagonists: Danny (Marc Anthony Samuel), a struggling black actor/waiter, and his ex-partner Patrick, also known as Pip (Brian McArdle), who lives a comfortable upper-class existence with his dotty, overly controlling mother (Joan Ryan) whose racist tendencies are barely disguised.
When Pip becomes the latest victim of a series of robberies targeting gay sex parties—the victims refuse to contact the police in fear of being outed—he enlists Danny, who’s taking a course on private investigation in preparation for an audition for a television series dubbed Intense Crime and Punishment, to help him solve the crimes. The bickering pair—Danny is ticked off over the fact that Pip has a hot new boyfriend (Trey McCurley) with whom he engages in very public displays of affection—are soon engaged in a ragged investigation with the mentoring advice of Danny’s gruff, macho instructor (a very amusing Alan Blumenfeld).
The details of the sketchily rendered mystery are less integral to the proceedings than the satirical portrait of the Los Angeles gay social scene in which the observation “You’ve gained weight” represents the ultimate insult. Amusing lines abound in Spearman’s screenplay, such as when one of the would-be crime stoppers tells the other, “You looked pretty sexy with that big thick gun…just like Shaft.” During an altercation, one of the combatants stops to ask, “Are you getting a woody?” And when Pip at one point is forced to get on the ground, he petulantly complains, “These jeans cost $300 and this floor is filthy!”
Some of the humor is overly broad, especially involving the mother who thinks nothing of crawling into bed with her naked son and his lover. And the slack pacing—the film is at least twenty minutes too long—doesn’t help. But the two leads deliver such enjoyably engaging performances that it’s not hard to imagine that their characters could return for more cinematic adventures featuring similarly titillating titles and frequent displays of beefcake.
Opens April 4 (Wolfe Releasing)
Cast: Marc Anthony Samuel, Brian McArdle, Trey McCurley, Darryl Stephens, Joan Ryan, Jay Huguley, Alen Blumenfeld
Director/screenwriter: Doug Spearman
Producers: Kelly Jones, Suzan Kaminga Jones, Mervy Warren
Executive producers: Doug Spearman, Joel Heisey
Director of photography: Kelly Jones
Editors: Christo Tsairas, Scott Draper
Costume designer: Lisa Norcia
Composer: Mervyn Warren
Not rated, 105 min.