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Skin Gang
courtesy All Worlds Video

 Gay Video Review Gay Video Reviews Archive  
April 2000 Email this to a friend
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Skin Gang
By Giacomo Tramontagna

Skin Gang
Rating: 4 Stars
All Worlds Video. Produced by Cazzo Films. Written and directed by Bruce LaBruce. Photographed by James Carman. Edited by Manfred Mancini and Joerg Andreas. Music by Starring Steve Master, Eden Miller, Tom International, Ralph Steel, Tim Vincent, Jens Hammer, Bastian, Darren James, and Nikki Richardson.
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Bruce LaBruce's subversive fourth feature has been appearing on the festival circuit since September 1999 in a 68-minute softcore version called Skin Flick. Now All Worlds Video has released a 100-minute hard-core edit under the title Skin Gang. (The project's original title was Gang of Foreskins.)

We're introduced to five German and British skinheads who prowl around London bashing queers, harassing foreign grocers, stealing and vandalizing. Dimwitted, angel-faced Manfred (Tim Vincent), who trips over his white supremacist bootlaces, is first seen masturbating onto a copy of Mein Kampf. Lovers Dirk and Dieter (Steve Master and Eden Miller) turn themselves on by beating up gay men. Wolfgang (Ralph Steel) shocks the bourgeoisie by hocking gobs of phlegm straight up in the air and catching them in his mouth. There's also horny, bisexual Reinhold (Tom International), who lives with his girlfriend Cameltoe (Nikki Richardson), a hot-wired North American blonde.

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Wolfgang follows guppie Jens Hammer into a public loo, has fiery sex with him, then follows him almost to the door of the building where Hammer and his black boyfriend (Bastian), a solidly middle-class couple, live surrounded by upscale tchotchkes. Taking note of Hammer's address, Wolfgang joins the others at Reinhold's place, where he initiates a three-way with Manfred and Reinhold while Dieter and Dirk, in a nearby bedroom, fuck on a big Union Jack. Then they all pay Hammer and Bastian a visit. This home invasion escalates into racial viciousness, sexual torture, anal rape, and, finally, a stabbing.

James Carman's crystal-clear videography, whose colors tend toward warm pastels, is intercut with harsh, blown-up Super 8 passages in black and white. The deftly edited explicit sex was almost entirely shot on videotape. This is the most technically assured work to date from LaBruce, the Orson Welles of homocore, who has been happily offending people for years. In Skin Gang, he pushes some dangerous buttons.

LaBruce himself gets gay-bashed in an early scene, perhaps as an offering to audience members who, mistaking Skin Gang for an exercise in fascist chic, might like to put on Doc Martens and kick him. Skin Gang will enrage some viewers, enrapture others, baffle some, make most sane people laugh, disturb everyone, and give nearly every gay man in its path an aching hard-on.

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