The Lair: Season One
Dir: Fred Olen Ray
Cert: 18 • US: 152 min • TLA Releasing • DVD (2 Disc)
I once heard that all porn stars are basically frustrated actors who, out of necessity, have been making their ends meet, in order to make ends meet, so-to-speak. I don’t know if there is any validity in this well-versed piece of Hollywood myth, but what I do know is that if there is even an iota of truth in the notion that all porn stars are waiting for that real acting gig, then their time is nigh.
In recent years there has been a flurry of gay themed horror outings for the big (and small) screen, with films such as HellBent taking some of the limelight. HellBent is reportedly taking the credit for being the first Gay ‘slasher’, but that is only if you overlook William Friedkind’s dark chiller Cruising, starring Al Pacino, and the prolific auteur of the horrific, David DeCoteau.
David DeCoteau has directed, to date, 73 times in his 47 years, bringing forth into the world such classics as Leeches!, Ring of Darkness (really!) and The Brotherhood, a tale of college fraternity vampires who have been returning to various US Universities repeatedly over hundreds of years to suck the young jocks dry (you have to wonder how many degrees a vampire really needs). It’s camp, it’s cheap, it’s horror with a large slice of homoerotic pie.
Which brings me to this months offering from TLA, the box set of The Lair, Season One. The Lair takes its lead from DeCoteau’s budget horrors and serves up a cocktail of blood, nudity and gay (albeit undead) sex. As one might expect, this curious combination of elements come together to create unintentionally hilarious, and compulsive viewing. It’s a ‘Class A’ Guilty Pleasure which is incredibly addictive and has scene after scene of ‘wtf?’ moments such as the Sheriff’s reaction to the discovery of yet another dead body in the ongoing murder case. His deadpan assessment of the situation is, “We got a young John Doe. Naked… Dead… Makes a good looking corpse”.
The story begins with Thom (David Moretti), locked up in a cell, dictating into a tape recorder the events that have led to this moment: his imprisonment and impending death. As the story continues in retrospect, we learn that there seems to be a serial killer at large on the ‘island’, and that the murders have the police and coroner equally baffled. Enter Thom, reporter for the Island Gleaner, the local small town paper, who is given a tip off by a nervous informant who says he has information regarding the ‘John Doe’ murders. Frankie tells Thom that The Lair, a dubiously dubbed Gentlemen’s Club, is at the heart of the murders.
Thom is followed to his meeting with informant Frankie by his jealous boyfriend, the big lipped, doe-eyed Jonathan (Jesse Cutlip). Jonathan, in a moment of wholly unfounded suspicion, steals the evidence Frankie gave to Thom and heads off to The Lair where he finds a lot more than what he was looking for!
When Jonathan turns up in a catatonic coma, Thom and colleague Laura go in search of the truth.
The Lair, Season One, is a very short six episodes long, and despite being a genetic modification of twenty other well-known tales (including a ruthless pillaging of The Picture of Dorian Gray) it is consistently entertaining. That said there are some scenes that are not for the faint hearted… no – I am not referring to the blood, violence and the gore. That, I think most people can stomach. I am of course referring to the sporadic and spurious scenes of simulated sex & gratuitous nudity which is far more gruesome than anything Stephen King, could conjure with his pen. But still we watch…
If Sunset Beach was over-run with sex-crazed ineffectual vampires with a penchant for same sex proclivities, you would have The Lair. What’s not to like? Of course if you like your entertainment a little more high-brow, this isn’t for you, but we can at least thank the makers for giving porn actors real jobs and a chance to live the dream!
What about that necklace huh! You going to tell me that’s not the same one in the book?
It doesn’t prove that there are gay vampire witches operating a sex club on the island!