Twilight: New Moon
Let’s bypass the BS, OK? The only redeeming quality in the “Twilight” snoozefest is Jacob Black (played by Taylor Lautner), a werewolf with a penchant for running around the Washington state backwoods in athletic shorts and sneakers – and nothing else. The first installment was a complete waste of Lautner’s talent (read: eight-pack abs and bulging biceps), but “New Moon” makes amends – and the now-legal Lautner a star – by giving fans the goods and plenty of ’em. Already established series superstar Robert Pattinson must’ve been pissed about that one. Having to share the spotlight with an immensely better looking – and better bodied – co-star has to kill. Unless he lives by the old (if not completely manipulated) adage, “Once bitten, never shy.” One can hope.
28 Days Later
Why Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens from his coma to a desolate and destroyed London is no secret – the Rage virus has decimated the city and left him seemingly alone – but how he lost his hospital gown remains a mystery. Director Danny Boyle’s 2002 zombie-genre game changer opens with the injured bicycle messenger locked in a room for his own safety but also very much naked. We’re talkin’ full-frontal, uncut, in-your-face, flaccid phallic action. Which is kinda sweet if you think about it. Because not only did the (probably male) nurse save him from having his face bitten off by the Infected, but it’s highly likely that he went down on him (liberties must be taken for the sake of interpretation) before the world as he knew it ended – and then cleaned up the mess. Now that’s good bedside manner.
Before he was wannabe Upper East Side lothario Nate Archibald on “Gossip Girl,” Chace Crawford played Tyler Simms, a Son of Ipswich, one of five bloodlines whose firstborn male of each generation inherits “the Power,” in the “The Covenant.” What that power entails exactly is unknown, except that it gives Tyler (who is only a supporting character in the film) the ability to do neato tricks like jump from dark-and-misty elevations and land unscathed. Yawn. But what “The Covenant” lacks in supernatural spectacle it more than makes up for in smokin’ hot half-nakedness. Take the poolside scene for instance, when Tyler’s also-gifted brethren stroll in shirtless from the locker room wearing only trunk-cut suits and owning the hell out of effortless swagger. Out of the water, kiddies – it’s time for adult swim.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
It’s a crime against the gratuitous horror genre that Ryan Phillippe’s Barry didn’t escape the Fisherman’s hook in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” – or that the Fisherman couldn’t have ripped Barry’s pants off before gutting him like a trout – but at least there’s the gym scene. After an intense eight-second workout (because people born perfect require less exercise than the rest of us), Barry proceeds to the locker room where he disrobes and showers like he loves himself, only to be interrupted by a strange shadow that, wouldn’t ya know it, the dog-tag-clad Barry decides to follow. Thank you, stupid movie rules. For the next minute and a half, viewers are treated to the young Adonis weaving in and out of lockers in a tight terrycloth skirt that accentuates all the right areas. And if that’s not enough to satisfy your Phillippe fantasies, just wait until he gets pissy over his missing letterman jacket. Hell hath no fury like a post-high-school hottie scorned.
The Amityville Horror (2005)
As remakes go, this 2005 update of the 1979 classic doesn’t stand out as a winner based on cinematic principles, but it does boast one quality the original didn’t: Ryan Reynolds, dripping wet, upper body a-blazin’. Reynolds plays patriarch George Lutz (whose real-life paranormal experiences in an alleged haunted house on Long Island led to the controversial 1977 book on which both films are based), who is a loving husband and a stepfather to three beautiful girls. Until, that is, he becomes possessed by an evil entity and chases the family around the house with a shotgun. Whatev, right? They probably deserved it. What matters most is that before George goes berserk, he takes a dip in the lake and exits soaked in liquid splendor, pecs and abs glistening in the moonlight, white pajama bottoms painted to his thighs. A beautiful nightmare, indeed.
The Lost Boys
Before Edward Cullen, there was Michael Emerson (Jason Patric) – big brother, brooding loner and newly turned vampire. He’s sexy, for sure – because Hollywood demands it of its night stalkers (here’s winking at you, young Keifer Sutherland) – but that’s not why the world made “The Lost Boys” the quintessential teen fang flick. For that, you can thank late heartthrob Corey Haim and that other Corey who rode his coattails. Infinitely cuter than Feldman, Haim won over fawning girls (and fey fanboys alike) with his vulnerable, adorable turn as Sam, Michael’s little bro. If his fate wasn’t sealed as the object of adolescent affection before, it was when he splish-splashed in a bubble bath while memorably belting out Clarence “Frogman” Henry’s trademark song, “Ain’t Got No Home.” Except he did – locked away in our dreams.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Wes Craven’s original “Nightmare” boasted a couple of hot guys, namely Tim Burton muse Johnny Depp, who’s wearing a half-shirt (is there anything sexier than a dude sporting a bare midriff?) and unbuttoned stonewashed jeans when he gets pulled through his bed then splattered all over the ceiling. Enough to whet an appetite, for sure – but that’s about all the man-skin you’ll get in the 1984 classic. My how times have changed. Because in the 2010 reboot, Craven employs some of young Hollywood’s freshest faces – and he makes ’em work hard for their money. Thomas Dekker and Kellan Lutz provide a nice balance of beauty and brawn – though not much else – while “Veronica Mars” alum Kyle Gallner plays his part sleepy, scared and in skintight swimwear as he tries to escape Freddy’s clawed glove. He lives, but not before breaking a serious sweat. Poor kid. If only he had somewhere to run…
Some stories are better left in print, but the same can’t be said for author Bret Easton Ellis’ masterpiece, “American Psycho.” This satirical tale, set in late-1980s New York City, is narrated by the film’s protagonist – and serial killer – Patrick Bateman, played deftly by crazier-than-thou Christian Bale. But while the book drags on for 416 looooong pages, the movie version runs a digestible 101 minutes, each one more triumphant than before. The film opens poignantly with Bateman taking a leak in his tighty-whiteys, performing yoga in his tight-whiteys, then showering sans tighty-whiteys. And that’s just the first 90 seconds. Fast-forward about an hour and you’ll reach what is arguably the best murderous sex scene in history. After Bateman picks up a hooker, orders an escort and returns home, he hits play on Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” and record on a video camera. Flexing and winking his way to conceit-drenched climax in the mirror, he then cannibalizes one prostitute and chases the other with a chainsaw, wearing nothing more than a pair of sneakers. Run, Bateman, run.
