Director: Art Arutyunyan
Running Time: 72 mins
Certificate: NR (US)
Release Date: Out Now
You know the bits at the beginning of a porn scene where they have some plot (the plumber’s here to work on your pipes etc.) or where men get themselves all sexually frustrated by working out? Well, this is kind of like the feature-length version of that, except with no sex at the end.
Set in a frat house at a top university, right from the beginning we know this is a dangerous place as a man is stalked and killed by someone wearing a harlequin costume. When a new pledge comes into the house, he’s at first pleased to have been chosen for this prestigious frat, which is known to produce the future leaders of America. However, he soon starts to realise something strange is going on, as his fellow frat members start disappearing, he has dreams about someone wearing a harlequin mask and a slightly older guy known as ‘Frat Dad Brad’ begins being increasingly demanding.
Eventually the film reveals what’s going on and why the killings are taking place, but it takes a while to get there and even when it does, it’s not particularly convincing. Indeed, this is the sort of movie where you have to suspend your disbelief a long way, as not much about it makes any sense, not least the fact the fact that the harlequin killer is more silly than iconic. If we’re being generous we could say the whole thing takes a satirical swipe at the excesses of capitalism, where even your friends and family become commodities – but that would be being very generous. Even the horror elements get repetitive and it becomes difficult to care which of the characters lives or dies. In fact, it’s almost as if the movie was written as a comedy but directed as a drama.
But perhaps the fact the plot isn’t exactly brilliant isn’t as vital as it might have been, because this is a film where ensuring every guy on screen is young, attractive and looks good with their shirt off is more important than them being good actors. As a result, there’s a parade of very attractive and buff men showing off their pecs and/or underwear. It also appears to have been in everyone’s contract that there must be a shot of their bare ass as they get in the shower – seriously, pretty much every single cast member has the exact same shot of their ass as they step into a shower.
There are random, homoerotic, scenes of people working out with their shirts off – complete with stylised lighting – more than a few shots where the camera is exceedingly interested in people’s underwear bulges and, yes, lots of men in the shower. That said, there is an element of cocktease to all this, as there’s flesh but no real nudity, and lots of homoeroticism but no real gay content. Indeed, for a bunch of frat boys they don’t seem to have much sex with anyone. So ultimately it is about whether you fancy a 72-minute version of the bit at the beginning of a porn scene, before there’s any actual sex.
Overall Verdict: Alpha Delta Zatan may deliver on having plenty of homoerotic, buff guys with their shirts off, but the plot, acting and pretty much everything else leaves a lot to be desired.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac
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