– by Stephon White

There are some films that are uncomfortable to watch. Antichrist is one of them. Irreversible is another. The film I am reviewing is called Groupers. You can add it to that list.  Ok, it may not be as hard to watch as that baby mashing scene from The Human Centipede 2 Full Sequence, but there are several scenes that are hard to watch. That’s what she said. Oh, yeah, and get used to hearing that line again and again.

Like I said, this was an awkward watch. There were times I felt like explaining the movie I was watching to people nearby, just in case they overheard the characters’ continuous comments about being jabbed by another guy’s penis.

That brings me to the premise. Is homosexuality a choice? It’s an interesting premise and one that seems fit for a college thesis. Groupers tackles the idea without restraint and maybe a tad too juvenile for anyone looking for some serious contemplation on the many factors involved with someone’s sexuality. So, as a scientific query the film fails hard. We’re introduced to characters that pop in and out of scenes so often I thought I was watching a Guy Ritchie film. Not that he makes bad films at all. Snatch is one of my favorite films. Groupers introduced characters in the third act that had no apparent stakes in the setup and were only tangibly affected by the outcome.

If you have seen the three-minute-forty-second intro online, then like me, you may have gotten that whole Ellen Page Hard Candy vibe watching it. Sadly, those comparisons end right there. Shortly after we’re past that, we segue into a nonstop flurry of juvenile dick jokes and my God, I swear, I was expecting someone to queef at some point in this. It would have felt at home in a film of this caliber. It’s low brow B-movie dick jokes, folks. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the filmmaker’s attempt to present the film as something highbrow or challenging that struck me as off-putting.

So, how does our intrepid sociopathic nutcase lead female decide to approach her query as to whether homosexuality is a choice? Most importantly why? The why is lacking in so many ways. We are to believe this nutcase would forcibly bound two young men together in a contraption so ludicrous, I was expecting Jigsaw to peddle out and tell me the rules of the game. Spoilers. She has these two young men bound at their penises in some sort of Chinese finger trap. Both can leave the moment both get erections hard enough they meet in the middle of this sad and wet Chinese finger trap. Ok. Still with me? It’s a lot to swallow. That’s what she said. Oh, and get used to hearing that line about fifty damn times, as this immature douche spouts it over and over again.

All in all, I think the two best things Groupers has going for it are its cinematography and the acting skills of Peter Mayer-Klephick. He has a role in the film that I will not spoil. Let’s just say he seems to be the only actor truly chewing on this material, and it works. Part of me wishes the film ditched the lead female played by Nicole Dambro or moved her to a more supporting role and leaned harder onto Peter Mayer-Klephick’s character. Dude is crazy in a marvelous way.

But, on the whole, I’m not sure who to recommend this film to.


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