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Frisk (1996)

Alexis Arquette , Craig Chester  |  Unrated |  DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alexis Arquette, Craig Chester, Brook Dillon, Mark Ewert, Michael Gunther
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DC150
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,607 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Frisk" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A man pursues his sexual obsessions to their darkest and most dangerous extremes in this gay-themed drama based on a novel by Dennis Cooper. Dennis (Michael Gunther) is a gay man, who as a teenager developed a perverse attraction to violent pornography and simulated snuff photographs, which he describes in great detail in a series of letters to his former lover Julian (Jaie Laplante). As Dennis grows older, his fascination with the darker side of the sexual underground grows more intense, and in time he meets Henry (Craig Chester), a masochist who posed for some of the pictures that sparked his interest in S&M. When Dennis learns that Henry was murdered, he weaves the incident into an elaborate fantasy, in which Dennis suffers a painful death in a dungeon of erotic torture. In time, Dennis graduates from violent fantasies to sadistic interludes with a male prostitute (Michael Stock) and eventually plans a series of sexually-oriented murders, concluding with an episode in which Dennis and two collaborators (Parker Posey and James Lyons) drug a young punk (Alexis Arquette) into unconsciousness. After having group sex, Dennis and his cohorts murder the punk. As one might expect, Frisk proved to be highly controversial and received a sharply divided reaction in its screening as the closing night attraction at the 1996 San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; some hailed it as a disturbing and iconoclastic masterpiece, while roughly half the audience angrily stormed out of the theater before the film's conclusion. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars forget the controversy--it holds up well June 28, 2004
When "Frisk" debuted at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival it was met with outrage and shock by filmgoers. Viewed as homophobic in it's content and portrayal of gay men, the movie has gotten a bad wrap, but forget what people say and pick up this hot flick for mature audiences and see it for yourself.
A gorgeous cast of hot guys who do nude scenes (most notably handsome adult film actor Michael Gunther in the lead), some tight, if not artsy camera and lens work, as well as a more cohesive storyline that pulls together the arguably complicated tale as penned originally by author Dennis Cooper, make this a noteworthy film.
Not for the faint of heart, content includes controversial portrayals of BD/S&M, underground leather and fetish culture, as well as homicide, suicide, snuff and carries a generally moody atmosphere from the get go.
Interestingly enough, there is some humor to be found, but admittedly it's pretty dark, and while I wouldn't consider this film to be a black comedy per se, it does carry certain elements unique to the particular genre
Cast also includes Craig Chester and Parker Posey in supporting roles, and a cameo from Alexis Arquette as a punk for hire.
It needs to be said that the physical content of the film is largely symbolic to the plot and events (more so here than in Cooper's world), and comes down to a simple theme of sexual exploration.
If you collect art house erotica on DVD, this is a highly reccomended film.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very intense September 30, 2006
By Mark
This movie is very intense to watch. I orginally got this movie was to see what all of the "hipe" was about when it was released. I am very glad that I did purchase it because it was one of the first movies to come out that didn't revolve around the AIDS issue. When you are gay, you don't have to hear about it everywhere you turn. It becomes part of our lives.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough Film July 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is an excellent film. I think it is also a tough film for people to judge the real merits of, because the subject matter is difficult, and the word of mouth has been that it is a gory film, that also gives the gay community a black eye. I think all this prevents people from properly appreciating the film.
Its drama folks, its about murder.
In truth it is not as gory as many slasher or recent war films are. And it certainly is not an attack on the gay community in any way.
So get some courage, get the film, don't prejudge it. I think if you do you will see it is a much better film than the(very incorrect!) buzz would have you believe.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars watch it again March 21, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Everyone whined when it came out - said it was gory and bloody and slapped the gay community in the face (um, didn't Cooper do that in writing it?) If you watched the movie you would note that there is very little blood shown in the movie - most of the 'violence' takes place in voice over's - two scenes offer 'gore' and not much at that. Changes made to the book are women added to the storyline, and its ending leaves you wondering if it was made up at all. The whole point of fiction is that it can be real - there is nothing wrong with crossing a few lines. It is hard to understand why the book gets consistent five star ratings while the movie gets such a low rating. It would appear that people like reading fiction about fiction. If nothing else watch a movie that makes you think you are seeing something you are not. Obviously if you watched the movie and were upset - really upset - then it did its job - it got a response out of you. How many movies can you say that about - certainly not Jeffrey or the Birdcage.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting December 18, 2003
By A Customer
I found this movie to be pretty interesting and welcomed change from the typical gay movie themes. It was dark, gritty and somewhat disturbing at times. The sound and acting were not always the best. I think that the flaws made it much more interesting. It was great to see someone who was brave enough to step outside of the box. I'm glad that there are movies like this one. How many movies can we watch with drag queens, circuit boys, gay men with HIV and hustlers? Great movie. You may have to watch it a few times to really understand everything in it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slasher film for the community. Such a fuss! September 13, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First, I'm a fan of Alexis Arquette. His spot in the film just sends me. Now the movie is a a lot gross. It's good looking gay men acting out some very sadistic fantasies. Things I have fantasized doing to a couple of my ex's. Notwithstanding, I,of course would never do such, but it's there lurking in the back of my mind. Don't laugh at me, and don't touch my makeup! There is a theory that societies that supress artistic expressions of sexuality and brutality wind up acting them out for real, ie...the Nazis. Those where freedom of speech allows for such expression are far more healthy. We must be in good shape then. Really this film is a shocker, but that's good. It's just a movie afterall. Mind you, the operative word here is FANTASY! As long as you know the difference between real and imaginary, you are okay.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the star was the weakest link April 18, 2011
By 3z13
I love Dennis Cooper stories...i loved this movie. Not for the faint of heart or probably even the Dennis Cooper purists....

