Frameline 33 :: Shank

by Christian Cintron

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday June 22, 2009

Frameline 33 :: Shank

Shank is a gritty, drug-filled journey behind the closet door into a world of discreet and dirty hook-ups, gay bashing, and keeping secrets.

It follows a British boy, Cal (Wayne Virgo), who in his free time likes cocaine, filming his secret sexual conquests with men, and lusting after his best friend.

The equivalent of "Beautiful Thing" on coke, "Shank" takes you on a frenetic and sexually charged journey that will leave you feel guiltily turned on.

The movie begins with a haunting cell phone video of a gay bashing. It cuts to Cal, our anti-hero, going to meet a hook up. What ensues is a dirty drug-addled and animalistic sex scene. Cal even has him film it. At the end he head-butts the poor guy. We soon learn that Cal is a closet homosexual, cocaine addict, and ersatz drug dealer.

With his friends, unstable Nessa (Alice Paine) and sexy brooder Jonno (Tom Bott), he parties, does drugs, and even goes on routine gay bashings.

He stops his friends from violently beating Olivier (Mark Laurent) and they soon embark on an exploration neither is prepared for. But things quickly go south when his friends find out.

"Shank" is sexy and explores the gritty and dark side of secret sex. Cal does things that people don't talk about, that are usually reserved for the dark recesses of Xtube. But the film isn't just a movie that relies on sex to drive the plot.

It explores the dark underprivileged world only touched on in "Beautiful Thing" and shows like "Skins." The show reveals the poverty, the struggle, and the violence of kids just trying to make it through their life in the poor UK neighborhoods.

"Shank" is a good movie because it's original. It doesn't explore a teen falling in love with his friend, it isn't a tender love story or "coming of age" tale. It explores the dark, alluring, and seedy side of being in the closet, homophobia, and consoling the two.


Now showing at the Frameline 33 Film Festival

Christian Cintron is a writer, actor and stand up comedian. He attended Vassar College and has worked in marketing and social media. For more check out YouTube: and