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Live For Sex Die For Love

A movie directed by Toby Ross

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Underrated Indie of 2008

  • Sep 8, 2011

Why this film fell under the radar or slipped through the cracks somewhere in 2008 is, quite frankly, beyond me. Perhaps even more sad are the movie standards that film goers everywhere wish to uphold. Irregardless of how great a film can be, people seem to avoid indie films like the plague unless Hollywood has given it's blessing. Thus, films like Live For Sex Die For Love are the unsung heroes for film festivals perhaps & DVD. Although I think the same treatment that Hollywood films have always received should be administered to the great indies, I am glad that we have the digital world of film readily available at our finger tips.

Filmed on an estimated budget of about $6k, one wouldn't expect a whole lot initially & might even forego purchasing the movie altogether. Whereas something like Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity may have had slightly bigger budgets, Live For Sex exhibits a more natural feeling of the human parallels without feeling contrived. In fact, we grow to love the lead characters despite their flaws or shortcomings. We cry when they cry as it's quite easy to understand their basic human needs although all we can do is basically sit back & watch. At the end of the day, one can't help but feel they've lived a day or two in the shoes of John (Joe Rubin) or Vinnie (Ricky Sinz) even though the vast majority of viewers will never experience anything remotely similar.

The films opens up with a young gay male (Joe Rubin)cruising the video shops & back alleys while his mother sleeps. At this point it's somewhat unclear as to whether our lead just enjoys sex with strangers on the fly or if he does this for a living. Within a matter of hours, John will confront his mother after finding his birth certificate & dare to venture out on his own when he can no longer take living at home.

Unfortunately, John is now homeless & unemployed with very few options save working the streets. With nowhere to go, he turns to the unscrupulous Rocco who is able to offer him work in their three story hotel & an alley in the back of the building. Within these walls, John meets Vinnie whom we automatically assume could be the young man's father although their interactions are strictly business related deals. Mind you, this is not the kind of lifestyle you'd want for your son by any means & we almost feel a bit of resentment towards Vinnie in the beginning. Yet what makes the film so painstakingly human is the sadness we see in Vinnie's eyes each time he interacts with the young male.

Over the course of the hour, we watch the seedy happenings taking place throughout the building & our eyes are opened to a lifestyle that has, seemingly, always been kept kept in shrouded secret. Here we have a world were married men can find other men to gratify them as the encounters are being videotaped by a security camera in the background. Although the so-called closeted man or married man is oblivious to everyone or everything around save him save the pleasure he has been receiving, we also see a juxtaposition with the lonely middle-aged man who seeks the companionship & intimacy of a young junkie who may also be infected with HIV. It's dark world in which our gentleman are encapsulated & one doesn't always have a great deal of hope for the future.

John quickly makes friends with Thorne, who has had his addictions to drugs & may have even had difficulty in procuring food or health care. In a few rather touching scenes, we are shown the extent of Thorne's extreme hunger which viewers will safely assume has been an ongoing issue. Although it's hard to be certain as to whether or not John & Thorne are gradually falling for each other, it's a fact that they rely on one another & need the companionship which each other offers. Their relationship is not only heartfelt but genuine although it could possibly be short-lived.

Prior to having seen Live For Sex, I knew very little about Joe Rubin. Other than the vague descriptions you find through Wiki or IMDB which state his age & speculate that he may have a large porn collection, there is little information to be found about the man who doesn't see himself as an actor but seems quite sincere about his infinite passion regarding film-making outside of Hollywood. I can honestly say that I could see a future in acting for Joe Rubin as he looks rather natural in his portrayal of John. Only time will tell as to whether or not Joe will be found in front or behind the camera but his work thus far has been solidified with Live For Sex Die For Love.

As with Payton Collins Serial Rapist, Live For Sex Die For Love may not be an easy film to digest at first but it's a rewarding view nonetheless. Be forewarned that the material presented here is rather dark & edgy which may be off-putting to those who prefer the light-hearted side of Toby Ross. However, this is quintessential viewing for those with open hearts & minds that wish to acquire something a bit different in the annals of independent cinema. Do not miss this film!

