Gays Behaving Badly – on Film

These erotic dramas are sure to heat up Valentine's Day. By Gary M. Kramer

Just because it’s Valentine’s Day, that doesn’t mean you have to watch a mushy love story. Queer lovers behaving badly can be very sexy. Here are 10 erotic international dramas that show that while love may not conquer all, there is always plenty of hot on-screen sex. (Please note: video clips may not be appropriate for workplace viewing.)

The Living End (1992): Two HIV-positive guys go on a killing and crime spree in Gregg Araki’s anarchic “New Queer Cinema” classic. Whether Jon (Craig Gilmore) is forced to have sex at gunpoint, or Luke (Mike Dytri) instructs his partner to choke him, the guys’ hardcore intimacy is as palpable as their outrage over AIDS.

Skin and Bone (1996): A trio of hustlers each become involved with some unsavory clients in this provocative drama that features plenty of skin. Directed by Everett Lewis, the film teeters dangerously – and deliciously – on the brink of being a snuff film, which can unsettle delicate flowers. There’s even one scene where Harry (B. Wyatt) shows Dean (Alan Boyce) how to crack a whip while wearing only chaps.

O Fantasma (2000): In this fiercely erotic fantasy, Sérgio (played by the swoon-inducing Ricardo Meneses) proves that unrequited, obsessive love can be a bitch – albeit a sexy one. His explicit efforts turn feral by the film’s unusual ending, but O Fantasma offers up plenty of startling sexiness under the direction of João Pedro Rodrigues.

Burnt Money (2000): A stunning period romantic thriller directed by Marcelo Piñeyro about two troubled gay lovers on the lam, this one smolders with sensuality. But partners-in-crime Nene (Leonard Sbaraglia) and Ángel (hunky Eduardo Noriega) don’t always get along – especially when Nene leaves Ángel (briefly) for a woman!

Come Undone (2000): As sensitive Mathieu (Jérémie Elkaïm) is recovering from a suicide attempt, flashbacks reveal his rocky romance with the unbelievably sexy Cedric (Stéphane Rideau) in this flick directed by Sebastian Lifshitz. It’s a tender, affectionate, and ultimately bittersweet romance – avec beaucoup nudity. Oh la la!

Bad Education (2004): The irresistible Gael Garcia Bernal plays multiple roles – including one in drag, and he still looks fetching – in Pedro Almodovar’s highly stylized, often over-the-top film-within-a-film. A filmmaker (Fele Martínez) intrigued by Bernal’s ambitious screenwriter, gets in over his head as a convoluted plot involving blackmail, murder, sexual abuse and, of course, revenge unfolds. The seductive pool scene may make you drop your popcorn.

Broken Sky (2006): A love triangle is played out over two-and-a-half hours with minimal dialogue and maximum nudity. This hypnotic romantic drama by Julian Hernandez captures the pain of unrequited love as brilliantly as it does the passion between its sexy actors. Viewers who aren’t bored by this sometimes challenging, breathtaking film will surely be rendered speechless.

One to Another (2006): Pierre (Arthur Dupont) is a beautiful bisexual prostitute that everyone – even including his sister Lucie (Lizzie Brocheré) – lusts after. So when Pierre turns up dead after turning some tricks, Lucie makes it her mission to sleep with everyone to determine whodunit. The characters use their bodies to get what they want, but alas, it turns out they don’t ever really want what they get. Pascal Arnold and Jean-Marc Barr share directing credits.

Between Love and Goodbye (2008): This terrific melodrama shows how quickly love can turn to hate. Kyle (Simon Miller) arranges for his French boyfriend Marcel (Justin Tensen) to marry a lesbian illegally for a green card. Their domestic happiness, however, is short-lived with the arrival of Kyle’s needy transgender sibling (Rob Harmon). Kyle is soon forced to choose between his lover and his family in this film by Casper Andreas. While there’s plenty of domestic drama, there’s also plenty of sex between the attractive leads.

Deleted Scenes (2010): Two guys – a hustler and an addict – meet. They have what seems like endless (and often rough) sex before splitting up. Viewers get to experience and examine all the messy issues as the lovers possibly misremember what transpired between them in this Todd Verow flick.

Gary M. Kramer is the author of Independent Queer Cinema: Reviews and Interviews. He lives in Philadelphia.