DATELINE: Lee Williams: Full Frontal and Center
At first glance, the murder suspense mystery No Night is Too Long, from 2002, seems like Hitchcockian crime drama, but deep down it is purely in the mold of James Cain, author of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Guilty parties are always caught for a crime they did not commit.
Tim, a beautiful bisexual college student, seems to attract people, including a young college professor and paleontologist. Their torrid affair is told in flashback, as Tim has murdered someone unknown in his narrative. Alas, he is being tormented by anonymous letters by someone who knows what he did.
And someone is stalking him too.
Lee Williams is perfect as the sociopathic lothario who admits to murder, but seems to be suffering guilt and blackmail.
If you want a gay subtext used as a key plot device, but miles ahead of your usual soap opera gay movies, then you could do with a dose of No Night is Too Long.
It’s not what you might expect.
Williams is hynoptic and equally adept in the sack with boys and/or girls.
Director Tom Shankland knows how to put together suspenseful mystery, and uses the setting of a tourist boat to the Alaskan wilderness as a fitting backdrop.
Your usual stereotypes are certainly undercut every step of the way, and suspects abound who seem to be even worse than Tim, the self-confessed killer.
How do these little gems fall off the radar? You might be put off by the sex motives, but the performances and storyline are utterly engaging. Supporting cast, including Marc Warren, all hit the right notes.
Look for this one.