The Impressively Shot, Incoherent Pornography: A Thriller


Ambitiously layered and almost completely incoherent, Pornography: A Thriller is a somber thesis film buried under a host of nightmarish, Lynchian conceits. First-time director David Kittredge says that he wrote the script for Pornography in four days, a claim that gains credibility as the film goes on. Collapsing in on itself several times in its interrogation of the line between fantasy and reality, the story is structured in three parts, each concerned with the disappearance of a gay porn star named Mark Anton (Jared Grey). In the first we meet Mark as he is pulled back into the business for one final, fateful gig; the second involves an author (Matthew Montgomery) who becomes intrigued by Mark’s story after unwittingly moving into the apartment where he may have been killed; the third moves to another porn star (Pete Scherer) who seems to create Mark Anton’s story as a screenplay. Unabashedly arty and impressively shot, the film’s examination of seeking “reality” in escapist images—authenticity in porn is good, in snuff films not so much—is undermined by its awkward combination of campy horror, Touched by a Porn Star twists and, most of all, its strangely unchecked suggestion that both making and watching gay pornography can bring the bogeyman to your door.