Six Must-See, Edgy Indie Films with Sex, Lies, Feeling Good and Did We Mention Sex?

Magic Mike

What makes a good indie film? A good cast. A unique, edgy plot. Good character development...and sex appeal. Well, here are six little indies that have all of those things... and if you haven't already seen them, you should.

The first one on my list, Magic Mike is the most recently made and most popular thanks to the sexy cast, which includes beefcake Channing Tatum, yummy Brit Alex Pettyfer, the perfectly chiseled Matt Bomer... oh, and the werewolf guy from True Blood. Now I know what you're thinking: "Of course a female suggests a movie about male strippers"...but this is more than just a movie about strippers. Yes...there is some stripping going on, obviously, but the majority of the film focuses on the dark, nasty underworld of the stripper life.

The movie follows Mike (Tatum) a stripper/woodworker. Mike meets simpleton Adam (Pettyfer), who he takes under his wing and introduces to the stripper kind of life. The film starts out in lighthearted fashion, but then takes a darker turn. You can't help sympathizing with Mike as he comes to realize how much he wants to escape the stripper lifestyle. At the same time, you see the downward spiral of Pettyfer's Adam as he can't resist the easy money, sex and drugs. Tatum is amazing, and Pettyfer proves he can be pretty funny. But the best is Matthew McConaughey as the disgusting, sleazy boss to Tatum's Mike.

Elektra Luxx

In Elektra Luxx, a little-known indie flick, a pregnant and recently retired porn star, Elektra Luxx, played by the age-defying and gorgeous Carla Gugino, is trying to make a new start for herself by making a living teaching sex classes to housewives. When flight attendant Cora from Elektra's past approaches her with a proposition to seduce her fiancé, Elektra agrees after much hesitation and hilariously chaotic events ensue. All sorts of offbeat characters keep appearing: fiancées, private investigators, a twin sister, best-selling authors, the Virgin Mary and a hilarious cameo by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a sex blogger obsessed with Luxx.

At the same time, Luxx struggles with her own self-doubts about her self-worth and the prospects of motherhood. The film is fun and cute and full of heart...not what one would expect, but definitely worth watching on one of those "I need a feel-good-type film" nights. And check out the fake movie trailer at the end.

The Velocity of Gary

The 1999 film The Velocity of Gary is about a three-way relationship between an ex-porn star Valentino, played by Vincent D'Onofrio; a Midwestern shy guy, played by The Punisher's Thomas Jane; and a wild doughnut shop waitress, Mary Carmen, played by Salma Hayek. Capturing the grungy and edgy side of the New York underground scene, this movie flashes from past to present several times, showing how the three characters first met, up to when their relationship together starts slowly changing when it's discovered that one of them is dying of AIDS.

The flashy film has an almost bohemian quality, it's fast-paced, sexy and filled with unique, kooky characters who come and go as the story moves along...even Ethan Hawke pops in for a sec in a short cameo as Nat, the tattoo artist. With a sad dose of reality and an unusual yet touching love triangle, this lively and fun somewhat older film is worth a look.

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MadMac topcommenter

Very well written, Ms. Brannen. Of the five on this list I'd heard of, I'd dismissed them as either uninteresting, (Factory Girl) or dumb, (Magic Mike). The only one I've seen is American Psycho, (I thought it was a trainwreck of ham/cheese) and your take nudges me for another look. Good stuff. 

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