Menmaniacs - The Legacy of Leather

on September 30, 1996 by Dale Winogura
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   For audiences turned on by the S&M scene, "Menmaniacs" offers plenty of sweaty, writhing male torsos clad in bondage gear, but not much else. Despite a few interesting interviews with gay men and some discussion of the AIDS issue, the documentary is a surface-deep and overlong glimpse into aberrant sexual practices that's strictly for the already converted.
   Beginning with the International Mr. Leather contest, director/photographer Jochen Hick proceeds in pedestrian fashion to chronicle body piercers, porn actors, sex slaves, fetishists and contest winners. A serious attempt to combine objective and exploitive viewpoints on kinky sleaze doesn't quite come off due to Hick's lack of creativity and artistry. The film winds up merely glorifying the lifestyle rather than understanding it, which for its adherents is obviously more than sufficient. Because there's not much insight or depth, it's just a standard promo for leather freaks. Starring Thomas Karasch and Paul Smith. Directed by Jochen Hick. A Turbulent Arts release. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 86 min.
Tags: Thomas Karasch and Paul Smith. Directed by Jochen Hick. A Turbulent Arts release. Documentary, sweaty, gay, Aids, sexual, artistry
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