Okay. I’d read bad things about Gag, but I got it anyway, for several reasons. The DVD was dirt cheap. It’s an indie film and I’m always willing to give indie trash a chance. But most importantly, I knew the adorable Brian Kolodziej from Creep Van would be tied down on a bed.
To grab the hetero male crowd, Gag opens with a woman being tortured. She’s tied up with red tape. Her legs are spread wide, she’s wearing panties, and the camera pans slowly across her thighs and crotch. She’s screaming and whimpering. There’s what appears to be someone in a mask. Then a tube is shoved into her mouth, a mouse is inserted into the tub, and….
The rest of the movie is mostly men torturing other men! Two thieves break into a house to rob the safe. Instead, they find Brian Kolodziej tied to a bed and gagged. This is where I would have turned this into an entirely different movie.
There is some genuine creepiness when the guys enter the place. The house is dank and dark, they have only flashlights, and there are some effective glimpses of someone else in the house with them. There was so much potential for a sort of low-budget The Strangers in reverse.
I guess you could say it sort of is like that, but the problem is, this isn’t a nice house. The whole place looks like a creepy dungeon, and after finding someone tied to a bed, even a greedy thief would get the frick out. But these two thieves decide to “help” the dude. Before long, several characters are introduced and it becomes a game of who has the upper hand and who’s really the bad guy.
Any sense of horror and fear is obliterated by the fact that most of the action takes place in one very well lit dungeon room and the plot is completely dependent on men talking, grappling with each other, tying each other up, and getting loose when they are tied up. But there are some gruesome torture techniques, including hot pennies and razor blade swallowing. And if I’m not mistaken, one dude seriously gets a long wooden spear shoved up his bum.
There’s also a really gruesome cannibalism drug trip scene, which is probably the most horror-esque moment of the film. And, in random news, a lit plastic Jack o’ lantern appears on a shelf. Most importantly, Brian Kolodziej is in tight jeans and a tank top. He also gives a pretty dang good serious performance compared to his more lighthearted character in Creep Van. He is reason enough for me to watch anything. I wish I could get him to star in the porn spoof of Gag I have in mind. I’d call it Gag (On This).