• Bag Boy Lover Boy



    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: July 25th, 2017.
    Director: Andres Torres
    Cast: Theodore Bouloukos, Jon Wachter, Kathy Biehl
    Year: 2014
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Andres Torres’s 2014 picture Bag Boy Lover Boy opens at a hot dog stand in lower Manhattan. Here a young man named Albert (Jon Wachter) serves up grub to bar flies leaving their local watering hole late into the night. It’s here that he meets Ivan (Theodore Bouloukos), a portly middle aged man who makes an impression on Albert when he confronts a drunk hassling Albert over a dropped hot dog. Ivan’s only friend is a young woman named Jackie (Kathy Biehl), but it’s clear that if Albert has romantic affections for her, she doesn’t necessarily return them.

    The next night, Ivan shows up again, this time with a camera. He takes a picture of Albert, hands him some money and a business card and tells him that he wants him model for him. Albert isn’t interested, until Jackie walks off that night with a guy – an amateur photographer - she meets in front of Albert’s cart. Albert takes this as a sign in a way, grabbing Ivan’s business card out of the trash and then heading over to his studio. Here he’s surprised to be posed alongside an attractive woman and photographed putting a bag over her head. Ivan? He loves it. He sees something in Ivan and brings him back again for another shoot, this time playing a butcher opposite a naked woman painted pink wearing a pig snout. When Ivan gets a last minute gig that pays twenty-five grand, he flies off to Italy but before he does, he gives Albert a camera. With Ivan out of the way and the keys to his studio in hand, Albert decides to become a photographer himself… sort of. It all goes off the rails from there.

    Bag Boy Lover Boy is a decidedly bizarre picture but it’s also really well done. If the movie loses a bit of steam at the end, the build-up is almost perfect making the somewhat predictable finale a little easier to accept. A big part of why the film works as well as it does is the casting of Swedish born Jon Wachter. He mumbles his way through the movie, unable to completely hide his accent, and his very natural seeming performance makes Albert a character that is as creepy as he is genuinely sympathetic (and frequently very funny, though we tend to laugh at him, not with him). Given that Albert works at a low paying dead end job, that he lives in a single room apartment and that he doesn’t seem to have any real friends you can see why he would eventually give Ivan’s unusual offer a shot. You can also see how someone like Albert would be taken in by Ivan, an arrogant man who boasts of the good life his ‘art’ affords him and who isn’t above fucking some of the models he works with on the side. Theodore Bouloukos is great in the part, bringing a sort of Ron Jeremy-esque quality to the character and playing the role with a lot of enthusiasm.

    The movie has some nice style to it, without overdoing things. The whole thing looks to have been shot on location in New York City, most of it in lower Manhattan but at least one scene in Queens (the 7 Train is a dead giveaway there). This helps give the movie some welcome atmosphere and authenticity. The kinds of characters that Albert encounters once he gets his camera and ventures out on his own aren’t uncommon, in fact, in a city this big, there are plenty of socially awkward guys just like Albert going about their business at any given time (though hopefully said business isn’t quite as murderous).

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Severin presents Bag Boy Lover Boy on Blu-ray framed at 1.78.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer on a 25GB disc. As the movie was shot digitally there’s obviously no print damage to note, while detail and texture remain strong throughout. There’s a bit of mild banding evident in a few spots but otherwise nothing to complain about here. There are no issues with any noticeable compression artifacts and the movie has really strong color reproduction and solid black levels.

    The only audio option for the disc is an English language LPCM 2.0 Stereo track. Optional subtitles are provided in English only. For a low budget affair, the audio here is surprisingly strong. The use of music in the picture really benefits from the lossless treatment, while the levels are properly balanced throughout. There are no issues with any hiss or distortion and the dialogue is clear and audible (though Wachter’s character tends to mumble a bit with a thick accent – intentionally so, mind you – but this winds up making those subtitles handy at times).

    Extras start off with an audio commentary featuring director Andres Torres, actor Theodore Bouloukos and editor Charlie Williams. Aside from a bit of dead air here and there this is an interesting enough track. Bouloukos has more to say here than the other two but regardless, there are some good stories about shooting the picture on location in New York City, some of the effects work featured in the picture, how aspects of the script evolved over the course of the shoot, the contributions of the various cast and crew members and more.

    Severin has also included two student films featuring Jon Wachter, both of which are less than two minutes in length. The first, Got A Light?, is an amusing bit shot on a rooftop portraying a love triangle gone wrong, while the second, The Never Starting Story, is a strange bit involving Wacther and door. Wachter provides commentary over this second film, noting how pleased he is as a director for a getting a good performance out of himself. Both are presented in black and white, full frame presentations. Outside of that there’s a trailer for the feature, animated menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Bag Boy Lover Boy is pretty strange stuff, a quirky mix of twisted dark humor and a few moments of fairly visceral horror. Jon Wachter’s compellingly odd performance is the highlight but the rest of the cast turn in great work here as well and the location footage helps give the movie the right sort of sleazy vibe it needs to work. Severin Films’ Blu-ray release is a good one, presenting the movie in really nice shape and with a few decent extras as well. Those looking for more accessible, mainstream style horror need not apply but for adventurous genre fans with a taste for the bizarre, this one comes recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!



















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