VOD REVIEW: Weird, twisted Last Porno Show is excruciatingly awkward to its final frame

I’ll say right off the jump that in reading TIFF reviews from 2019, I am in the minority here. The debut feature from The Rainbow Kid’s Kire Paputts was pretty adored at the festival.

And yet, I just have to say I found no part of this film pleasant. It wasn’t the non-stop nudity, nor the tone. It was the awkward, almost sick feeling I had watching it.

It tells the story of struggling, balding actor Wayne, who inherits his dad’s struggling porno theatre when he passes. He is estranged from his father and wants to sell, but something holds him back.

As he encounters moviegoers, succumbs to working the role his father Al had for years, and becomes enveloped in the business, Wayne begins to change for the worse, becoming the man he has hated for years.

His newfound skeezy nature lands him a film gig in a movie where he has to have real-life sex, and leads to some frankly strange and uncomfortable scenes with his female scene partner.

I didn’t like Wayne — and maybe that was the point as we headed toward his possible redemption — but to loathe the main character and his father Al, who is seen through flashbacks, didn’t leave me much to like.

Frankly, the flashback scenes were grotesque and, in some instances, upsetting. I understand the film may have been meant to shock, and doesn’t shy away from nudity in its subject matter, but it went a little far.

The performances, in contrast, are all pretty fantastic. Nathaniel Chadwick is really, really good as Wayne, and I’d love to see more of him. Christian Aldo, who plays Al, is also effective. They really were the only big draws for me, save for a great supporting turn from Dylan Harman.

The one thing I can say in the features favour is that regardless of what I thought of the content, Paputts shot a gritty, if tonally dark, film. He committed to making a dark, seedy and hugely uncomfortable feature, and he succeeded.

You can judge for yourself whether that’s a selling point or makes this one a definite pass-by.

1.5/5 Stars

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