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By Film Threat Staff | January 22, 2002

Internet computer hackers peppered obscenities and foul language on a Web site promoting an independent gay-themed film currently in theatrical release, effectively shutting it down temporarily. The hackers vandalized, the promotional site of The Fluffer, which is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles.
“We got the word on Wednesday afternoon that our website was hacked,” said John Sylla, one of the film’s producers. “Sites that had links to ours notified us that they had received complaints about obscenity on We immediately took down the offending page, which was loaded by a rogue hacker.”
However, the damage was done. Files were destroyed and obscenities were scrawled across the screen. The Fluffer‘s Web site was not backed up to local computers, so now the production company is working with their internet service provider to reconstruct the site.
“We were just preparing to move to a secure system created by a company called Bold Software,” said Sylla. “I wish we’d already loaded our content there, we could just push a button to back up. Now we’re on pins and needles about whether our ISP can restore our content. Given that we are opening in Los Angeles today, the timing is especially bad.”
According to the film’s writer-director Wash West, “These hackers are vigilante censors who are against free speech, which is a big theme in our movie.”
“The only good thing is that we have a high enough profile to draw attention to this kind of criminal activity,” added co-director Richard Glatzer. “Filmmakers and other artists need to be aware that there are people out there who will stoop to this kind of mean-spirited vandalism, and therefore need to find ways to protect their work on the Internet.”
The Fluffer deals with themes of submission and obsession by focusing on a self-destructive straight man who stars in gay adult films and the two people who try to save him from himself: his lap-dancer girlfriend and a young filmmaker so infatuated with him that he becomes the star’s cameraman and more. The title is a metaphor referring to how low one will stoop to sustain an unequal romantic relationship.
The Fluffer opened in New York’s Quad Cinema, where it broke the theater’s box office records for an opening weekend and a single week. After nine weeks, it is still playing at the Quad, and it has played in Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and elsewhere. Future screenings include San Diego and Portland (1/25), Cleveland and Seattle (2/8), Austin and Miami (2/22), Boston and Nashville (3/1) and San Francisco (3/22).
Get more info from the TLA Releasing web site or the official site for The Fluffer, which is still under repairs.
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