Gennaro lives with his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter. But grandpa's not ready to die, he has some unfinished business with a woman from his past and he enlists Gennaro to act as his emissary.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society. While barely seeing his girlfriend Nancy anymore, the work starts changing him.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
The film only opens with the title in large letters, across the screen. It is only at the end where the filmmakers are credited. See more »
The CBS/FOX video release (now out of print) was the most complete version available. It has about 45 seconds of footage of SM bondage and sex (during the Police Night scene) that has been deleted from the Warner Video release, and two lines of dialogue near the end of the film when detectives are searching the killer's dorm room and mention the killers father has been dead for ten years See more »
Viewed today, "Cruising" still elicits intense responses from both Gay and straight viewers alike. Mainstream Gays lament, as many protestors of the film at the time of its release, that it shows a homophobic image of Gay life, depecting them as sex-obsessed. Straights are put off by the frank look at the Gay sex "cruising" culture.
Interesting, however, some of the people involved in the Leather/SM subculture at the time this film was made have praised it for its accuracy of this particular lifestyle -- a pre-AIDS lifestyle concentrated on quick sex that was (and still is) pursued by a segment of the Gay community.
The film does not pretend to depict Gays as a whole. It is just a drama about a police investigation that uses the scene as a background and catalyst for an exploration into how one cop is affected by his work.
Not the greatest film ever made, but certainly a good springboard for discussion about the Gay community's politics, when one fully examines the controversy surrounding the film and the continued debate over public sex and body image in the community.
The strengths of "Cruising" are its use of locales and documentary-style cinematography, as well as the interesting performance from Paccino. In the end, it is hampered as a drama by problems with the narrative structure of the piece that seems to fizzle out in the last act, leading to an intriguing, but inconclusive, finish.
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