The Brotherhood (2001)
Main cast: Nathan Watkins (Chris Chandler), Josh Hammond (Dan), Bradley Stryker (Devon Eisley), Forrest Cochran (Barry), Michael Lutz (Jordan), Donnie Eichar (Mikhail), and Elizabeth Bruderman (Megan)
Director: David DeCoteau
The Brotherhood is a spectacularly bad flick that attempts to be a horror film. Since this is a David DeCoteau film, you can expect plenty of male objectification here. This is B-grade trashy horror for those who enjoy a heavy dose of homoerotic vibes in their guilty pleasure. It's a pity this movie is so awful, because there's a sweet gay love story hidden in there somewhere.
Not that we are ripping off The Skulls, of course, it's just coincidence that we have this fraternity, Spanky Boys Sigma or something, in some college led by this spiky-haired guy Devon. They are some kind of... immortals, I guess, who sacrifices the perfect masculine specimen to some foul fiend every four years in order to remain young and beautiful. So, when this movie opens, these guys move in to this particular college, looking for the perfect young man with luscious buttocks, cherubic lips, and pretty face to be their sacrifice.
Meet Chris Chandler. He's a jock, but he doesn't drink, date, or treat nerds like crap. This is what nerd Dan discovers when they end up rooming together. They become fast friends and seem joined at the hip, until one day Chris dons his pair of short red shorts, jogs shirtless on the campus greens, and bends over to show his buttocks to Devon and company. Needless to say, Chris is a marked man. Chris attends parties of popular people, not because he likes to, but because he knows Dan wants to experience what it feels like to hang out with the cool kids and to get close to the hot babe Megan. But when this leads to Chris falling into the clutches of Devon and company, Dan and Megan will have to save him.
This movie is all about exploiting the pretty boys on film. I have no issues with this, naturally, but I crack up when Mr DeCoteau once again have his boys clad in the same type of underwear. The implication here is that the members of Randy Boy Theta have an underwear code that they must all conform to: white boxer briefs or else. These guys naturally perform their rituals in those boxer briefs. Maybe these pairs of briefs bestow magical powers onto their wearers.
Eye candy aside, the movie is however an excruciating pain to watch due to bad acting all around. Josh Hammond has the dubious claim of being the only member of the cast that speaks his lines halfway naturally. Everyone else, especially Elizabeth Bruderman, enunciates his or her lines so slowly and in such an unnaturally stilted manner that I can only wonder whether English is their first language. Their acting is wooden all around, but then again, most of these guys don't really have to do anything more than to be pretty and in boxer briefs. The story is bad, the movie budget is almost nonexistent (at one point, Dan is held at bay with a noticeably fake ax made of plastic), and the movie doesn't really go over the top in order to be campy.
Still, I have to admit, Chris and Dan have a pretty sweet romantic undertone underneath their jock-and-nerd bonding. With Chris not even interested in anything female in this movie even as he gazes soulfully in Dan's eyes as he tells Dan to accept being who Dan is (ahem), it is very easy to imagine that this guy has some interesting... shoes... hidden in his closet. Dan seems pretty heterosexual at first in his pursuit of Megan, but it isn't long before he's all jealous and possessive over Chris hanging out with Devon and company. It is not everyday I get to watch a movie where the nerd and the jock bond in a decidedly non-stereotypical manner, with plenty of homoerotic tension underneath their deep gazes and casual adjusting of each other's clothes, and therefore, it is a waste that this movie too wretched to take advantage of the hot man-on-man love waiting to explode on this film.
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