Dallas has its very own Woody Allen. But he’s cuter. Gayer. And not so into the marrying-your-daughter gig. But when it comes to prolific filmmaking, Israel Luna may soon catch up to Woody’s movie-per-year frequency.
We’ve been fans of Israel’s ever since his short-lived, but hilarious, cable-access gay soap opera, Boobs, Boys & High Heels back in the ’90s. Since 2002, he’s written five screenplays and directed four of them himself. And he has several more movies in the works, including a documentary about Mexican donkey shows (we’re so in line for that one already) and a horror movie cryptically titled Fright Flick.
But enough about Israel’s future projects. We’re here to chat up his latest movie, R U Invited?, coming out on DVD today. Shot in Texarkana and featuring many Dallas-area actors, the film follows five guys as they anxiously wait for approval from the hosts of an invitation-only sex party. In order to be invited, they have to send in nude full-body pics and wait for an e-mail with the top-secret location for the chosen few.
Friendships and relationships are put to the test as tensions mount and past dalliances are revealed. The banter is witty and fast-paced, and even though the lighthearted mood turns a little too serious for the tone set at the film’s beginning, it’s interesting to see where Israel takes the characters, believable or not.
Just be prepared. This is definitely low-budget filmmaking, so don’t go expecting a Hollywood production. But working with what he’s given, Israel does a great job. The biggest flaw in the whole movie is a completely incongruous scene featuring a jealous drag queen. It’s painful to watch as she attempts to chew the scenery but ends up choking on it instead. We implore you to fast-forward.
Otherwise, head to TapeLenders this week and rent this labor of (group) love and support one of our fave Dallas gays. (Did we mention the movie shows wieners?)
R U Invitied?
Written and Directed by Israel Luna
Starring: Oscar Contreras, John de los Santos, Chase Wade, and Phil Harrington
Bonus Luna Love:
Check out the screamingly funny shorts, Fade to Drag, created for last year’s OUT TAKES Dallas film festival at www.myspace.com/lalunaentertainment