And now we come to the first of this months triple feature of gay porn.
Written and directed by someone named Jerry Douglas, this one features hard-bitten soon-to-be disco diva Andrea True (“more, more, more”) and a balding Dick Sargeant lookalike (Gerald Grant) as a married couple with a borderline mentally challenged son who spends his entire screentime staring vacantly at the camera with his mouth hanging slack jawed and sporting a perfectly hideous soupbowl haircut (Neil Scott).
The film has an odd, no budget feel much akin to a Something Weird short out of Texas or perhaps even Al Adamson’s Carnival Magic, particularly in its earlier outdoors scenes – there’s a noticeable mix of the mundane and the surreal (the characters feel detached from their surroundings more often than not, and the editing is more appropriate to a hippie head film).
Grant has a secret: despite his seemingly “happy” beard of a marriage, he’s gay and closeted. When he cruises a weird looking but reasonably well built dude (Dean Tait) at the local “leather bar” (everyone’s actually in denim…), things get complicated. Hilariously, Tait’s supposed to be in college (uh…these guys are a lot older looking than THAT, come on, now…), and they use his pad as a “love nest”.
Wait, True’s supposed to be in college too? At least this is a flashback sequence…
Jeez, Douglas really loves shooting everyone naked in front of that same crappy mirror…how many times have Grant and Tait…or Grant and True stood in front of that thing grousing at each other in faux-“deep and meaningful” conversations?
Nice tighty-whiteys, there…you know, these scenes with overdubbed dialogue and everyone walking up and down stairs feel a bit Doris Wishman…hey, is that a Plymouth Duster? Quick, somebody trace those plates!
And he keeps his boy toy’s boots and jeans in the trunk? Doesn’t the bitch ever grab the groceries and notice this?
Is that Whistler’s Mother, or the farmer’s wife in Grant Wood’s American Gothic? Why is this scary old bat living with Sargeant…er, Grant and True anyway?
Oh, no! The irony! Tait’s bartending at the party Grant and True are at! Holy crap, where did Grant get that tacky-ass polyester shirt? Oh, the melodrama!
Oh, look, “it’s orgy time! Anybody who doesn’t want to stay, clear out!”…and some couples actually leave!
Some dialogue for the ages:
“Will you ravish me?”
“Don’t I always?”
“Not for weeks…and somebody’s gonna fuck me tonight…and I don’t care if it’s you or not!”
“Can’t take her anyplace.”
Holy shit, I’ve seen furniture with less thick and sturdy legs than this old bat…
Some funky hippie music with wah pedal guitar, syncopated drumming and flute for the orgy sequence, at least…
Geez, the old bat’s a gossip besides…why is the guy from the fucking antique shop getting all up in their business?
Now Tait’s meeting Grant for a dirty weekend cruise…quick, cue Christopher Cross!
Look, a supermarket sequence! How soap opera…
“Same old story…everybody wants it both ways.”
Look, they set up a double date! And Tait can’t take it, he’s starting a scene!
“You’re just bouncing through life on a goddamn pogo stick.
You gotta land somewhere…one side of the fence or the other.”
With enough catty dialogue and soap opera stylistics to be an Andy Milligan film, but with the aesthetics of a Doris Wishman or Al Adamson one, Both Ways is actually quite amusing in a Something Weird sense. If shorn of all its XXX bits, this could easily have wound up on one of their old Image double features, perhaps alongside the Chuck Norris-starring drag queen killer effort A Scream in the Streets.
It’s very 70’s, sort of an ersatz homoerotic variant of The Gardener/Seeds of Evil, but without the “supernatural” parts, or even Matt Cimber’s The Witch Who Came From the Sea without the anti-male/feminist angle.
Those who lean that way will probably love it across the board, but for the rest of us, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with this one, for reasons other than and apart from those the filmmaker intended.
In other words, if you hold on to the fast forward button, this one’s actually loads of (unintentional) laughs…and therefore worth checking out.