Keith’s Korner | “Groupers” – A Dark Comedy with Unexpected Puzzles

The Two Gay Geeks received an interview request to interview Anderson Cowan from our friend Clint at October Coast PR. We also received a screener for the Anderson’s new film, Groupers, which has a limited theatrical release on September 27th.

Here are some thoughts on the film.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below. As always, we welcome your feedback and input on all of our published content.

 


GROUPERS


 


Groupers is an interesting film with a fascinating premise about the consequences of homophobia that leads us down a path and then through unusual twists and turns winds up in a completely different place than expected. I suppose that always was the goal.

We normally, but not always, screen a film before we interview the talent so we have a frame of reference for our discussion. In this case we interviewed Anderson Cowan about the film and he gave us a frame of reference to watch the film. Which, in this case, I think, worked best. Groupers is at times madcap and convoluted in the story telling. It is a very bold move to tell the story in a non-linear format, very much like when a book gives you vignettes of several characters in the same time period. And if you are paying attention it is a great way to flesh out the story and introduce new characters which pays off in the end.

So, what is Groupers about? Here is the PR blurb about the film:
The film centers around two all-American high school jocks Brad and Dylan (Peter Mayer-Klepchick and Cameron Duckett) who are out for a night on the town when they are approached by the beautiful and seductive Meg (Nicole Dambro) at a local bar. Ready for what they hope will be a night to remember, the guys are subsequently kidnapped, drugged and awaken tied up face to face in an abandoned pool in the middle of nowhere. Absurdity and insanity ensue as we learn that Orin (Jesse Pudles), Meg’s overly flamboyant brother has been the target of Brad and Dylan’s homophobic bullying and that Meg is actually a grad student who plans to perform a psychological and somewhat sadistic experiment on them as part of her thesis, which poses the question, “is homosexuality a choice”.
 


While we all dream of the day when we don’t have to worry about gay bashing, I think we sometimes find ourselves wishing for some kind of revenge or, at least, retribution for harassment. Maybe? Groupers takes that “wish” into a whole new realm, giving us a dark comedy with the premise of capture and potential torture…. With a Chinese finger puzzle?

I think the key words in the above PR statement of the film are absurdity and insanity because it is just that crazy. At times it seems like a runaway stream of consciousness train and then we cut to what is happening at the same time elsewhere that begins to put the puzzle pieces in place.

The clever plays on stereotypes helped to ease the darkness and certainly helped play up the comedy aspects of the story. There was quite the cast of misfits in this film but aren’t we all a misfit of one type or another?

There were several members of this cast that were delightfully strong, especially the actors who played Brad (Peter Mayer-Klepchick) and Dylan (Cameron Duckett). They brought a fantastic commitment to their performances, especially Duckett as the more than just dim-witted Dylan. At times I forgot I was watching just a movie.
 


There are several twists to the film which are cleverly handled by the non-liner telling of the tale. I won’t give any spoilers but, let’s just say it was interesting to watch this Chinese finger puzzle of a film.

Thanks to Anderson Cowan to making a bold if not surreal statement about the consequences that homophobia has on all concerned. Revenge through redemption, maybe?
 


The film is set to open in Los Angeles on Friday, September 27th and expand to other cities later. The distributor (Global Digital Releasing) plans to submit the film to the GLADD Media and Spirit Awards for consideration.
 


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