A clean-cut 21-year-old guy leads a double life student by day and street hustler by night. When he meets an undercover cop working atlantas drug enforcement branch secrets collide. Their fragile trust is shaken when he be... more »comes the prime suspect in a murder case & the detective becomes his only alibi. Studio: Wolfe Video Release Date: 08/22/2000 Starring: Dane Ritter Adrian Roberts Run time: 105 minutes Rating: Nr« less
A unique gay thriller with a great script and cast!
Mark Hulcher | Richmond, Virginia United States | 01/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Every once in a while comes a great little gem of a film. This can easily be said for "In The Flesh". Directed by Ben Taylor and starring Dane Ritter as the cute but not so innocent hustler, this hits right at home for ALL viewers straight or gay. Ed Corbin stars as a vice cop that is hesitant to take a case involving drug traffic in a gritty gay bar. There he befriends Dane Ritter the hustler and the two fall in love. Suddenly both are plunged into a nightmarish hell when a murder is committed and the cop risks his job for his new found lover insisting he is innocent of the crime. Soon the hustler becomes the hustled when he becomes the target of a murderer. What remains is the two attempting to stay alive amid corruption and greed in a seedy suburb of Atlanta. Still we are left with the question for money or love? Pay close attention to the bar,....but if youv'e been to or live in Atlanta you probably know that already."
An interesting film despite itself
R. Gaytan | San Diego, CA USA | 10/07/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ben Taylor came up with a great premise upon which to build this story: a deeply closeted cop is assigned to investigate a gay hustler bar where he unexpectedly starts a relationship with a young man who is eventually accused of murdering one of the patrons. The cop decides to make himself the sole alibi for the young man and a precarious trust develops between these two very wary men.This is a world Taylor apparently knows well, unfortunately he doesn't explore any of it deeply enough to make it particularly believable or compelling. What there is of interest is in the growing relationship between the two central characters (played by Dane Ritter and Ed Corbin), an unlikely pair of actors who between them manage to elicit some nice moments out of a perfunctory script. Too bad that so much of a compelling situation was left unexplored. Still, the fact that the two main characters are falling in love rather than simply falling into bed with each other is very refreshing.Don't be afraid to try it on. You may actually like it. With remote in hand you can skip the worst of it and stick with the main story."
It's good----a little "typical"
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'll admit something---I personally love this movie. I don't 100% know why--except that it reminds me a lot of me and someone. But depsite myown personal love of the film, the average person is really going to find it fair at best.Too often, people grab every homosexual movie out there and think it's so awesome....sadly, I think they are just starved for homosexual media. If you are one of those people--then definatly buy it at once. If you actually enjoy movies and choose to own the ones that really have some merit--then you will probably be passing on it.The story is so predictable. Call boy meets older police detective. One needs to learn to trust, the other trusts too much. Throw in a rather silly murder and drug plot - a little sex and you have "In the Flesh".The acting is pretty bad. They try---but the leads are almost painful to watch sometimes. You constantly feel like you've seen this film before. To it's credit the film is an independent--and for what they had to work with they've done an admirable job. You probably won't find yourself watching it over and over again---and if you are any type of critic you will be blasting it."
Amiable, but Illogical
J. Edkin | South Orange, NJ | 12/09/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In my mind, "In the Flesh" belongs to the second wave of queer cinema. The first wave were the coming out stories where the existence of gay characters and themes was to explore what it means to be gay. In the second wave, the gay characters exist not solely to be gay, but on an equal playing field where their homosexuality is simply part of who they are in the context of a larger story. In this case, the story is a murder mystery. As refreshing as it is to have a story with gay characters where the story isn't about being gay and as agreeable as the movie is on many levels, it's not a very good murder mystery.Oliver (Dane Ritter) is a hustler in Atlanta and thankfully writer/director Ben Taylor doesn't make him into the two stereotypes you often find in movies about prostitutes--he is neither the whore with the heart of gold, nor is he a strung-out junkie hustling just to get his next fix. Philip (Ed Corbin) is a cop assigned to investigate drug dealing happening at the Blue Boy, a bar where gay hustlers meet their johns. Philip and Oliver get to talking and connect on some levels. Philip hires Oliver, they have sex, and Philip tries to make their connection more than economic. Oliver resists. When one of Oliver's regular johns is murdered, Philip intervenes in the investigation, providing Oliver with an alibi and walking away from his job. The scandal causes Oliver to lose his apartment, Philip invites him to move in, and the two become enmeshed in the murder mystery with Oliver and Philip in danger.I'm sure I just made it sound more logical than it actually is. Unfortunately, the relationship that is supposed to drive all of the action, that between Oliver and Philip doesn't work. Part of this is writer/director Taylor's fault. (He admits that it moves