Paul Walker has never chosen his roles wisely (except maybe once, when he played injured quarterback and washroom fornicator Lance Harbor in “Varsity Blues”), and “Joy Ride” is an almost 10-year-old testament to his permanent C-List status. The plot begins with Walker’s character, Lewis Thomas, pining for childhood friend Venna – which would have been half believable if he had the hots for anybody else besides bizzaro Helen Hunt lookalike Leelee Sobieski – who he agrees to pick up on his way home from college after she announces her recent breakup with her boyfriend. Road trip! Major bumps ensue, of course, the best of which come when big-rig-driving serial killer Rusty Nail orders Lewis and his brother, Fuller (Steve Zahn), to strip down and enter a busy Nebraska diner. Obediently, the boys – front bits covered by crossed hands – do as they’re told, exposing their plump, pale backsides to uptight and unsuspecting patrons. Bottoms up.
Jeepers Creepers 2
Remember when you were in high school, riding home from the big game with your basketball buddies, when all of a sudden the bus gets a flat, the team removes their shirts and lines up shoulder-to-shoulder to catch some rays on the roof? What, that never happened? It would have if you attended whatever podunk educational establishment these meatheads never made it back to. It goes without saying that you would have been eaten by The Creeper too, but not without first watching him tear the clothes off your friends and devour their body parts. Lacking the scare factor of the original – and the rose-tattooed torso of Justin Long, although he does make a cameo – this 2003 sequel gives back in homoerotic tension what it’s missing in terror. Like, for instance, that the team is called the Bannon Bantams and they chant about “fighting c&@#s.” Or that they pee together in an open cornfield while accusing each other of being queer. Or that they talk about sniffing jockstraps. And gay bars. And swinging d&@$s. Yep, it’s all in there.
Friday The 13th (2009)
Sure, the original had Kevin Bacon in a Speedo – and apparently with a boner (just Google those keywords on YouTube to find the debatable video) – but if you’ve seen Ren McCormack’s member once, you’ve seen it at least two other times (“Wild Things,” “Hollow Man”), and, frankly, that’s three times too many. Still, there’s plenty of skin in the 2009 reboot of the fright-filled franchise, which kicks off with über-cutie Richie (Ben Feldman) givin’ it to his girlfriend good – and from behind! – in a tent near Crystal Lake before they each succumb to their bloody fates. Not to be outdone, jacked-up playboy Trent (Travis Van Winkle) pleads his case for a spot in the horror-movie-sex-scene hall of fame by letting his concubine play cowgirl, camcorder in hand, while he breathlessly delivers charming lines like, “Your t%$s are stupendous,” and 15 seconds later, “Your t%$s are f$@#&%g, just, so juicy, dude.” But what do you expect? No one’s ever watched these movies for the dialogue.
Before Simon Rex played day-driver Penn in this Gen-Y take-off of “The Lost Boys,” he spent his time on some seedy pornographer’s couch – with his pants down. Yep, the former MTV VJ fancies himself solo sessions for cash, and that makes this road-trip-of-a-vampire-bromance film all the more watchable. Throw in hotties-of-the-day Brendan Fehr and Kerr Smith (who played gay on “Dawson’s Creek”) and you’ve got yourself a bloodsucking even-better time. But while Brendan and Kerr’s quiet lust for one another is endearing – because, cut the crap, there’s only one reason you pick up a hitchhiker – its DSLed vamp daddy Johnathon Schaech who puts the homoeroticism into hyperdrive; he can’t get Kerr out of his mind, spending the majority of the film stalking him like a hanky-wearing patron of The Eagle. The best part? He bites. And Kerr kinda likes it.
Jesse Bradford was only lukewarm in the hit cheerleading movie “Bring It On,” but at least he had time on his side. Because just two years later, the perma-stubbled actor became a five-alarm fire of fitness as Ben Cronin, a star swimmer with a sordid past in this waterlogged 2002 thriller. As if Ben’s troubles weren’t bad enough – overcoming drug addiction and kleptomania – along comes out-of-her-effing-mind Madison, a new student with her sights set on the rehabbed athlete. But what begins as a benign relationship – Ben innocently helps Madison with a jammed locker – soon takes a tantalizing turn when Madison helps Ben with his jammed zipper. It’s all downhill from there. When Ben refuses Madison’s future advances, the harlot gets all sorts of Glenn Close on his a$$, killing his friend and trying to drown his girlfriend. Yeesh! High school ain’t what it used to be. Still, at least Ben has enough sense to save the day while showing off his best, um, assets. Good form, old chap.
* Mikey Rox is an award-winning writer/journalist and the founder of Paper Rox Scissors, a copywriter and creative consulting company in New York City. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.