"Rock and Roll Ray is a host and fetish filmmaker with a personality that is a sideshow carnival attraction all by itself. Director Dan S (Old Man, Invincible Force, Seeking Wellness) takes us on a journey through the mind of this little known personality hidden in the suburbs of Milwaukee as he struggles to make ends meet, make his vore films, and survive the struggle of personal roadblocks.
Vore, short for vorarephilia, is the sexual arousal from being consumed by, or to consume, a creature or person. Before this documentary, I was completely unaware of this subculture, but I do find it to be fascinating. However those that are looking for a clearer definition or a true explanation of the erotic desire should look elsewhere. Despite the title of the film, very little of this documentary is focused on the vore fetish. The film instead focuses on the life of R.P. Whalen and serves as a document of his life, influences on many aspects of bizarro culture, and showcasing an example of how to alienate people, including your own audience.
The film certainly does explore the vore films he makes as it is a rather large part of his personal life, but Ray does not identify himself as being into vore. Unfortunately the film sidesteps this revelation. Instead of probing a potential exploitation of these people, Dan decides to step over this and keep moving on with Ray’s life, which I feel is a huge indiscretion to not explore this further. But then again, this is not my film, nor is it really Dan’s as Ray takes over all aspects with his larger than life, albeit exhausting, personality. So much so that when Dan leaves for months at a time, he leaves his equipment with Ray to use and document. He more than accomplishes that as he makes bizarre diatribes and short films.
That’s not to take away from Dan’s hard work. The documentary is beautifully shot and wonderfully executed. He presents an intense human and an unusual fetish with a deft expertise, making every bizarre aspect easily palatable. However Ray is the movie, leaving little time for other interviews. Along the way we meet several of Ray’s “La Vore Girls” and several of his friends, but little time is spent on them, which is an intriguing choice.
The film is told in multiple, unmarked segments. Dan first introduces us to the wild world of Ray by showing his storied career. The opening is done in a quick paced, easy to follow condensation of about 20 years. The editing in this is tremendous. From there we move on to where Ray is now and what he is doing. This introduces the vore as well as several additional topics. After that, we move on to the few additional interviews and are provided with amazing behind the scenes looks at his film productions. The end of the film is bookmarked with a finale that is as equally impressive as the opening. Dan’s mixture of images combined with a voiceover reading of Sun Tzu’s Art of War provides for a heavy emotional impact that left me wanting to see more, if not from Ray, certainly from Dan. "