By Phil Hall | June 24, 2004

“Anonymous” is a dinky little atrocity about a gay New Yorker who escapes the monotony of his life by having anonymous sex with men he meets on the Internet and in public restrooms. This behavior becomes obsessive and soon gets out of hand. His boyfriend discovers what is happening and reacts by giving him a violent beating and an eviction from their apartment. He also loses his job as the night manager of a movie theater. Homeless and near-destitute, he is forced to face his destructive behavior.

What could’ve been a compelling and disturbing film instead is a lethargic, emotionally-distant and painfully stupid experience which spends more time focusing on gay sex and far less time addressing issues which are supposed to be the core of its existence. This is basically gay porn with a pretentious attitude.

Todd Verow wrote, directed, produced and cast himself in the starring role. As a filmmaker, he has no clue how to set up a scene or direct his cast into generating something recalling a performance. The film is so cheaply conceived, badly photographed (on miniDV) and hack-chop edited that it seems like a home movie rather than a professional production.

As an actor, Verow has no talent. A scene where he is doing a striptease in his office is so dreadfully clumsy that there is no fun in trying to insult Verow’s incompetence. The balding, skinny Verow spends much of the film naked, often full-frontal, and his exhibitionism does not make for appealing viewing.

“Anonymous” had its New York theatrical premiere at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater as part of the venue’s programming for Gay Pride Month. This is one gay film which is nothing to be proud about.

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