Back in the dim and distant past there was an entire subgenre of straight-to-video movies (yes, video, I told you this was a long time ago) that had a plot but were filled with softcore sex. The main reason they existed seemed to be so that people who would be too embarrassed to buy an actual porn film could get something sexy without feeling too embarrassed to take it to the shop counter.
I couldn’t help thinking of that sort of movie when watching Eroddity(s), which presents four (well, three and a half) short stories that are linked by their horror feel and the fact the young men in them are unable to keep their clothes on for more than 30 seconds at a time. They’re also linked by the fact that no one in the movie is going to be winning an Oscar anytime soon, but as many of the actors are drawn from the world of twink porn, expecting to find a Meryl Streep amongst them is asking a bit much.
The first tale is the very short ‘Forever Mine’, in which a young man’s love affair is revealed to be something rather disturbing. Things kick off properly with what is probably the best film purely from a storytelling standpoint, ‘A Mind Of Their Own’. It sees jealousy rising when a man starts to believe his lover is cheating on him after he discovers a note and a mixtape. However when he tries to find his supposed love rival, he discovers the mixtape has powers he could never imagine. As with all the other shorts there’s a sense it’s an excuse to have a lot of gay sex but with a bit of plot thrown in, but it’s actually based on a rather interesting idea. The short’s themes resonate both from an existential perspective and with many of the criticisms of modern gay relationships.
In ‘Unsolved Christmas’ a high school student doesn’t use his gift of a camera in the way his parents expected, instead taking pictures of as many young guys naked as he possibly can. However his growing voyeuristic obsession causes him ever more serious problems. But can he stop himself before his predilections cost him his life?
The final film, ‘The Way To A Man’s Heart’, is the darkest. A year after his death a young man returns from the grave to exact revenge against the boyfriend whose abuse caused him to take his own life. But is this really a case of the undead, or is what we’re seeing just being manufactured by the guilty conscience of his friend?
To be honest this selection of Twilight Zone-ish tales isn’t brilliant. As mentioned the acting is often subpar and while the stories for each short have plenty of promise, they’re rather underwritten.
However Eroddity(s) isn’t just about the strange and somewhat macabre stories, it’s about sex! There are some fairly hot moments, plenty of penises and simulated shagging (and some moments when it’s clear the shenanigans aren’t completely simulated). It’s also nicely backwards to normal, where any straight sex is coy, with the women keeping some clothes on and the humping covered by sheets, but when it’s time for boy-on-boy action, the clothes come off and it’s penis-palooza.
This is softcore eroticism, so that means those penises are largely flaccid (although not always) and it’s not the kind of everything’s-on-display sex that the internet has made so readily available. As a result it does feel a little like a blast from the past, even if it is a far gayer one than the type of straight-to-DVD erotic films the 1990s were known for.
It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. If you prefer your movies to have a visible penis at least once every five minutes, this certainly fits the bill. Just don’t expect to be on the edge or your seat or genuinely creeped-out by these horror-esque stories. But as a release that’s deliberately just one step away from porn it could be worse, and if you like twinks, you probably won’t be complaining.
Overall Verdict: It’s as if a horror anthology had a baby with gay porn. The result may occasionally be hot and occasionally quite interesting, but largely it’s just an excuse for a lot of gratuitous male nudity.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac