"I have to return some videotapes."
The 1980s was the definitive decade in American horror cinema. Three times as many scary movies were released between 1980-1990 than the past ten years and the iconography of said films has yet to be paralleled. If the horror on screen wasn't enough, the 1980s was the decade that saw the American Dream fall by the wayside. The "traditional family" collapsed upon itself and, for the first time, more kids had divorced parents than not. The art community was decimated, either dying of AIDS or addicted to crack or just too rich to be relevant anymore. The peace and love generation and its significance had been squashed in favor of commercialism and designer label comidification. The upper class got exorbitantly wealthy while the poor were left with television shows and magazines projecting a lifestyle that had housewives stocking up on credit cards, building their own empires on the illusion of social security and stability down the line. Popcorn horror was the perfect diversion for a generation that was slowly becoming desensitized to sex and violence.
But is American Psycho a gay film? Let's see. A man who defines himself by the car he drives, the socks he wears, the gym he goes to...does this sound like anyone? Despite twenty years and a completely different cultural landscape (commercials now praise the "value meal" over the high-end reservation), very little has changed among some gay men. Just take a quick jog through West Hollywood or Chelsea and you'll see a dozen Patrick Batemans. Apha-Gays. Men who have the most expensive shoes and cars; men who tan and go to personal trainers who happen to be porn stars in their off hours. They have no children, so money is no object. Just like 1980s stock brokers with designer suits and Oliver Peoples glasses, these gays fall for the peer pressure of wearing the same jeans, the same t-shirts, the same underwear. They buy the books everyone reads, they read the reviews of movies everyone's talking about, they do anything and everything to remain relevant, eternally twenty-six. Sex is commidified to the point of fucking being no different than ordering online pizza. Thoughts of domesticity are fleeting if entertained at all. Their dogs are their babies. Their gaggles of friends (who they usually hate) are their partners. These are the boys who see American Psycho and pat themselves on the back for being just like Patrick Bateman. No, thank you!
Happy New Year.