Gay indie director Todd Verow (Anonymous) takes us into the queer mainstream with his latest effort, Vacationland. With two incredibly hot male leads, plenty of male-male lip-locking and a breezy feeling, this is easily his best effort since Frisk (and far more accessible).
Set in Maine and inspired by his own teen years, Verow tells a story of gay lust in high school between Joe (Brad Hallowell), a (clearly autobiographical) theater geek, and his best buddy, Andrew (Gregory J. Lucas), a football star. Joe has been edging his way out of the closet for some time, but Andrew is still resolutely banging chicks. They both have girlfriends, but the charade is wearing thin. Unhappy at home, Joe moves in with an older gay man and becomes his caretaker and artist’s model. The boys continue to play hetero in public until the girlfriends decide to get these two boys to start playing with each other.
The scene in which the boys first make love while the girlfriends peer around the wall is pretty damned hot. As their relationship develops, they explore the local gay scene where old issues begin to surface. Todd Verow has given us an easy to digest treat; Vacationland is a succinct tale of love between gay high school teens. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Scott Cranin
Filmmaker Todd Verow revisits his own youth for his latest work. The film’s main character is Joe, who, like the director, grew up in Bangor in Maine. Joe lives with his single mother and older sister Theresa on a notorious council estate called “Capehart Projects”. Molested at the age of ten, Joe nevertheless decides to keep the incident to himself. He befriends an older artist named Victor and moves in with him, hoping to escape Bangor with his help.
Todd Verow: “You grow up fast in the Capehart projects. There was always some new terror happening close by. A woman smothering her baby because she thought it was the Antichrist, maybe she was right – who are we to judge. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Antichrist were born here, or Christ, for that matter. There was the guy who burned down his apartment because his family wouldn’t let him watch his favourite Christmas special – which of course is the only logical thing to do. And then there was the woman who killed her husband and cut him into 15 pieces – ‘just to make sure.’ There was the woman who lived next door who was found sitting in her car naked with her throat slit ear to ear and her hands on the wheel, her eyes wide open. (…) In a strange way it made me feel like anything was possible.”
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