If you're lucky enough to be San Francisco adjacent and if you are at all worth a damn, then I don't need to tell you that Peaches Christ is the undisputed Queen of the midnight movie. Having showcased such classics as A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Re-Animator, Blood Feast, and many a Showgirls spectacular, her taste and track record are as impeccable as her looks.
Lucky for us all, we won't need to trek up north to get a taste of Peaches this year. Her alter-ego, Joshua Grannell, has made a horror comedy for all the world to see. All About Evil. In the tradition of Herschell Gordon Lewis and John Waters before him, All About Evil is set to be a film to behold. But you don't have to take my word for it!
We’re sitting on another awards season, darlings. For all the smack-talk I have been laying down regarding the current state of horror cinema, 2009 was a pretty good year. I thusly present you with the first annual FaggotyAssAwardsnomination spectacular!
Megan Fox - Jennifer's Body
Ali Larter - Obsessed
Alison Lohman - Drag Me to Hell
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Antichrist
Penn Badgley & Amber Heard - The Stepfather
The House of the Devil
Drag Me to Hell
Don't on hate me, but I have removed the "Guy I'd go Gay For" category from contention because there were no hot men in any movies this year. So, the award automatically goes to Joe Seely. Congratulations, Joe!
Vote away to your hearts content, dolls. The results will be tallied and the winners will be sent FaggotyAss gift baskets with grapefruits, gay dvds, and a copy of the Legally Blonde: The Musical soundtrack! Very exciting!!!
"If you take it seriously you just get depressed all the time."
You know what? We gays have it real good nowadays. Nearly forty years have passed since Stonewall riots. We still don't have equal taxation for representation, but we aren't dying off like flies either. We may not be able to makeout agressively in a Montana gay bar, but we're plastered all over primetime television. We are a minority, but we can be a vocal minority. We aren't confined to ghettos. We have moved away from "gay neighborhoods" and "gay bars" and towards becoming fully integrated members of society. Even in the five years that have passed since the sexless, minstrel show, Will & Grace, I see the media (ABC in particular) bending over backwards to paint the homosexuals as being "just like you." Gay men are not, in fact, mincing faggots who want to molest children and redesign your living room. We are not crossdressers who secretly long to be women. We can be downright boring! Slowly but surely, popular culture is catching up with the conceit that gay men are men, prone to bouts of testosterone-fueled aggression and with conflicting emotions about nesting versus playing the field.
My favorite current in this sea change is the emergence of the straight best friend. Not since the days of Jews and African Americans bonding together has a camaraderie so warmed my icy heart. Unlike gay on gay best friend dynamics, which can turn messy on a dime, there's no drama to be had here. There's no competition. It's just bros being bros, free of subtext. Whether watching Jurassic Park with a thirtypack of miller high life or approaching strangers at a bar, there's no better wingman. This brotherhood runs deep. Take, for example, Fred Dekker's genre-bending classic, Night of the Creeps (1986).
If you look past the ax-wielding zombies, exploding heads, creepy crawlies, and collegiate tomfoolery, Night of the Creeps is about the bromance between a crippled gay kid, J.C., and the second Rusty from the National Lampoon Vacation movies (wearing lots of makeup for some reason).
J.C. is the perfect friend. He's clever, funny, and a snappy dresser to boot! We never doubt that he has Rusty's best interest at heart, even to his own detriment. He is the kind of gay who's perfectly content getting forcefully penetrated by space-leeches in a public bathroom if it means that his best bro gets to have a night with the girl of his dreams. That's love.
What makes Night of the Creeps so absolutely transcendent is the handling of this relationship between Rusty and J.C.. Never played for laughs, never playing for "gay panic", this movie is unafraid to explore platonic love between besties with complete sincerity. The performance of Steve Marshall as J.C. transcends genre and should be commended for giving this quirky b-movie a heart and soul.
Of course, it was the eighties and, ultimately, the gay has to die so that the straights can live happily ever after. Hopefully, forty years from now, we can have our own happy gay endings. One day we will be the ones carrying the flamethrowers and getting the guy in the end. Until then, there's Night of the Creeps.
Please note: Allan Kayser doused himself in gallons of peroxide to play the film's antagonist. If you aren't familiar with Allan's seminal work as "Bubba" in Mama's Family, get way into it!
