It’s no secret that I count Wade Radford, the star, co-director, producer and writer of Boys 3 as a good friend, yet even he will tell you that I don’t let our friendship get in the way of an honest opinion. If anything, it’s that honesty that draws us together (and anyone who has listened to our Bitches of OZ podcast knows, we disagree frequently). I mention that as a bit of full disclosure for those who may think I’d be easier on his work or give a positive review regardless of my actual thoughts.
Fortunately there’s no need to lie, Wade and co- director Jason Impey have created something so fresh, so disturbing, and so entertainingly profane I’d be lying if I did brush it off. Having been a fan of the first two movies, I can say without any doubt Boys 3 is the best one yet.
It’s important to note that what I saw was an early cut and may not be the final version when released on DVD this summer. However, as it stands now, it’s another impressive bit of work from Radford and Impey. Due to this being an early preview, I won’t go into much of the plot, as I don’t want to spoil what is an outrageous hour and nineteen minute ride.
The film opens with Darrell reprising the rules of prison life, something not seen since the original Boys Behind Bars. And we’re then introduced to the cast, which consists of Radford continuing his role of Darrell; the fabulous Honey Bane reprising her role as Mizz Muncher; Sky James as Ben; Renee Maddox as AJ, and Debra Chant as Carol. The basic premise has a new government drug rehabilitation program being required, and we see the trio of AJ, Ben, and Darrell starting the first meeting with their counselor Carol. As happens in the Boys movies, things take a left turn at Darrell’s instigation leading to a tense and harrowing tale where Carol is held hostage, and the boys are left to torment her and one another. Really, that’s all you can and should know about the movie, as the fun is not only in the journey, but staring at the screen and saying, “Did they just do that? Really?”
In my review of Radford’s and Impey’s movie Twink, I made special note of Radford’s acting skills. His performance in that was so well done, I never thought he could top that. I was wrong. I think his performance in Boys 3 is as good as Twink, if not better. It’s quite clear to me and anyone watching that he’s having a grand time reveling in the debauched antics of Darrell. It’s an uninhibited, tour de force piece of acting that keeps you riveted to the screen. I’ve said it before and will say it again, Radford has a presence onscreen that demands attention no matter what role he’s playing.
Jason Impey’s direction and cinematography is as outstanding as ever. He really has the fly on the wall camera work down to a science, and I can’t think of anyone who does it better. I’ve always been impressed with how he shoots his films, and he gets better and better with each new movie.
80’s punk singer Honey Bane returns as Mizz Muncher, perhaps my favorite character from the trilogy. Bane is no stranger to the Radford/Impey universe and any time she appears in something is a cause for celebration but especially as Muncher. She gives herself to the role of the vile governor (governess?) of the prison, and shows just how evil and vile people can be. The chemistry and interaction she has with Radford is palpable, and you can’t help but get some goose bumps at their behavior.
Debra Chant as Carol the therapist who thinks everyone can be changed, gets run through the ringer and comes out a champ in her performance. I can’t say much about her character without giving anything away, but suffice to say, she certainly went toe to toe with everyone else.
Sky James makes his feature film debut as Ben. Known primarily for his adult film work, James shows he’s capable of far more. In fact, if you knew nothing about him, you’d be surprised this was his first film role. He comes across quite natural in his ability, and like Radford has a presence when the camera is on him. James is far more than a pretty face or nice body, he gives Ben some depth and at a couple of points elicits some sympathy from the audience. I’m looking forward to seeing Sky in other feature films as I think he’s got quite a future if he chose to pursue it more.
Renee Maddox also an adult film actor makes his debut in feature film as well. His character AJ is actually a good representation of the entire film. His role is saucy, sexy, violent, and riveting. He has a scene with Radford midway through the film that’s about as erotic as anything you can see, and done with style, flair, and just a bit of nudity. Maddox truly shines in that scene, and as I said above regarding James, could definitely have a future in film if he chose.
Make no mistake, Boys 3 will offend you in some way, shape or form. Whether it’s the brutality, the gore, the racism, or the uh…well, a scene I won’t mention, but you’ll know it when you see it, this is exploitation and video nasty territory as you can get. They don’t make movies like this anymore, and many would say that’s probably a good thing. I however would say we need more movies like this. WE need filmmakers like Jason Impey and Wade Radford to rattle the cages of other indie artists, and the LGBT community. Films like this need to be seen, and promoted so the lethargy that seems to infect film these days, gets the kick in the ass it needs.
I forget if it was the morning after Radford and company filmed Boys 3, or a day afterwards, but I do remember the absolute giddiness and joy Wade had when talking about the project. His enthusiasm was so infectious I felt like I had actually been a part of the process. His glee in describing certain scenes, and the way he took pride in the obscenities and perversion was all I needed to know that this would be a film worth waiting for. It’s one of the best looking of their movies, and if you compare it to the first, it’s like night and day. That’s not a criticism of the first either, but a barometer of how much they’ve grown.
This is jailsploitation at its best, and no one, and I mean no one does it like Impey and Radford. Here’s hoping for more of the series in the future.