The Fluffer

"Good"

The Fluffer Review


Sean McGinnis (Michael Cunio) gets more than he bargained for when he rents Citizen Cum instead of Orson Welles' classic. Infatuated with gay porn star Johnny Rebel (Scott Gurney), McGinnis goes looking for love at Men of Janus, the production company where Johnny Rebel works. That's Janus, as in the Roman god of entrances and exits.

Soon McGinnis is doing behind-the-scenes work for the adult male venture. Besides manning the camera, he also becomes Rebel's favorite fluffer -- the person who primes the performer to, um, get up for the task. But when McGinnis discovers that the object of his affection is only "gay for pay," as in straight off-camera, the fantasy begins to unravel.

In flirting with darker themes of lust, The Fluffer falls short of pulling off a sharp-edged Boogie Nights for the gay porn industry. The promising light-hearted tone early in the film gives way to a half-baked indictment of pornography as the plot grinds slowly to a foregone conclusion.

Rebel's sculpted looks thinly veil what becomes an increasingly ugly personality. Stripper girlfriend Babylon (Roxanne Day) is pushed to the brink in her struggle to cope with his drug addiction and generally abusive behavior. Meanwhile McGinnis' crush turns into full-blown obsession, becoming the moth drawn to a flame of superficial beauty.

In an unusually strong scene, this drama plays out with Babylon performing a lap dance for lackluster McGinnis. Unaware of his relationship with her boyfriend, Babylon provides an awkward substitute for McGinnis's need to be near Rebel. It is a rare moment when the competing themes of erotica and drama complement -- rather than detract from -- one another.

Drawing on his previous experience directing hardcore gay films, Wash West succeeds in satirizing an industry where appearances can be deceiving. Unfortunately, the bid to take The Fluffer to a more profound level of social criticism goes limp.

"Even the boring people are interesting," McGinnis says of the gay porn biz, "because at least they're willing to take a walk on the wild side." But while the nuts and bolts of The Fluffer are interesting to watch, the overall machine they construct is, ultimately, somewhat clunky.

In an odd footnote, Trev Broudy, who plays a newscaster in the film, was badly beaten in September 2002. According to the film's official site, the suspects have since been "charged with assault, attempted robbery, and commission of a hate crime."



The Fluffer

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st February 2002

Production compaines: TLA Releasing, Fluff and Fold LLC

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Mark West

Starring: as Mikey Racini (aka Johnny Rebel), as Sean McGinnis, as Julie Desponsio (aka Babylon), as Tony Brooks, as Marcella

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