DIRECTOR: ERIC COCKER. RUNNING TIME: 91 mins. DVD: SNUFFBOX ENTERTAINMENT. PRICE £12.99 CERT 18
A follow-up to director Eric Cocker’s magnificent 1975 S&M thriller Kiss My Whip, this movie chronicles the further adventures of hard-boiled London private-eye Tom Mulligan, played this time by former body-builder and catalogue model Jake Choad (replacing porn star Biff Gloy, who was busy shooting Come Blow My Flute). Backed by German money (Kiss My Whip was a major success in West Germany), the film makes extensive use of German locations, cast and crew. Sadly, this somewhat dissipates Cocker’s attempts to recreate the minimalist existentialist style of the original. Nevertheless, My Gun is Long is considerably better than many other international co-productions of the period.
The plot involves Mulligan being hired to investigate the suicide of a British MP, which leads him into a complex blackmail plot involving a missing underground hardcore porn film, an extreme masochist group and a gang of Baader-Meinhoff style German terrorists. As in the first film, Mulligan pursues his investigations with brutal vigour. However, having been awakened to his latent sado-masochistic tendencies in Kiss My Whip, he is seen working himself up into a state of sexual ecstasy as he beats and tortures information from various characters, both male and female. Here Cocker makes full use of close-up shots to show Mulligan’s face as his interrogations reach a climax. Once again, parallel with the unravelling of the mystery, the film chronicles the development of Mulligan’s hitherto sublimated sexual desires. Two scenes in particular stand out. In one, the private-eye’s questioning of research assistant Jane Berkeley (Virginia Laycock) – involving the extensive use of nipple-clamps – ends with her tied naked to a chair as Mulligan rips off his trousers and ejaculates over her face. She responds by performing fellatio on him. The second notable scene sees Mulligan, frustrated by a male suspect’s refusal to break under fierce torture, pull down his pants once more, and give the man a damn good buggering. Indeed, duality of nature is the central theme of the film: whilst politicians and businessmen pursue respectable lives by day, they gleefully participate in amateur porn movies and masochistic orgies by night. Similarly, prim and proper Berkeley discovers a penchant for bondage and a soul mate in brutal Mulligan. For his part, homophobic Mulligan is forced to acknowledge his attraction to tough and masterful men.
Eventually Mulligan’s investigations lead him to Germany and a confrontation with the leader of the blackmail ring, a gross pervert who enjoys self-administered enemas. He proves to merely be a front for a terrorist group who are attempting to subvert Western capitalistic democracy by turning its own decadence (in the form of the secret porno flick) against itself. This sudden lurch into James Bond territory sits uneasily with the preceding portions of the film. The climax – which sees Mulligan giving an enforced fire-hose enema to the terrorist leader, with very messy results – lacks the imagination and verve of the previous film’s denouement. Nevertheless, Cocker makes good use of his German locations (a neon-lit sequence in Nuremberg’s sordid red light district is particularly noteworthy), although some of the German cast seem out of their depth – poor dubbing on the English version does not help. However, chubby Gunther Felchsteiner (a dead ringer for Radio One DJ Chris Moyles) gives a memorable turn as the blackmail ring-leader. The sight of him walking around stark naked, his body glistening with baby oil, is quite arresting, and contrasts sharply with the firm muscular physicality of Choad. Overall, not quite a classic, but still a must for lovers of off-beat cinema.