Gay Essential Films To Watch, The Living End

The Living End tells a story that revolves around two gay young men who are HIV positive, Luke (Mike Dytri) and Jon (Craig Gilmore). They find themselves on the run in ‘Thelma and Louise’ style after murdering a homophobic policeman. Luke is a hustler and Jon is a movie critic. Luke is a natural rebel with an at times psychotic personality that is immediately portrayed in the film’s opening minutes. Jon, on the other hand, is rather quiet and morose. The unmatched pair pursues a hedonistic perilous journey

Jon has just learned of his HIV positive status. Despite assuring his best friend Darcy (Darcy Marta) that he is fine, he is anything but. Still in shock and out of character, Jon picks up a strange man (Luke) carrying a gun. Jon finds Luke terrifying but unable to curb his attraction to him. Luke convinces Jon that due to them both having AIDS, they can do anything they want without a thought of the consequences. Enamoured by Luke and the rush of adrenaline, Jon agrees to run away with him. While living a life on the run, the two men, who are poles apart in character, become lovers. Their trip to San Francisco is riddled with violence.

The Living End

Critics

“Rudely funny as it is about most things, The Living End doesn’t trivialize AIDS in any way. What it does instead is give vibrant, angry substance to the phrase “till death do us part.”
   Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“A Comic ‘Living End’ Links Romance, Fate, HIV : Death: The Living End marks a breakthrough for filmmaker Araki, and shows us two people who have only each other.”
   Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

“A year before Philadelphia went the respectable route in asking mainstream audiences to consider the AIDS crisis, provoc-auteur Gregg Araki unveiled what remains the single most confrontational film on the subject.”
   Peter Debruge, Variety

Did You Know?

The Living End premiered in 1992 at Sundance. The title of the film was inspired by a song by The Jesus and Mary Chain. The film’s soundtrack pays homage to industrial, post punk and shoegazing music. In an interview Gregg Araki said that the film was originally intended to be shot in black and white. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
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Alexander Ryll
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