Main cast: Matthew Montgomery (Michael Castigan), Pete Scherer (Matt Stevens), Jared Grey (Mark Anton), Walter Delmar (William/Jason), Dylan Vox (Jason Steele), Steve Callahan (Jerome), Wyatt Fenner (Angel), Akie Kotabe (Jeremy/Adam), Larry Weissman (Harry), Nick Salamone (Billy), Jon Gale (Rex), and Bret Wolfe (Bishop Scott)
Director: David Kittredge
Pornography: A Thriller is a deliberately confusing movie-within-a-movie flick that just screams pretentious from start to finish.
Basically, there are three interconnected stories here. First, we have an actor of gay porn, Mark Anton, who wants out. He has taken up photography and hopes to make a career out of it. There’s always one last gig, of course, and for poor Mark, this flick turns out to be his last. The poor guy has no idea that he’s signed up for a snuff film.
Fifteen years later, an investigative journalist Michael and his boyfriend William move into an apartment that, unknown to Michael, is the same building where Mark filmed his final glory. As it happens, he is researching on gay pornography, and his investigations soon lead him to the mystery of Mark Anton’s abrupt disappearance.
Finally, we have another gay porn thespian, Matt Stevens, who is always hoping to stretch his screenwriting wings. His latest script is about this gay porn star, Mark Anton, who vanished mysteriously after a gig, and he believes that he has finally found the vehicle to make his directorial debut. Unfortunately, his producer insists that, if Matt wants to direct this “gay porn thriller with a Greek tragedy ending” flick, Matt also has to star in it. As production commences, Matt discovers that his script possibly mirrors a real life mystery, and soon, things start to get really weird for him.
There’s actually an interesting mystery here, but director and writer David Kittredge decides that it would be far more amazing if he deliberately made things so confusing and haphazard, as clearly, film artistry is attained only when the audience has no idea what the heck is happening on the screen. The end result is three stories that have no ending, only deliberately confusing “twists” that make no sense to anyone not privy to the thoughts in Mr Kittredge’s head. The lines uttered by the characters are meant to be profound, but they come off as insipid attempts at being intellectual. “Crossword puzzles that have no ambiguity”? That is just an excuse for Mr Kittredge to show off that he knows how to spell “ambiguity”.
The cast is actually solid for a low-budget gay film, and these men are all so easy on the eyes too. Pete Scherer’s willingness to show everything is a welcome respite from the ineptitude of the whole film. Perhaps the best way to enjoy this rambling, muddled, and pretentious art house-wannabe is to set the show to mute and just enjoy the scenery.