Main cast: Matthew Montgomery (Mark Reeves), Aaron Orr (Drew Parker), Ariadne Shaffer (Catherine Reeves), Joel Bryant (Paul Parker), Brenda Lasker (Nancy Parker), and Bryna Weiss (Dr Mary Williams)
Director: Michael D Akers
Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!
Memory Loss, Why Hath Thou Forsaken Me?
I admit it. Yes, I can be taken in by a couple of good-looking guys looking all hot and nude on the cover of a nondescript gay movie I have never heard of. Ahhh well, live and learn right? Sometimes slick packaging is the only thing interesting when renting these indie films. Let’s be honest with ourselves at least and admit that, unfortunately, a lot of talented directors actually do indeed get their shot in Hollywood these days and well, those making these indie flicks, especially a lot of the gay ones, are pretty much more “miss” than “hit” anymore. Yeah, maybe that over generalization will explain the failures I have seen lately and make me feel better.
So how best can I describe this waste of silvery precious DVD material? Take the most amateurish porno, gay or straight, you have ever seen and then remove all the sex scenes except one and edit that one to a soft-core rating. OK, then remember those ABC Afterschool Specials? Remember the flat-videotaped look they had? The bad lighting? The bad audio? The cardboard acting? OK, then just think of The Blair Witch Project totally rewritten as a gay daytime soap opera set in Yosemite National Park. Got it? Now focus on that and let your mind wander, add on some random episode of The Red Shoe Diaries. Oh, you are close, yes, I can see it dawning on you, I think you’ve got the idea now.
Drew Parker, Forest Ranger and/or metrosexual poster child (Aaron Orr, in hopefully his last starring role) rescues not-quite-as-nelly Mark Reeves the mysterious executive from accounting (Matthew Montgomery, think of Darren from Bewitched). Drew is shown at the start of the movie in a stilted Forest Ranger office scene with his rough rugged older brother Paul Parker (Joel Bryant) discussing the incident as woodenly as possible. Get it stilt, forest, wood? I’m bad but this is worse.
Paul is simply in this first scene to warn us how badly the director messed up in casting the “stars” in this tawdry flick. Much like comparing the work of a real actor, in this case Joel, to a slab of hanging meat, or a brick wall, or a burnt out light bulb, which would be Aaron. I thank you Joel and hope to see you in something where you might actually have to work your cute butt, I mean your skills, next time.
Let’s slam through the rest of this painful experience shall we? Drew visits amnesiac Mark (the accountant type guy I mentioned earlier, yes that bland yuppie) in the hospital and proceeds to put the moves on the guy. One thing leads to another and they end up having dinner together and then eventually one of them gets it in the end. The picture you see on the front cover of the DVD comes from that one scene and let’s just say I’m surprised. When did Forest Rangers start doing full body shaves? Not to mention tanning, manicures and hair stylists and is that make-up?
Then there’s burly big brother warning dainty Drew to not get involved with forgetful floozies that pop up mysteriously on the sides of mountains, much like herpes or, in this case, anal warts.
The other out-of-work porn star, I mean Mark, starts to remember things and Drew starts trying to act (HAH!) like he is falling for him. Then, something attempting to resemble drama takes total control over the film and we have Mark ending up straight and married (yeah right!) and Drew being gay and heartbroken. Contrivance—like this movie was not built on it to begin with—ensues and Mark agrees with his rich, disgruntled, boss’s daughter of a wife he is so GAY and oh so wrong for her, unless she needs hair style recommendations or a bridge partner, like totally gag me.
Suddenly Drew spots studmuffin Mark across a sunny high mountain meadow and they run slowly towards each other naked and glistening in the California sun. Several barely clothed Forest Rangers happen upon them, stop their semi-nude nature hike, and join in the fun and we are witness to a mass man orgy. I made this part up because I thought it was a better ending and Gone, but Not Forgotten needs my help and all.
Sad to say, I knew there were problems ahead when Drew did so little to approach portraying the type of person who you would consider having a career in the National Forestry Service. He has noticeably highlighted hair, and add in a prissy manicure and wardrobe by LL Bean. Not even close baby! In no way does he carry himself as the type of rugged and hard working men whom I personally have met and had a crush on in my degenerate youth. Yes my friends: I, being the nasty pig I am, spent one whole summer drooling over this muscular, blond, daddy bear Forest Ranger in the Oregon Mountains while he was valiantly attempting to show me the ways of the outdoor type manly man while panning for gold. I, on the other hand, even in the 11-year-old state I was in, wanted to show him a few tricks like how I could remove those ragged worn wet cut-offs barely holding his well-hung equipment (no, not his pan) with only my teeth and maybe some backup from my tongue. Is that so wrong?
How did the film maker use the Sierra Nevada mountain range and get it to look so much like nowhere in particular? They made such a big deal about how isolated they were while filming this movie (on their website they went on and on about how they go on about being 45 minutes away from a Starbucks) and yet, they completely miss any, and I mean any, interesting landscape. This movie dragged on for so incredibly long and to add insult to injury, the picture would suddenly go dim in another bland boring scene or the audio would fade out on some stilted, poorly written dialog and I would wonder to myself, “Why can’t I just turn this trash off?”
All I can say is I made it through to tell you not to bother, and I can only justify my own determination with the excuse I kept waiting for big brother Paul to show up again and show these flighty little queens what a butch man is all about.
Now, if they had simply had the older married brother Paul get the hots for scrawny Mark and gone for the throat, soap opera wise, making at least one of the main actors interesting to watch and wonder about. Not to mention maybe Mark would have had less talking scenes. Well it just goes to prove that amateurs should never be allowed to buy digital video cameras.
If you accidentally find Gone, but Not Forgotten sitting around somewhere for free and really want to watch an unintentional comedy and an all around train wreck listen to the directors commentary. You won’t last 5 minutes without peeing your pants, I promise.