Release Date(s)2014 (July 25, 2017)
- Film/Program Grade: D
- Video Grade: A-
- Audio Grade: A-
- Extras Grade: D+
Stuck in film festival obscurity since 2014, Bag Boy Lover Boy makes its debut on Blu-ray via Severin Films. A bizarre mix of Taxi Driver and Herschell Gordon Lewis, the film follows Albert, an uncivilized young loser who works the late shift as a hot dog vendor in New York City. Taking a liking to Albert is a professional photographer named Ivan, who finds him fascinating as a subject and offers to pay him to take part in his unorthodox photo shoots. Albert soon begins fetishizing the photographer lifestyle as well as fantasizing about a particular young woman, but things quickly turn ugly when he starts luring female models into private shoots to murder them.
Bag Boy Lover Boy is what one might describe as “a shower movie.” Besides being well-shot and well-orchestrated, it’s so gritty and sleazy at times that you practically feel uneasy for the entirety of its running time. The lead actor who portrays Albert, Jon Wachter, keeps you on edge from the first frame, making you totally unsure of what direction the film is going to take with this character. I can’t say that I particularly liked the film, but as an experience it was definitely effective. It’s a grimy little character study that, unsurprisingly, took home some awards at the NYC Horror Film Festival. It’s not really a straight horror film, but it’s also not really an art piece either. It probably has more in common with The Driller Killer than Color Me Blood Red, if that tells you anything.
The Blu-ray presentation of Bag Boy Lover Boy is excellent. It’s quite filmic in appearance with solid detail and texturing, while color reproduction offers up a variety of hues. Due to the number of different lighting schemes and bursts of color grading, flesh tones don’t always appear natural. Black levels are mostly deep, and everything appears as bright as necessary without going overboard. It’s a solid presentation, including the audio. Presented in English 2.0 LPCM, it isn’t overly aggressive with stereo activity, but there are some unexpected ambient moments, as well as LFE activity. Dialogue is always clean and discernible as well. Sound effects and music are mixed well into the proceedings, although the overall feel is fairly one dimensional. Everything is crisp and clear on the whole. Subtitles in English are also included, as well as a few extras. There’s an audio commentary with director Andrés Torres, actor Theodore Bouloukos, and editor Charlie Williams; the film’s trailer; and two short films from actor Jon Wachter: Got Light and The Never-Starting Story, the latter of which includes a non-optional audio commentary from the actor.
I’ll say this about Bag Boy Lover Boy: it gets points for being one of the absolute strangest films I’ve seen recently (outside of Feed the Light, another Severin Films release). It’s certainly not going to be for everybody, if indeed it is for anybody. It’ll make you never want to eat hot dogs again, that’s for sure. However, it’s certain to find its way onto many best of lists for being one of the year’s truly odd experiences on Blu-ray.
- Tim Salmons