too quickly and that he had to cut a scene that explained how the relationship developed. In his commentary track, he says that the cut scene is on the DVD. Unfortunately, it's not, so we'll never know if the scene would have explained everything or not.) However, actor Ed Corbin has to take some of the blame as well. He never projects any real warmth, so it's hard to believe that Philip has fallen in love with Oliver. Dane Ritter's performance is stronger than Corbin's, but I don't sense any romantic or sexual heat from him either. Because of this, it's hard to believe that Philip would risk his career to help Oliver. If you don't believe that, then the rest of the movie becomes difficult to accept.On top of that, there is a secret from Oliver's past that is revealed in the course of the movie that both defies logic and police procedure. I don't want to give the specifics away here, but it doesn't work for me. On one level, if you know anything about police procedure, the secret won't work for you the secret defies police procedure. ("Law & Order" and "C.S.I." fans beware! The strange thing is, Taylor says in his commentary that the scene is based on actual events--although they took place in South Africa--if I recall correctly--so that may explain the difference in crime scene investigation. Unfortunately, the movie's version doesn't, so it's hard to believe that American police investigators didn't see through this lie.) I simply don't believe the events could have happened the way they are described. And, in revealing this truth, Philip has to accept something that he as an officer of the law should not be so quick to dismiss.If you can overlook those flaws (and I do, up to a point), this is an enjoyable enough film with a reversal at the end that I appreciated. Some of Taylor's commentary track is truly interesting, although I think he tells us much more about his personal life than he needs to.My suggestion is that you rent the film before you invest in it. If you like this, then I highly suggest you check out "Rites of Passage." You might also like "Skin & Bone" (which I don't care for personally) and the French film "Criminal Lovers" (another that I don't care for, but at least find more interesting than "Skin & Bone").(...)2001 Joe Edkin"
Emotionally empty and devoid of interest.
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 10/15/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A few hackneyed plot twists I can forgive, as long as the plot is lucid enough to keep them in an order that's pleasing to the eye. But "In The Flesh" crosses the line, throwing so many twists at us that are predictable and shallow, and ruin what could potentially pass as a good movie. But that, along with boring characters played by actors who seem to have little interest in the plot, drags the movie into the depths of a Blockbuster rental bin, to be looked at and passed over for something better. Don't let the twists fool you: the plot is simpler than the producers would have you think. It centers around closeted detective Philip Kirsch (Ed Corbin), who has been assigned to working a local gay bar, believed to be an underground drug ring. There, he trades many furtive glances with regular hustler Oliver (Dane Ritter), and the two hook up for a night. And wouldn't you know it, that big, hulking, macho cop Philip finds his soft spot once again? He follows Oliver around like a lost puppy, searching his medical files (isn't he a cop?), coming to his rescue as his alibi when Oliver becomes the prime suspect in a suspense-less murder case, and inviting him to live in his house until he finds a place of his own. But the real killer is still at large, and so are Oliver's less-than-interesting feelings of mistrust and inner torment. So what does all of this result in? A lot of frustration for the viewers, especially those of us who would like to see something, ANYTHING, happen to these characters of any interest. Oh, there are moments, ones that tease us, making us think something big is about it happen, but nothing comes of it. Take the relationship between the two leads, for example. Simple logic tells us that, in any independent gay film, if two men find themselves attracted to one another, then we will at least be granted the privilege of seeing some hot lip-locking. In "In The Flesh," we get to see a gratuitous sex scene between a male and female, but not so much as a puckering of lips for our stumbling casanovas. If that isn't disappointing enough, the plot is a mess. It throws in secondary characters for its own convenience, such as Oliver's sister, who is a junkie that has become so dependant on narcotics that she will die without them. This provides an explanation for the drugs Philip finds in Oliver's belongings. One of Philip's cop buddies will play a role in the film's finale, in a contrived twist that seems desperate and tired. I don't know which of the characters I disliked more: the wooden, macho Philip, or hustler Oliver, the martyr of the movie whose several outbursts of emotional turmoil are more of an annoyance than a relatable feeling. The movie wants to be provocative in portraying how people builds emotional blocks when a catastrophic event traumatizes their lives, but it comes off as cheesy and unbelievable, and even actions the characters take reverse our emotions for them, even turning us against them. I wanted to like "In the Flesh," because I enjoy movies that aren't afraid to take on gay subject matter. But that doesn't mean that every movie I see with this type of material is going to be an Oscar-worthy effort. In fact, this is one of the most emotionless attempts I've seen in a while. You have to give it credit as an independent film, for being a mark higher than other films, but everything in this movie is hit-or-miss, and what's going on in these characters' heads is anyone's guess."