Gay Essential Films To Watch, Shank

In the gay themed film drama Shank, Gang member Cal’s (Wayne Virgo) life is filled with secretive anonymous sex, drugs, and random acts of irrational violence. He keeps secret the fact that he is gay from his fellow gang members.

His thuggish gang is only too happy to meter out their discriminating violent hatred of all ‘others’ – anyone who is considered different to them. Victims include foreign students and gays.

Cal has temporary liaisons with other men he finds online that fail to quieten his hidden desires for his best friend, Jonno (Tom Bott). Nessa (Alice Payne) their twisted foul-mouthed gang leader suspects there is something more to Jonno’s and Cal’s close relationship.

Cal’s rescue of Oliver (Marc Laurent), an innocent French exchange student, from the gang’s senseless violent attack grants him an escape route from his depraved life. Needless to say, the gang sees Cal’s act as betrayal and both his and Oliver’s lives are in imminent danger as the violence-crazed gang is hell bent on seeking revenge. Hiding from the gang, Cal spends time with Oliver and experiences feelings he has not encountered before. Love blossoms between the two.

Oliver is kidnapped and Cal knows there has to be a showdown if there is any chance of the two surviving. It is with these thoughts that Cal meets his former gang at the abandoned factory.



Shank has a lot more to say than the average no-budget gangland exposé, resulting in a film which, for all its clichés, feels surprisingly real”
   Tom Huddleston, Time Out London

“The film is many things, but it is never boring and is nearly always provocative and challenging.”
   James Gracey, Eye For Film

“While homophobia and the difficulty of coming out in a hostile environment are central themes, it is the nihilistic viciousness of the young teenagers that provides a shocking wake-up call.”
   Karen Rutter, Cape Times Review

Did You Know?

Shank was filmed on locations in Bristol. Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta appear in some shots. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
When I couldn’t find a gay themed romantic film online via search engines or on any websites in early 2014, I created Gay Essential. launched in June 2014 we regularly promote rare and new gay-themed titles. Gay Essential is the first independent film website to categorize gay-themed films making it easier for visitors to learn about films based on their mood preference. Together with an incredible writing talent, we promote films and we make it easy for you to purchase them based on your location. Please add your support and purchase one of our incredible gay themed film T Shirts , unique and full of attitude.
Alexander Ryll


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Alexander Ryll
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