There's something inherently fabulous about a woman going through hell and living to tell the tale. For the same reason that we flock to a romantic comedy where fanciful men from Western literature of the eighteenth century court Sandra Bullock, we go to a slasher movie to see ladies who just can't get a break. It's profoundly cathartic. These are the good girls who are doing it the best they can. They pay their bills, do charity work, call their mothers, and they still can't get a date.
I was all set to serve up a fevered diegesis of Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 (2009). I saw this gem a couple months ago in that creepy, abandoned Avco movie theatre on Wilshire - you know, the one that hasn't been touched since 1987. I love it there. There were only two other people in the entire theatre and I had the time of my life! So immersive was my experience that I really thought Michael Meyers was gonna follow me into the men's room and bash my head against 1980s corporate AMC theatre backsplash.
John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) was a perfect movie. Halloween 2 (1981) was not. Halloween 2 is ass. Jamie Lee Curtis wearing a terrible wig; Jamie Lee Curtis being chased barefoot through an abandoned hospital for eighty minutes. No one is any different or better of than they were at the start of the picture. Nothing is gained. Pass! I hate bad wigs.
I thought a proper Halloween 2 redux could have erased the leftover stink hovering around Rob Zombie'sHalloween (2007) andI could finally have a dvd to sit comfortably on my shelf between Halloween and Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982) - something of an alternate universe, arthouse follow-up to the adventures of Jamie Lee and Nancy Loomis. Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 picks up exactly where the original Halloween left off. Say what you will, the first fifteen minutes of this movie are amazing. The dynamic between Laurie and her bookstore besties is everything that was lacking in Zombie's first endeavor. I love that he made a movie that examines what happens to the final girl after she survives one of these slasher movies. Laurie is deeply disturbed and haunted and angry and frightened. She cannot make connections or move past the events of that one night. This is interesting business!
So I got comfy-cozy on my bed with a little champagne (don't you dare judge me, it's still new year's month!), eager to write in praise of a director's unadulterated, original vision of a horror franchise sequel. Only, upon a second viewing, Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 really wasn't all that great. I appreciate the look of it - it feels like an Alice Cooper Halloween special from 1979. The scenes of gore are violent and graphic and frightening. But there's no seeing past Sheri Moon Unit Zombie with her white wig and monotone voice taking up scene after scene alongside a listless child actor. There's also a redundant, unforgivable Doctor Loomis subplot (wherein he's meant to represent Vincent Bugliosi who exploited the Manson family victims for his own financial gain) that gums up the tone of the entire picture. There are no set pieces; there is no one for us to relate to as an audience. My mind began wandering to Caroline Williams.
Caroline Williams was the final girl in a much better sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). Clad in bedazzled cut-off denim short shorts with a bandana firmly tied around her matching denim boots and sporting a southern drawl that could make Holly Hunter feel disingenuious, Caroline Williams is a star whose time has come! Caroline Williams is the final girl that I aspire to be.
Unlike most sequels, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is completely unconcerned with mimicking the original film. Tobe Hooper creates a parody of red-state, good old boys and sequelitis excess. His heroine, Miss Caroline Williams, fits this aesthetic like a cowhide glove! This is a world where the mass-murdering family from the first film enters chili cookoff competitions, where Dennis Hopper comparison shops for the best chainsaw and prep school boys drink shiner bock in their Mercedes at 70mph. Caroline Williams plays "Stretch." She is a smalltown radio DJ with a big personality and legs as tall as the Texas sky in August. Unbeknownst to her, Stretch finds herself cast opposite Leatherface in an unlikely production of Beauty and the Beast worthy of Jean Cocteau himself.
What fascinates me is how Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 can be complete a farce with theatrical lighting and a third act set in an amusement park, but still feel less affected than Rob Zombie's Halloween 2. Whether by the competency of the filmmaker (Tobe Hooper already had the original Texas ChainsawMassacre, Salem's Lot, and The Funhouse under his belt at this point), through an understanding of basic story telling, a respect for the vocabulary of the slasher genre (chainsaws represent the phallus: go!), or the charisma of its leading lady, the proof is in the slasher pudding. Eat up, kids!