DVD Review - Drink Me

Mansfield Dark is the small company run by Daniel Mansfield and his husband Richard Mansfield. They're a British, gay couple who make films. This entry is written and directed by Daniel Mansfield and focuses on a semi-autobiographical couple whose lives are upturned when they encounter a man who may or may not be a vampire.

Darren Munn stars as Andy and Emmett Friel co-stars as James. Andy and James live together in London. They shower together. They go out walking hand-in-hand and at night they have sex, often falling asleep stark naked. They work separately, but both have jobs requiring them to dress like they just stepped out a GQ magazine.

One day, on their anniversary, James gets down on his knees and proposes marriage. Andy confesses that he lost his job. When money becomes tight, James suggests that they get a lodger or someone to rent a room in their house. Andy is apprehensive, but eventually they bring in a lodger to help them financially.

Chris Ellis Stanton plays Sebastian, the lodger who stays at Andy and James' house. He's tall, large, muscular, clean-shaven and blonde. This is opposed to Andy and James who are both, hirsute brunettes. Sebastian claims to work at night doing undefined work. He seems creepy, but Andy and James need the money.

Obviously, the boys find Sebastian to be very sexy. He begins to flirt with both Andy and James individually. Arguably, he begins to seduce them, driving a wedge between the two of them. However, Andy sees a blood-stained hoodie in Sebastian's laundry and he sees a poster for a missing man, so he suspects that Sebastian is possibly a danger.

At the same time, Andy starts having dreams or nightmares about being tied up in the woods and watching as Sebastian drinks the blood of James eventually eating James' heart. Andy's dreams indicate that Sebastian is a vampire.

In terms of plot, that's it. There are no twists. There is no further mystery. There's also no further development. Mansfield just uses this vague horror-plot to hang soft-core pornography mixed with a literal blood-lust. On its surface, it wants to be an examination of this same-sex relationship, but, on the surface is where it remains.

It's ostensibly a gay male, sex dream. There are numerous shots that Mansfield captures of Andy literally in bed waking up from a dream. There are so many shots of Andy waking up that half the movie seems like it's a dream. Numerous shots are comprised of Andy lying in bed, totally nude, as Mansfield's camera-lens leers at Andy's uncovered body.

Mansfield has a lot of male, full-frontal nudity from all three of the actors. A lot of it is gratutious. Many of it is in the shower, or in bed during graphic sexuality, so it's not unreasonable. There's so much of it that it almost becomes like Stranger By the Lake (2014) where the sight of genitalia ceases to be a distraction or focus, but Mansfield's camera angles, which are often Dutch or tilted, intentionally want to draw one's eyes to the distraction.

Unfortunately, the editing is so choppy and the writing is so skim that the distraction is all there is. The only thing here is the nudity and sex. As such, it is a horror-themed, semi-porn flick. One scene is just James naked in a tree, straddling branches with legs spread and penis dangling above camera. There's no explanation and no reason for it. It's just to ogle a handsome, naked man.

It's not as scary as one would hope. Stranger By the Lake is scarier because you feel the threat. The murderer is clearly established. In this movie, the murderer is never even confirmed. We assume Sebastian is a bad guy, but it's confusing if Sebastian is even killing people.

Despite Andy and James' relationship, nothing feels as if it's truly threatened. Even the relationship doesn't feel that threatened because Mansfield doesn't bother to show consequences. Yet, if you'd like to see three, beautiful, naked, British lads walking around balls-out and occasionally smeared with blood, then this movie isn't a bad one.

Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but borderline pornographic.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 14 mins.


Darren Munn as Andy

Chris Ellis Stanton as Sebastian

Emmett Friel as James


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