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The Living End [1992] [DVD]

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Mike Dytri, Craig Gilmore, Mark Finch, Mary Woronov, Johanna West
  • Directors: Gregg Araki
  • Producers: Marcus Hu Jon Gerrans
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Verve Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Jan. 2009
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001L4I29U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,101 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A young film critic and a drifter, both of whom are homosexual and HIV positive, meet up and go on a crime spree. A bleak and uncompromising road movie by first time director Gregg Araki.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
'The Living End' was first released in 1992 - and it is great to see it brought to DVD.

Perhaps the most accessible of Araki's older films, 'The Living End' preceded the notorious 'Doomsday Trilogy'. While sharing with those films an acerbic social commentary, its approach appears more 'grounded', and adopts a straightforward, linear plot. A road-movie heralding the New Queer Cinema movement of the early 1990s, 'The Living End' is very much the product of its time - portraying the harsh reality of HIV and the fall out from the materialist hegemony and ruthless excess of the 1980s - but is no less compelling with the passage of time.

Luke is a self-destructive drifter, combining overt masculinity with unapologetic homosexuality; his life ruled by the whims of the moment and a muscular, sensual physicality. Jon, his polar opposite, is a 20-something writer; gay and introspective; still hoping to find a role in the social dogma of nuclear monogamy. Two strangers, with vastly different perspectives. Both test HIV positive, and brought together by chance, set off on a road trip across the west coast of America - a spiralling journey of passion and violence that pits their anger against the inertia and intolerance of society: "We've got nothing to lose any more; we're free".

Some viewers seem unable to get beyond the ultra-low-budget nature of this Indie film, and are perhaps content with the modern drudgery of special effects and the banal mythologising of 'happiness'. However, for others, the (increasingly rare) anarchist-rage-against-the-machine spirit lives on in 'The Living End'. Stridently powerful and highly moving, it remains a personal favourite that bears numerous viewings.
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Gregg Araki, along with Todd Haynes helped establish the Indie Genre known as "New Queer Cinema" in the first years of the '90s. Far be it from me to give a short history of the directors (read Peter Biskind's "Down And Dirty Pictures" for more information) but suffice to say it was movies such as "Totally F**ked Up" and "The Living End" from Araki and "Dottie Gets Spanked" from Haynes which gave the World of Cinemagoers a fresh perspective on Gay life.

As the previous decade dawned, Gay men found themselves with an uncertain future thanks to HIV and AIDS (and at least the media's vilification of lives cursed by it), and Araki was well aware that where there was Nihilism and Hedonism, disease and far-reaching consequence was sure to follow. "The Living End" and it's two anti-heroes (Luke the Hustler and Jon the Movie Critic) reflect this new age and the intertwining of two vastly different personalities and the repercussions it represents. Jon is intellectual and level-headed; Luke is HIV-positive and doesn't give a damn. As a symbol of the Homosexual World's grapple with it's own identity crisis it's a powerful metaphor as Jon debates returning to his old Life and Luke's temper and (justified?) anger turn this Love Affair into something that can only end on a tragic note. Yes, it can be seen as a all-male "Thelma And Louise", but devoid of the heroics and idealism that so peppered that film. These protagonists could very well be yourself, and that can scare you.

Watch without prejudice, then. The disc itself will no doubt be bare-bones, as movies without such commercial clout usually are presented. However, the movie alone is powerful enough to recommend purchase. It's not up to the calibre of Araki's later "Mysterious Skin" or even his "Doom Generation", but it's almost there.
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Format: DVD
'The Living End' was first released in 1992 - and it is great to see it finally brought to DVD. The director, Gregg Araki, has remastered the film for this 2008 release - revitalizing the colours, and using the latest technology to manipulate the sound, creating a superb 5.1 digital stereo presentation. Finally I can throw out my well-worn, 15 year old, VHS version.

Perhaps the most accessible of Araki's older films, 'The Living End' preceded the notorious 'Doomsday Trilogy'. While sharing with those films an acerbic social commentary, its approach appears more 'grounded', and adopts a straightforward, linear plot. A road-movie heralding the New Queer Cinema movement of the early 1990s, 'The Living End' is very much the product of its time - portraying the harsh reality of HIV and the fall out from the materialist hegemony and ruthless excess of the 1980s - but is no less compelling with the passage of time.

Luke is a self-destructive drifter, combining overt masculinity with unapologetic homosexuality; his life ruled by the whims of the moment and a muscular, sensual physicality. Jon, his polar opposite, is a 20-something writer; gay and introspective; still hoping to find a role in the social dogma of nuclear monogamy. Two strangers, with vastly different perspectives. Both test HIV positive, and brought together by chance, set off on a road trip across the west coast of America - a spiralling journey of passion and violence that pits their anger against the inertia and intolerance of society: "We've got nothing to lose any more; we're free".

Some viewers seem unable to get beyond the ultra-low-budget nature of this Indie film, and are perhaps content with the modern drudgery of special effects and the banal mythologising of happiness.
Read more ›
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