Every Wednesday, we’ll be sharing short films that illuminate queer life. Welcome to #HumpdayShorts.
A secret shopper at a high-end spa gets in over his head in Dennis Hensley’s spy spoof Rubdown.
Andrew, a gay man, has accepted a job going undercover at a West Hollywood spa to see if a new masseur is honoring the company’s new modesty policy, which stipulates nipples must be covered at all times.
But when the masseur, Hunter, turns out to be a dreamboat, Andrew has a hard time keeping his mind on his work. Will Hunter break the rules and force Andrew to get him fired?
Hensley, a veteran gay journalist and author of the novel Misadventures in the (213), said Rubdown was inspired by a situation he experienced as a secret shopper himself. He planned to go into the spa as “James Bond in a towel and slippers,” but his inner monologue was “borderline hysterical and deafening.”
“On the surface, Rubdown’s a lighthearted spy comedy with some romance thrown in for good measure,” Hensley said about the short, which premiered at Frameline in 2010. “But to me, the movie is about a guy who needs something wonderful to happen in his life—because that’s how I was feeling at the time.”