Every year, no, wait. Every month. No, that’s wrong, too. Every week, there seems to be more and more LGBT movies being released and available for streaming on-demand.
Like the community itself, the movies come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genres. As this is being written, horror is very popular.
The foundation of “The Estate” (Stone Lane Pictures) is horror, but it’s also amusing, erotic and full of double-crosses. Additionally, it’s somewhat predictable although it tries not to be. To its credit, “The Estate” features a showy cast including Eric Roberts, Heather Matarazzo, Alexandra Billings and Alexandra Paul, which it milks for all it’s worth.
As “The Estate” opens, shallow gay George (Chris Baker, who also wrote the screenplay) is doing a TV interview with Bonnie (Billings) about having survived a horrific event that occurred in his home, prompting him to write the book “I, Victim: A Memoir.” We then flashback to a year ago. At that time, George is watching TV coverage of the Black and White Gala. He is interrupted by Lux (Eliza Coupe), the current wife of his father Marcello (Roberts), shrieking his name.
Lux, well aware that Marcello is unfaithful, invites George to go “dumpster diving for dicks” with her. At a seedy bar, they meet a tasty snack named Joe (Greg Finley). They take him back to the Brentwood estate, which is in a state of increasing disrepair, where he has sex with Lux.
The next morning, they tell Joe how Marcello treats George and Lux like dirt, making them “grovel for pennies.” Joe, who was abandoned by his own father when he was young, claims to have murdered 18 people as a hitman on the dark web, and offers to kill Marcello. George is freaked out, but Lux is intrigued.
Before you know it, George, who is also having sex with bisexual Joe, is on board with the murder plot. The first two deaths are those of Marcello and his driver (Allan Graf). Shortly thereafter, George and Lux have an appointment with Marcello’s lawyer for the reading of the will. It’s there that they meet conniving receptionist Mary (Matarazzo). She will come in handy later after they find out that Marcello has bequeathed the deteriorating property to them, in addition to $10k a month.
However, he has left all his other possessions to a daughter neither George nor Lux knew anything about. Mary helps them track down cam-sex girl Caitlin (Lala Kent) for a price, and Joe’s killing skills are useful again as they quickly dispose of her.
As is perhaps common in psychosexual triangles, petty jealousies arise, alliances form. The law firm’s investigator Ellison (Rif Hutton) grows suspicious of some of the events taking place. Lux tries to get George to team up with her against Joe, pinning everything on him. But her plan backfires as George and Joe have already made a pact of their own and she joins the body count.
Segueing back to the present, lovebirds George and Joe are packing up the crumbling estate. George meets with realtor Bethenny (Paul), who tells him the estate is the “site of more murders and disappearances than any other nine-bedroom manse in the area.” He doesn’t care, he wants it sold.
George is delighted when his own longed-for invitation to the Black and White Gala finally arrives in the post. Even better, George is slated to be the guest of honor. But his excitement about being one of two “bloodthirsty, murderous fuckboys” with Joe is short-lived. A phone call from the lawyer reveals that yet another long-lost heir has been discovered. No spoilers here. Suffice to say that the twisted should-have-seen-it-coming conclusion is one for the ages.
Screen Savor is a weekly column from SFGN’s film critic Gregg Shapiro. Shapiro is an entertainment journalist, whose interviews and reviews run in regional LGBT and mainstream media outlets. Shapiro is the author of seven books including the 2019 chapbooks, Sunshine State and More Poems About Buildings and Food. Shapiro lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his husband Rick and their dog Coco.