Review from the Vault: Gregg Araki’s THE LIVING END

THE LIVING END (1992) Review by Salty

An offensive and irresponsible film – very very – if offended by this then skippety skip or go away 🙂
Gregg Araki’s third film. It was made on a budget of $20000- and filmed in mono video. Some of the scenes you can tell it’s cheap and occasionally comes off as a B grade film. But boy oh boy it’s a good one. Dubbed the gay Thelma and Louise the film follows two gay HIV men, Luke is a restless and reckless drifter and Jon is a relatively timid and pessimistic movie critic. After an unconventional meeting, and after Luke kills a homophobic police officer, they go on a road trip with the motto “Fuck everything.”

Gregg Araki's The Living End
Gregg Araki’s The Living End

Gregg Araki is one of my favourite directors of all time. He is completely insane and his movies show it. After this film he released “Totally Fucked Up”, followed by one of my all time favourite films that I forgot to put in my top ten “The Doom Generation”. After this came “Nowhere” a messed up acid trip of a film that manages to lose the plot but keep you into it – Nowhere has been described as 90210 on acid and it’s SO true. His most known work is Mysterious Skin that delves into the seedy storyline of pedophilia. He almost always has gay characters and weird storylines but has the most amazing way of telling his stories. His films are starting to go more mainstream which kind of sux. If you ever get a chance to see The Doom Generation or Nowhere DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gregg Araki's The Living End
Gregg Araki’s The Living End

This is a classic film of emerging gay cinema and besides the shaky video camera work and the occasional inaudibility of the soundtrack it is one to watch. The dialogue contains more truth than many Hollywood movies I’ve seen. For instance, at one point, one of the guys goes “Let’s go to Washington and inject our blood in the President. Want to bet they’ll find a cure in 30 seconds?”. Also the closing credit dedication does not hold back. The guys are hot although not the best acting you will ever see, there is quite alot of simulated gay sex although you never see below the belt.The Living End was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992. Worth a watch for the study of gay film making in the early 90’s when HIV and AIDS was a HUGE topic. It is a HUGE topic still with millions dying each year worldwide but as it’s old news no one seems to cover it anymore.

THE LIVING END is worth a happy 7 out of 1o psychotic horny gay boys!