Trunks 2: Hot House’s Sexual Superheroes
Despite a misleadingly subtle title, Trunks 2 — the latest opus from Hot House director Steven Scarborough — is more than just a hot porn; the movie’s fantastical, color saturated, heavily stylized shots fall somewhere between David LaChappelle’s fashion photography and the graphic intensity of a DC comic. In fact, the models are so fully realized and the images so rich that the sex might be confused with be slash art — pectoral Supermen putting it to Aquaman’s sculpted ass. (It doesn’t hurt that the more-powerful-than-a-locomotive men are clad in tight, colorful Speedos.) Scarborough has always had an masterful command of the light, but it has recently been confined to the more easily controlled space of a studio. While he did a few outdoor pieces for Falcon in the late 80s and early 90s (Plunge, A Perfect Summer) and dipped into the waterhole with Hot House’s Road Series (The Road to Temptation, The Road to Hopeful, The Road Home), signature movies like The Abduction, Skuff and The Missing have always had kept the darker cast of the dungeon. A few trips to Palm Springs seem to have got him seeing the light again — and with gusto.
Last summer I was in California’s Russian River Valley while Steven was shooting Beefcake for Falcon (as a guest director). I didn’t stop by the set, but I remember it being brutally hot and so bright that my skin reflected a retina-scorching white. Beefcake was a tremendous movie — suffusing Falcon stable of men with an almost sensational brightness. While other directors deal with sun by diffusing it, or toying with the shadows, Scarborough makes every shot explicit.
Trunks and Trunks 2, and last year’s Mischief refuse to shrink from the either the solar or sexual heat. While Falcon in many ways pioneered the model as sexual Olympian, Scarborough has taken him back to Mount Olympus. Zeus himself couldn’t look more defined or imposing. The glare might be too much for some, but as the pictures show, the heat of Scarborough’s summer is just right.