Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

"Everyone has an opinion.  As long as they keep renting the movies I couldn't care less."
                                                 -David DeCoteau

For anyone who has the audacity to suggest that horror movies aren’t consumed as ravenously by the gay community as a broiled chicken breast buffet at a Fire Island barbeque, then I ask you to turn your attention to the work of David DeCoteau.  

David DeCoteau movies are the black sheep of horror sub-genres; chock full of shirtless Canadian men who feign interest in barely-there girls and often dabble in the occult.  Sometimes the protagonists are witches, sometimes they're sadomasochists - they're usually brunette.  
Invariably, these young men come close to kissing as the camera lingers on their tighty-whities. Blackout.  The end. DeCoteau movies are completely unconcerned with plot or crossover appeal beyond the gay/fangirl market.  But the same could be said for those Twilight movies and look what happened there!

Cut from the same Roger Corman cloth that produced James Cameron, David DeCoteau got his start making direct to VHS schlock in the 1980s (most notably, Sorority Babes in the Slime Bowl-O-Rama which starred scream queen Linnea Quigley and Andras Jones from Nightmare on Elm Street 4).  
Akin to the B-movies coming out of Troma, DeCoteau films have always veered inexplicably towards the homoerotic.  This was something I understood even at twelve years old when I'd sneak downstairs with all the lights off to watch  USA's Up All Night with the volume turned way way down so Mom couldn't hear me being gay!

Well, I don't know if you've been paying attention, but this queen isn't even pretending anymore!  Dont believe me?  Just pop over to netflix and check out his adaptation of House of Usher (2008).

A man with dated lesbian dive-bar hair pulls up to a bed and breakfast on his motorcycle.  He's greeted at the door by another man dressed in his best Victorian-era Matrix attire.  They speak of life during wartime. Neo has turned himself into quite the shut-in, as alluded to by his LatinX, man-servant.  Soon enough, the two men are hugging each other good night when the impossible happens: they actually kiss! Then they are unbuttoning their pants.  Then they strategically pull their underpants down and the camera focuses on their bare bottoms... I don't remember this in the Edgar Allen Poe story!

From what I understand, there's a problem - something about the gay with the dated lesbian dive-bar hair being reluctant to give up the contents of his cookie jar.  He takes a bubble bath and gets mysteriously felt-up by a pair of ghostly man hands coming from inside the tub.  Good problems to have. But then, over his morning French press coffee, he starts having debilitating visions of Neo in the throes of passion with the help and what would normally be a colorful exploration of the supernatural laced with a few lingering glances and strategically placed abs has given way to a full blown soft-core porno! 
Apparently the House of Usher isn't about a haunted house as much as it's about a gang-bang after a sample sale.  Who knew!?

Is this a scary movie? Not at all.  Are the shots in focus? Usually not.  Does the cast deliver all of their lines with the cadence of dead-eyed Eastern European porn stars?  They absolutely do. So, how can a movie be so unabashedly gay and yet be so joyless? I have no idea.  The camera spends so much time fetishizing these boys that there's no time for any plot to develop. In fact, nothing happens at all.  I had sworn up and down to eschew this sort of faggotry here, but it was somehow at the top of my queue and next thing you know, I watched the whole damn thing!  Looks like I'm only human after all. It's still better than Twilight.  

FaggotyassDrinkingGame:  Every time a character pretends to go down on the guy with lesbian hair, take a shot. Like my favorite barmaid says at my favorite bar (the local bowling alley) whenever I order a long island ice tea: "It'll get you fucked up!"


  1. I haven't seen any of DeCoteau's openly gay films. I liked "Sorority Babes...", though I thought the title was better than the movie. I'll have to check this out.

  2. I find his movies fun for a little while then the tedium sets in. They're all tease and no payoff (as well as being basically pretty dreadful, cute boys in tightie-whities notwithstanding). I'll take my porno straight up and full fledged, thank you very much.

  3. i couldn't agree more, rob. the funny thing about these movies is that while they are a RIOT to talk about, they're actually remarkably boring!

  4. you should check out the other Poe he did - Pit and the Pendulum - that one has a real lesbian with lesbian hair to boot. And gays, and pants, and a big pendulum. Ahem.

  5. As Carrie White's mother never said, "Let he who hasn't slept with a man with lesbian hair on a motorcycle at a bed & breakfast cast the first stone."

    That said, I'd hit that feathered hair. (just the hair...)