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Living End

3.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

DVD, NTSC, region 1, digitally remastered, audio: ENG, rated R, running time approx 85 min

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Gregg Araki, Craig Gilmore, Mike Dytri
  • Format: Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Echo Bridge
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008W2N7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,737 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Living End" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. FUSCO on July 18, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Probably the greatest -- certainly the angriest and funniest -- film ever made about HIV+ young men. It is 'dedicated' to a Republican government (George I) that cares nothing for its citizens with AIDS.

"The Living End" is a remarkable love story. It begins with Jon (Craig Gilmore) being rather glibly told that he is HIV+. A mild-mannered film critic who never rocked the boat, Jon is dazed and confused. Just as he is wondering what he will do next, Jon meets Luke (perfectly played by Mike Dytri), a stunningly handsome trouble-magnet (and the sweetest hunk you'll ever see) who is on the lam. Their lives are changed forever. With a super-heated film chemistry, Jon and Luke fall in love. With nothing to lose, they set out on a darkly comic and violent crime spree -- Thelma and Louise with a twist. The world around them is dangerous, and the road of love is rocky: they fight, break up, make up, make love, but find that, in the end, they still have each other. Theirs is, quite simply, one of the most gut-wrenching and genuine love stories ever filmed.

This film masterpiece deserved a first class Criterion remastering, but the Strand Releasing version is the next best thing. The picture is bright and clear and there are lots of extras. You will not be left unscathed, or untouched, by Araki's powerful gospel of Jon and the beautiful Luke.
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Format: VHS Tape
"The Living End" is an independent film in every sense of the word: no music, no production design or apparent costume design, no special effects or widescreen ratio, and no Hollywood gloss. What it does have it a simple story of two men involved in a "Thelma and Louise" storyline who share an offbeat, unconventional yet touching romance. Moments of black comedy tinged with violence and preachy dialogue provide a nice collaboration, though there are a few pitfalls involving the inclusion of supporting characters.
The story goes like this: two guys are introduced to us in separate lifestyles. Jon has just discovered that he is HIV-positive, though his outlook on life is not so hindered as he expected it would be. Luke, a drifter, makes his way to the city, where, upon brutally murdering three gay-bashers, he hitches a ride with unsuspecting Jon back to his place, where quaint small talk turns into a night of passion.
Right from the beginning, their attachment to one another is kinetic and bursting with energy, moreso than in the regular romances Hollywood pelts us with. Yet they have their disputes, and after a fight over Luke beating up a gay-basher, Jon demands that he leave, only to find that he cannot stop thinking about him. When Luke returns, he reveals that he has killed a cop, though Jon seems unmoved by the revelation, and continues to hold and embrace him, a very touching moment.
The two embark on a journey to nowhere, where they discover their love for one another and the many differences they share on their outlook on society and life itself. Luke knows that he loves Jon more than anything else in life, but Jon becomes unsettled by Luke's violent acts and short fuse. The movie then generates into a question of whether they will be together in the end or not.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I would have gladly rated this movie with ***** stars, but, the picture was not clear and the sound kept going from 2-10 decibels.
The acting was great and the actors really worked with each other and fit together.
This is a love, all of us dream about! Luke is wild, physical and a little on the crazed-side, handy with a gun. But, he still can relate with his tender side as shown in the shower scene and his admitted love for Jon, as he tells Jon "you will never find anyone who loves you the way I do" And Jon soon realizes this ; although he doesn't like the way Luke snuffs-out homophobic red-necks, he cannot tear himself away.
At one point Jon kicks Luke out,then cannot get him out of his mind.
Luke returns, enters Jon's apartment and Jon awakens to Luke standing before him with the gun in his mouth(this is one of the greatest scenes ever). If for no other reason, you have got to see this scene.
They have their fights, but Luke always maintains his love for Jon. And you feel the deep love Jon has for Luke.
This film came out in 1993, where have I been that I missed this great film. I have nothing to compare it with except the intense film 'BENT'.
But, I know some of the milk-sop movies from our great film capital cannot sit in the same room as this film.
Accolades for Araki, Dytri and Gilmore!!
It WOULD really be great to see what they could do with this in DVD. They might be able to get the pic. and sound fixed. Rated *** but wanted to rate *****!ciao yaaah69
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Format: DVD
Gregg Araki is a brilliant director that finds in subversive and polemic subjects a complexity and richness that would pass unnoticed for other filmmakers.

"The Living End" is a story that deals with death. However, unlike most movies Araki has found a balance between Freudian Eros and Thanatos. The life drive and the death drive are equally as important for Jon and Luke, the protagonists. They alternately assume different roles regarding impeding death. For Jon, at first, is denial when he confronts the fact that he has AIDS. He trusts in his doctor's words when is told that this diagnosis does not equal a death sentence. Not just yet anyway. Luke, on the other hand, has a clear self-destructive tendency; he seems to be wandering off amidst repellent streets and dangerous highways, with no goals and no real desire.

They meet. They have sex. But here sex is devoid of the Freudian libido. Sex at first may be a consequence of the life drive but ultimately it's but an act of despair, it's the result of an undeniable lack of hope. And what is hope in the end? Is it an abstract concept or rather the force that prevent us from languishing in a situation in which our success is never guaranteed? I'd venture to say that hope comes down to one element: creation. And it's clear for the viewers that Jon and Luke will never be able to create a life together, their existence has already been forfeit.

"Afterlife is just this pathetic notion people cling to in order to avoid confronting their own mortality" explains Jon to Luke. And according to Slavoj Zizek he is absolutely right. In
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