Judas Kiss (movie)

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Judas Kiss Movie Review: CoverTitle: Judas Kiss
Director: J.T. Tepnapa
Starring: Richard Harmon, Charlie David, Sean Paul Lockhart, Timo Descamps
Producers: Blue Seraph ProductionsBorder2Border Entertainment
Amazon Buy/Watch Link
Genre: Drama/Sci-fi
Country of Origin/Language: USA/English
Rating: Unrated
Released: 2011
Length: 94  minutes
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Jay Bell

Blurb: Failed filmmaker Zachary Wells is convinced by his best friend and hotshot director Topher into replacing him as a judge in their film school’s annual festival. Zach’s one-night stand with a student backfires when that student walks into an interview the next morning calling himself Danny Reyes, the name Zach went by when he attended the school. And Danny’s film, “Judas Kiss,” is a finalist in the competition Zach is judging. Zach’s film, also “Judas Kiss,” won the festival years before. As Zach scrambles for answers, a mysterious, chain-smoking campus tour guide, counsels him: “Change the kid’s past, change your future.” But how? Zach comes to believe he can mend his life by disqualifying Danny from competition, putting him on a different path than Zach followed. But will Zach’s plan work?

Foreword: Before we get to the review, there are some buds that need nipping. As many of you will know from the recent interview on this site, the creative team behind Judas Kiss are adapting one my books to film. If I were you, I’d be a bit skeptical of a rave review coming from a guy who is now in bed with the producer and director. (*snicker*) All I can say in my defense is that I saw this film not knowing I would have a future partnership with the creators. In fact, this movie is what made me push to get these guys on board for Something Like Summer, which is probably the biggest compliment I can pay the film. If need be, I’m willing to swear on a stack of Josh Lanyon books that this review is unbiased. With that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff!

The Review: When my husband Andreas and I went to a gay film festival last year, there was only one movie on the docket that sounded interesting: Judas Kiss. I wasn’t clear on the plot, but I caught the words “time travel.” I couldn’t imagine how that would play out in a gay movie. A pink police box? Or a DeLorean blaring Lady Gaga at 88 decibels to break through the time barrier? The man who introduced the film at the festival said: “Here’s a film about very unusual events … uh … Just watch it and see what you think.” At the time, it seemed a lousy intro. Now I find myself agreeing with the guy. You really should just watch it, preferably a few times, and see what you think.

Judas Kiss Movie Review: Zachary Wells

But you probably want to know more, so here we go. First the basics. Judas Kiss does have elements of science-fiction, but only in a Twilight Zone kind of way. There are indeed unusual events, namely the main character meeting his younger self. There’s no cheesy plot device or tiresome explanation of how this happens. Instead, the main character Zachary Wells takes a trip back to the university where his career as a filmmaker hit its peak. Once there, things get a little surreal when he meets his younger self, Danny Reyes (who hasn’t yet changed his name to Zachary Wells), and gets caught up in the very events he feels ruined his life. Sound convoluted? It is, but that journey of discovery makes the fist viewing of Judas Kiss such a joy.

Judas Kiss Movie Review: Danny Reyes

Zachary tries to stop his younger self from making the same mistakes, which is hopeless since Danny is on top of the world and still at that age where he feels invincible. Plus he has problems of his own. The most influential guy on campus, Shane Lyons, has taken a shine to Danny and has the power to make or break him. And then there’s adorable doe-eyed Chris, Shane’s former pet project, who knows first hand how Danny will be used and discarded. Chris wants to protect Danny while stealing his heart away from Shane. Oh, the wonderful drama of it all!

Judas Kiss Movie Review: Different, but the same.

That there’s so much happening in Judas Kiss makes it delightfully rewatchable. Aside from the ninety minutes stuffed with plot and the complex relationships of the major players, the secondary and sometimes silent characters also have their stories to tell if you pay attention. And while your mind is enraptured, your nether regions will be just as pleased, since the boys of Judas Kiss are very hot. Best of all, they aren’t the muscle bound clones that infest many gay films. They each have character and charm that makes them delicious to the eye. Charlie David (Zachary) is hunky, Richard Harmon (Danny) is haunting, Sean Paul Lockhart (Chris) is notoriously attractive, and then there’s Timo Descamps (Shane) who plays the bad boy to perfection. Not only do they look good, but each is a competent actor as well.

Judas Kiss Movie Review: Chris ? Danny

Judas Kiss has got it going on and deserves the praise it’s been getting. If you’re put off by the sci-fi elements, don’t be. There is plenty of love and romance in this film to keep you satisfied. There’s also much that is new and fresh, which I feel is long overdue in gay cinema. Give Judas Kiss a shot—really give it your full attention—and I think you’ll discover an exciting new movie that promises a successful future for the creators of the film, and many more delights for us in the audience.

8 thoughts on “Judas Kiss (movie)

  1. Tam

    I’ve heard good buzz about this on-line (also that I follow SPL on Twitter who promoed it a lot). Unfortunately, I don’t buy movies and by the time there is any way for me to see it, who knows when that will be, but I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  2. GR

    I saw “Judas Kiss” on itunes last night, and I have to respectfully disagree: while the guys were pretty cute and I’m just fine with the time-travel plot device, to me the movie seemed obvious, over-sentimental, and a bit dumb. However, if you like the level of sentimentality of, say, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” you will probably enjoy it.

  3. mrb

    I saw Judas Kiss last year and liked it, not quite as much as you did Jay, but for me Richard Harmon’s performance alone was worth seeing it. I’m not a huge fan of Charlie Davida’s acting and so I tend to say away from his movies. Probably would give it a 3 out of 5.

    On the lookout for a great gay themed movie?. The Green was a really good :-)

  4. Fae

    Eh, it was alright. I’m a big Charlie David fan and Sean Lockhart (under his pseudonym Brent Corrigan) is one of my favorite gay porn actors, so I had really high hopes for this one. Funny enough, neither of them stole the movie for me, it was the guy playing the young Danny who really stood out for me.

    It was pretty predictable, the one and only curve ball that actually hit home was at the beginning and the reveal after the club pickup. I was a little disappointed that wasn’t explored more – I’d have some major internal grappling going on if I discovered – well, I don’t want to give spoilers. But still, it was a missed opportunity, imo.

    Shane’s character was soooo 2-dimensional villain. Whether that was the actor’s issue or the writing’s issue, either way the only time I wasn’t rolling my eyes at him was for the brief ten seconds or so he was making Danny whimper. I liked Shane for those ten seconds lol.

    I’d probably give it a 3.5 out of 5. Good, but not really worth the effort it took for me to find a way to see it. My fave gay movies are still Latter Days and From Beginning To End.

    1. Lasha

      What she said. *g*

      I liked Charlie David in Dante’s Cove, but hated Mulligans, so when I saw this on Amazon, I thought I’d give it a try. While I love time-travel romances, this just wasn’t my cuppa. I guess I am more of a Latter Days and Shelter kind of girl.

      But thank you for the insightful review and I will be looking forward to your movie!

      1. Jay Bell Post author

        Thanks, Lasha. Seems like Judas Kiss is one of those love it or leave it films, but I’m still a fan. Latter Days and Shelter are also awesome. Seems like gay films are coming out in droves lately, so we’re really spoiled for choice! :smile:

        1. Lasha

          Yes, Jay I am so happy there are so many movies to choose from. I just bought From Beginning to End and Harry & Max. Next up, Redwoods. :)

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