Inarticulate and Immature
Dorothy Needs a Spanking
Trevor (Peter Pryor) is a twentysomething busboy with an extreme fear of women (and no wonder, as every woman in this film is depicted as a ballbreaker). In a violent male world, Trevor feels inadequate and contents himself with rounds of brutal, supplicating masturbation, kneeling in front of the toilet and scarring the inside of his mouth with forks he's lifted from the plates of nameless female diners.
When a broke junkie acquaintance shows up on his porch needing a place to stay, Trevor makes the most of the opportunity by stealing the guy's smack and forcing him into the role of "Dorothy," submissive transvestite companion, in exchange for fixes.
The frustrated anger on display here is alternately intriguing and offensive. The way Trevor stonily takes out his perceived societal tortures on his new roommate is at first darkly funny. When the story kicks into high gear with the increasing threat of castration, that's when DiNovis starts reeling out of control, equating weakness with failure and viewing homosexuality as the ultimate in degradation. Trevor eventually takes his "girl" out in public, gets them both beaten up, then forces sex on him while "Dorothy" repeatedly intones, "I'm not a faggot."
Things are further complicated by the fact that DiNovis has cast himself as an intensely grating "Dorothy," leading one to assume that he's working through some major emasculation issues. I don't even think the film is intentionally homophobic and sexist; it's just immature. DiNovis is not articulate enough to sustain his film's sexual politics. He's kept the situation ridiculously one-sided, without a real battle of wits between the two men. Even the pull of a smack addiction is not enough to make us accept "Dorothy's" essentially willing submission.
Though Surrender Dorothy makes the most of its tiny budget and gives you something to think about, I'm not so sure the questions it raises are the ones Kevin DiNovis had in mind.