By Steve V. Rodriguez
Written and directed by Justin Kelly (I Am Michael), the gay porn true crime drama starring James Franco, Christian Slater, Garrett Clayton (Hairspray Live!) and Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars) premiered to strong critical acclaim with critics praising the film as “the Boogie Nights of gay porn” at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and opens in theaters and digital platforms Friday, October 21st.
Sean Lockhart (Garrett Clayton), seventeen and boyishly handsome, dreams of fame and success even though he’s broke and without direction. When he meets the seemingly conservative Stephen (Christian Slater), founder of Cobra Video, he starts to perform in gay porn under the moniker “Brent Corrigan,” creating a slew of wildly successful videos during which he blossoms from a naïve young man into a confident sex symbol. When rival porn producers Joe (James Franco), a former youth pastor with a bad temper, and Harlow (Keegan Allen), a former military man, set their sights on stealing Sean from Stephen, an all-out porn turf war ensues, resulting in a shocking, gruesome murder in this bizarre, stranger than fiction true story. http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/king-cobra
At a special preview last night at the IFC Theater in New York City, writer/director Justin Kelly and Christian Slater presented the film to a sold out audience who were eager to dive into this juicy story and hopefully get a glimpse, or more of some male flesh. The film blends satirical moments with a standard timeline of events. It’s downfall is it’s predictability of sequential events, that may or may not be completely accurate, according to posts and articles that have surfaced by the real Sean Lockhart aka Brent Corrigan. Franco gives an over the top performance in almost every scenes he’s in, but Slater and Garrett Clayton deliver strong and believable performances that will lure viewers deeper into this bizarrely torrid tale. Slater told the audience that he was encouraged by James Franco to accept the part after they had worked together in another film that we covered at Tribeca a year ago, “The Adderall Diaries”. See that interview here. He also said that he took on the role because he was pretty certain nobody had ever seen him play a character like this, and that he could relate to Bryan Kocis, the person he plays in the film. Watch a scene from “King Cobra” below and look for the film in theaters. You can also rent the film on iTunes.