Arriving on Blu-ray this week is writer/director Justin Kelly’s “King Cobra” which was inspired by a true story. Set in 2006, we are given a behind-the-scenes look at two different producers of gay internet porn and its’ stars. This dark and twisted drama features an impressive cast that includes Christian Slater, James Franco, Garrett Clayton, and Keegan Allen. Although the two latter names might not seem familiar to you, they hold their own against the veterans.
Film student Sean Lockhart (Clayton) wants to be an adult film star and when he meets Stephen (Slater), the King Cobra producer turns the teenager into a star. Sean goes by the name Brent Corrigan in the films. Sean earns a grand per video but also is given housing, food, and clothing. Stephen takes care of his star.
The Viper Boyz are a rival gay porn producer run by Joe (Franco) and his boyfriend/star, Harlow (Allen). The pair live a lavish lifestyle but are in serious debt. Their solution is to have Brent Corrigan in their films. Sean is very interested in what The Viper Boyz are offering, especially since he feels he is being taken advantage of by Stephen. Needless-to-say things get very twisted and dangerous.
Kelly’s follow up to 2015’s “I Am Michael” is a solid one and the story here is a fascinating one. Franco is terrific but it is Allen who plays the emotionally crippled Harlow that steals every scene. I am unsure how much of film is true but regardless, this is a compelling story and should be given a look.
By: Marc Ferman