American Fetish (2009)

Author: Brett Gallman
Submitted by: Brett Gallman   Date : 2010-11-15 02:03

Written and Directed by: Michael Simmons
Starring: Matt Jones, Charlie Lane, and Matt Bianca

Reviewed by: Brett G.

ďWhatís your fetish?Ē

The term ďerotic thrillerĒ is a textbook example of dressing up something to make it appear classier than it really is. Sure, there have been some well-done films in the sub-genre, but for every Dressed to Kill, thereís a dozen low-rent, softcore movies that were made for Cinemax. When American Fetish arrived in my mailbox, I couldnít help but be intrigued, especially since some of the promotional material provided some pretty striking imagery. Did Unearthed Films manage to dig up something worthwhile in an otherwise forgettable genre of film?

When a local club owner passes away, his son inherits more than just the family business. Instead, he uncovers some long lost ďblue movies,Ē a collection of bizarre stag films that were filmed by his father. It seems innocuous enough, but these movies may have evidence that can solve a 50 year old double murder that his father was mixed up in. This lures our protagonist into a seedy underworld filled with sexual fetishism and an obsession that could prove to be fatal.

Slightly erotic, and not at all thrilling, American Fetish just feels like an excuse for the female cast to get naked and rub up against each other. Any semblance of plot is lost in the meandering, nonsensical narrative that plods along mostly without incident. By the time business picks up in the third act, itís too little, too late because thereís little rhyme or reason behind the events of the film. Much of the film consists of the main character watching stag movies that are full of bizarre imagery; we also get a noir-like narration thatís dreadfully delivered in a deadpan style. Combine this with the endless, swanky jazz score that drones on throughout the film, and you have a snooze-inducing experience thatíll help cure any lingering insomnia.

Sure, thereís some sexual intrigue in the form of a series of odd visuals. But letís not mince words--the movie is really just a vehicle to showcase some bizarre fetishes, mostly of the bondage variety. The visual style is about the only commendable aspect, as Simmons does at least have an eye for capturing the weird and bizarre on camera; unfortunately, there isnít much meaning behind the madness. The poor acting and the television-style editing cause this one to limp along, and not even the limited amount of murder and mystery can salvage it. Simply put, American Fetish isnít compelling enough to hold your attention, no matter how weird it may seem.

This movie proves that it probably isnít wise to stretch softcore fetish videos into a 90 minute movie. Really, the purpose of these things serve can easily be served in a shorter format. Breaking Glass pictures will be brining it to DVD via their Unearthed Films label on November 30th, and itíll come complete with an anamorphic widescreen transfer, 2.0 Dolby Digital sound, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and a photo fetish gallery. Really though, this one would be best suited for a late-night Skinemax run, as itíd be easier to check out the offbeat visuals and move on to the next channel. Unearthed Films would have been better-off leaving this one buried. Trash it!

For more information, please visit the Breaking Glass Pictures website.

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