Knife + Heart (Review)

CINERAMA FILM ONLINE

Knife + Heart is now available to stream on Shudder.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What do you get if you take 70s gay porn and mix it with the classic 80s slasher? The answer is Knife + Heart, a glorious mix of fantasy horror that shines with pride. Set in Paris during the late 70s boom in low budget gay porn, Matriarch auteur Anne (Vanessa Paradis) spends her time persuading amateur men to perform in her cock laden B-movies. Here each young hopeful is ripped from their menial day jobs in return for their bodies, her schlock movies providing instant celebrity status in the gay XXX movie world.

However, when her young buff film stars begin to die gruesome deaths at the hands of a leather-faced murderer carrying a bladed dildo, Anne quickly sees an opportunity to cash in, changing her new movie title ‘Anal Fury’ to ‘Homocidal’. The result is a murderous movie where art mirrors reality and reality art as her film is bathed in the blood of her young performers. But the film also enables Anne to turn sleuth as the mystery of the leather-faced killer slowly emerges through a blaze of neon, sex and celluloid.


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Yann Gonzalez’s film not only celebrates the interface between porn and horror but pays homage to the role of porn in furthering gay sexual liberation on film. However, Knife + Heart also echoes the dying days of this liberation as a new virus, AIDS, began its deadly march. In many ways, the masked killer is AIDS in physical form, and it is here where the camp horror is suddenly brought into sharp focus. However, these broader messages are embedded in a dreamlike world of voyeurism and fetishism. Here Gonzalez twists the heterosexual norms of 70s horror into something truly unique and compelling, an intoxicating mix of styles that explores desire, art and death. Knife + Heart’s softcore sex beautifully reflects the innocence of early gay porn. The result is a gloriously queer slasher horror with a treasure trove of themes held behind the razor-sharp dildo.


Country: France 🇫🇷

Director: Yann Gonzalez


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