the story follows our main character through his strange and dark desires and what might or might not have happened...

the soundtrack has many tunes from Coil and is a highlight for me as well as much of it was never released elsewhere...

my one big complaint was Parker Posey and her cohort....i love Parker Posey, but she substitutes in here for a character in the book who is a skinhead being used by the main character for some muscle and getting dirty work done...Parker Posey is not that person....

overlook that one (big) distraction and you might enjoy this twisted story....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money.
It is not clear what the movie is about. There does not seem to exist an ending. It was terrible.
Published 1 month ago by J Chain
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth The Plastic It's Imbedded In
I bought this pile on Amazon after being duped again by bogus reviews. This film does not make it on any level: dramatic or erotic. Read more
Published 13 months ago by F. P. Dunbar
3.0 out of 5 stars frisk
A not so great adaptation of a risk taking novel. Do not worry if you miss this. Read the book.
Published 15 months ago by John Faros
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugly
I haven't read the book (as most of the viewers here), but I am not so keen to do it after I had seen this crap.
The film is plain ugly. Read more
Published on June 28, 2011 by Pitbulltje
1.0 out of 5 stars watered down version of an intense novel
This movie missed the boat at every turn. Frisk was a rough alienating novel where the main characters used S&M sex as a balm for their feelings of alienation. Read more
Published on April 20, 2009 by Culture Vulture
1.0 out of 5 stars Danger.....
An ugly film that underscores the devolution and depravity of societies where the capitalist ethos of dog eats dog is the norm. Read more
Published on July 28, 2007 by zhukov
1.0 out of 5 stars It gave me nightmares
It was umm...interesting. If it was the movie's goal to scar me psychologically, mission accomplished. Read more
Published on November 26, 2006 by Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars I remember laughing a lot
It's been a few months, but I recall being taken aback sometimes and laughing a lot. Parker Posey is great in this movie. It is shocking, but not gory. Read more
Published on September 26, 2005 by J
3.0 out of 5 stars Really sad and messed up
This movie is what happens to someone when their mother has an affair with their pediatrician and they find out about it. Really messed up stuff.
Published on June 19, 2004
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