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METH
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Todd Ahlberg

Starring:
Andrew MacGregor
Ryan M. Brown
James Reed Johnson

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Todd Ahlberg's documentary on crystal meth and its use within the gay community. It explores the reckless behaviour and the dangers that come with it in a world of sex and addiction.
Is it good movie?
Director Todd Ahlberg has created a documentary that revolves around the use of Crystal Meth in the gay community. Called affectionately as “Tina”, Meth makes everything better in the beginning. For the guys in this world, meth seems to heighten to sexual experience. Inhibitions are lost and any thoughts of right and wrong of the situation are thrown away. There are a dozen very different men that are either new to the drug, or they are trying to quit. They all have a few interesting stories. While several of them discuss finding a partner while high and finding out at the most inappropriate time that their partner was HIV-Positive. Soon after, they are diagnosed positive with the virus. There are horror stories about bath houses, video stores and several other places where these dudes find a quick moment for unprotected sex. This is frightening stuff.

While Ahlberg interviews about a dozen men, for the most part, they did not drive the point home. Yes, their stories are unique and they have a lot to say about the drugs and the sex, but the “star” of the film is a self described entrepreneur/drug dealer. Andrew MacGregor tells the most tragic tale of them all. You see him shooting up, you see him happy to help a friend shoot up, and you see him getting angry at Todd. Andrew seems like a good person, somewhere underneath the addict. At one point he wonders what is happening to him and why so many terrible things are going on. We see it, but he can’t. In fact, the most heartbreaking moment is an interview with his mother Judy. She sits by his side and claims that she only wants “everything” for him. She wants him to have a job he enjoys and not end up dead or in prison. Andrew is a sad tale because there is something about this guy that you know he could have a future. But right after his mother leaves, we find him shooting up again.

Meth is an honest look at this culture. Why “Tina” seems to be the drug of choice is explored. And it even shows the seduction that it may have for these guys who thrive on sex, and the sex for them is even better on meth. At least that is what they say. One of the best descriptions of the drug is that it’s like Spam, you can take it many different ways. Now with all this said, if you are not in this culture and you are not part of the gay community, it may be hard to relate. Personally, I have never been in that scene and I don’t do meth, but I still found the story of Andrew to be very powerful. I don’t think you have to be a gay man or a meth addict to find this a fascinating watch. It isn’t really anything new, anybody can tell you that drugs can kill you. But maybe somebody with think twice after seeing this.
Video / Audio
Video: While it doesn’t specify the transfer, it looks fine for what I’m assuming is a low-budget.

Audio: The same can be said for the audio.
The Extras
The extras include an interesting Commentary with Todd Ahlberg. He and the moderator are very open and discuss Todd and his current status with the men in the film. The only one he has lost contact with seems to be Andrew. He also speaks about being in this world as an observer, although he is gay, he is not in the drug culture. He seems to be a pretty intelligent guy with his heart in the right place.

There are also a couple recent Interviews with Ed (9:34) and Stephan (9:54). Both seem to be doing better. It is especially good for Ed who when first seen in the documentary, he was ten minutes fresh from his latest fix. Both seem to be living clean now.

Finally, the Internet feature hides a few more surprises. So if you dig the DVD-Rom extras, they’ve got a few here. Along with a couple of Trailers for “Angels In The Dust” and “Red Without Blue”.
Last Call
Todd Ahlberg’s documentary Meth may feel a bit like preaching to the choir. I don’t expect many people who are not gay and who are not using crystal meth to find this to be anything they don’t already know. Yet it is very likely to help someone living this lifestyle who hasn’t gotten into the seedier side where the drugs are prevalent. While each of the men have very personal accounts of HIV and meth, it is Andrew who really makes you question the hell they are going through. His story feels to be the most tragic, especially since his whereabouts are currently unknown by the filmmaker.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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