Variety

Rhythm & Blues

Derek Elley
Jan 24, 2000

(U.K.)

Executive producers, David Winters, Patrick Meehan.

Directed by Stephen Lennhoff. Screenplay, Michael Jones. Camera (color), Fiona Cunningham Reid; editor, Patrick McDonnell; music, Michael Conn. Reviewed at Mr. Young's preview theater, London, Sept. 27, 1999. (In Palm Springs Film Festival.) Running time: 95 MIN.

With: Angus McInnes, Ian Henderson, Paul Blackthorne, Gary Fairhall, Joe Hutton, Richard Ritchie, Phillipe Sartori, Sue Tilling, Simon Vale, Gary Lee, Tanya Green.

A self-styled "comic thriller" set in London's gay male escort world, "Rhythm & Blues" is a lame low-budgeter by U.S.-born, British-based TV helmer Stephen Lennhoff that won't get much farther than cast-and-crew screenings. Best part is the main title, with Michael Conn's fake 007 music and Chris Hart's Maurice Binder--like graphics raising expectations (rapidly dashed) of a slick spoof.

Lonesome John (Paul Blackthorne) is picked up in a park by Scottish skinhead druggie Byron (Ian Henderson) and intro'd to the Boys Galore escort agency, run by the queeny Mitzi (Gary Fairhall) and middle-aged Bethsheba (Sue Tilling). John is immediately hired by a rich, seedy Yank, Bad Daddy (Angus McInnes, in Orson Welles vein), who lives in baronial splendor with his French companion, Jean-Claude (Phillipe Sartori), and an ex-army officer (Richard Ritchie). Lurking somewhere is the Rent Boy Ripper, who's been terrorizing the capital's gay scene. Between the squirmingly unfunny dialogue and general "Hey! Let's make a lavender movie" atmosphere, John spends an inordinate amount of time in the bath or being the butt of double entendres. Tech credits are lackluster, exaggerated perfs likewise.

Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information

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