Brothers of the Head, the smashing new feature from
out moviemaking team Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, is
not exactly explicitly gay. But it’s one of the
queerest movies you’ll ever see.
The story centers
on a set of conjoined twins, Tom and Barry Howe (played
by the unconjoined and irresistibly gorgeous Harry and Luke
Treadaway), who are discovered and groomed—make
that “exploited”—by an impresario
who’s looking for a novelty rock band. Suffice it to
say the guy gets more than he bargained for.
the present day and the brothers’ furious punk heyday
in ’70s Britain, Brothers is presented in the
guise of a documentary by one Eddie Pasqua (Tom
Bower). But this is neither a rockumentary nor a spoof.
Rather, it’s a cross between The Great Rock
’n’ Roll Swindle (the saga of
the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols) and The Man Who
Fell to Earth—wherein space alien David
Bowie disassembles before our very eyes.
No, the Howe
twins aren’t from another planet. But there’s
something “otherworldly” about them that
puts the film at considerable distance from the
Farrelly brothers’ conjoined jape Stuck on You
or even Chained for Life, the ’50s-era
exploitation flick starring hip-joined vaudevillians
Violet and Daisy Hilton.
and Pepe (who met in college and have been living and
working together ever since) got their start in
“making-of” featurettes, one of which
became its own film when Terry Gilliam’s The Man
Who Killed Don Quixote collapsed from
financial and production woes. Their documentary
retelling, Lost in La Mancha, put Fulton and
Pepe on the map.
another Gilliam survivor, joined Brothers as a
scriptwriter. But “script” here is an unusual
notion. Brothers shapes and reshapes
itself—fiction mixing with reality, at every instant.
“In some ways, the Aldiss novella is a
starting-off point,” notes Fulton. “Eddie
Pasqua wasn’t in it. But his point of view becomes
very important. He seems to be a nice guy, but his
camera intrudes into a lot of places because of the
The hallmark of
this intrusiveness is a repeated scene of the camera
spying on the twins as they bathe one another in a clearly
erotic fashion. While one of them gets a girlfriend
who nearly drives them apart literally as well as
figuratively—“She’s the Yoko of our
story,” says Pepe—and the other carries
on with a male member of the crew, something’s
going on between the twins that’s way beyond ordinary
fraternal love. And the Treadaways, who share a lusty
onscreen lip-lock, are really into it. So
what’s the story?
it’s very dangerous to go there,” says Pepe.
Let’s hope he really means “to be