Not unlike Payton Collins, there are several options for those ready to make a purchase. You can grab the inexpensive Darkotica box set for a little under $50 if you wish to see this film as well as Payton Collins Serial Rapist & Like A Moth To A Flame. As an added bonus, you will get the very informative documentary The Night At The End of The Tunnel which makes the deal even sweeter. However, it is not necessary for you to purchase the box if you're main interest is Live For Sex Die For Love. This title alone sells for under $25 & readily available for purchase. Don't miss out!

Underrated Indie of 2008 Underrated Indie of 2008 Underrated Indie of 2008 Underrated Indie of 2008 Underrated Indie of 2008 Underrated Indie of 2008

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September 08, 2011
Hmmm, white slavery, homosexuality, and lots of sex. I can guess why mainstream audiences let this "slip through the cracks".
September 08, 2011
Actually, there wasn't that much sex but we do see quite a bit of full frontal nudity. There are a few rather graphic oral sex montages but the film actually would stand on it's own with or without the sex scenes. I thought the story was amazing & I really found myself so enthused with the main characters that I almost wished someone would continue this story. Even though I loved the film, I was dying to know what would happen to John & Thorne as the credits were rolling. Movie lovers follow trends---not great cinema per se. Most people only like what everyone else likes & don't appear to have a mind of their own per se. How else can we explain the popularity of abysmal work like Twilight, Fast & The Furious, OR Micahel Bay's popularity? Aside from you & some of my other buds in the social networks, I don't think the vast majority of readers will care to see this which satisfies me somewhat. LOL
September 08, 2011
Sounds pretty interesting. I pretty agree with your first paragraph and I'd like to say that any movie made on a shoe-string budget, in this case 6K, I need to see. Great write up!
September 08, 2011
Thanks William! I'm actually game to watch films made on shoestring budgets for the most part. In fact, I've liked many indies or low budget flicks so much more than your typical Hollywood fare. Sadly, movie goers usually gravitate towards gimmicky indies if they watch any of them at all or they plat it safe & just stick with the big budget Hollywood fodder. Glad you enjoyed the review & found it helpful. Have you seen Dream Home yet? I'm hearing great things thus far & I was hoping you might have an opinion on that. Know?
More Live For Sex Die For Love reviews
review by . October 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
"Live for Sex, Die for Love"          Amos Lassen          A Walk on the Dark Side        Hornbill Films has releases of "Live for Sex, Die for Love" with a cast of some of the hottest men to ever appear on a movie screen together. Directed by Toby Ross and Joe Rubin, "Live for Sex, Die for Love" is the story of an evil white slave trader, Rocco and his sidekick, …
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Brian ()
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I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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Take a walk on the Dark Side Amos Lassen wrote on 03/04/2008: Live for Sex, Die for Love Amos Lassen Hornbill Films has releases of Live for Sex, Die for Love with a cast of some of the hottest men to ever appear on a movie screen together. Directed by Toby Ross and Joe Rubin, Live for Sex, Die for Love is the story of an evil white slave trader, Rocco and his sidekick, Vincent. They run a sex den where they exploit their clients so that they can have a high standard of living. In the basement of the building of the sex den is the place where hustlers are kept in cages. These young men are a source of profit and are used for that purpose. In the evenings, they are taken out of their cages to the nearby alley where they are forced to sell their bodies and turn over the profits. The alley is known as The Walk of Shame and it is used by the men who, for whatever reason, cannot get in upstairs. The building is designed to satisfy every sexual need. On the first floor is a bookstore where one can chose his pleasure. The second floor is for married and closeted men who want no more than anonymous sexual pleasure. It is a forbidden world and the people who live in it look at it as a home away from home for those who cannot afford to be seen in the company of gay men. In the film, a straight man exposed himself before the group of guys looking for a quickie and the resulting action is not for the weak of heart. The third floor houses men who stay high on drugs. This is a dark film as...
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Director: Toby Ross
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2008
Runtime: 85 minutes
Studio: Hornbill/BDF
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