Friday, August 1, 2014


There's a rash of brutal killings going on in the leather/S&M segment of the NYC gay community.  At the same time there's unidentified male body parts washing up on the Hudson River.  Could it all be linked to the same killer?  There's only one way to find out: throw cop Al Pacino deep undercover in the leather bar scene and see what happens.  Did he get any kind of specialized training?  How about a psychological evaluation first?  Exactly how deep undercover is he?  Can he do drugs?  Have gay sex?  What exactly is going on?  Who knows, cause none of that is ever explained.  The film opens with some crime stuff, then Al getting asked if he wants to go undercover, he agrees and BOOM! he's undercover in a gay bar looking like a fish out of water while some dude is getting fisted off to the side. 

Despite the purposeful(?) ambiguity, I really enjoyed the first 50 minutes or so, but then when it got more centered in on the crime solving and less on the gay bars I began to lose interest.  Also the vagueness of the killer was bothersome.  Did the same actor play the killer in all of the killer scenes?  I know for a fact that wasn't his real voice.  And what was up with that weak ending?  For starting off so vigorously, CRUISING busts it's thick, hot load way too soon.

I did really like the scene where Al was dancing and huffing on that rag.  Every time he hit it the colors brightened and his dancing got more animated.  Good stuff.  In summery, CRUISING is a good film, but it could have really benefited from a more straight-forward story, a more memorable killer, more brutality and much more sweaty gay sex.  A better explanation of the leather scene would have helped also.  Still, it's very much worth watching.  Keep an sharp eye out for all of the young actors that would later go on to big careers.