Thursday, August 26, 2010

who can turn the world on with his smile?

"You know what?  Let's pretend this is Buckingham Palace and you'll be Princess Di and we'll have a parade with horses..."

Everybody stop what you're doing, do a twirl and throw your hats high in the air because I’m proud to announce a brand new feature here at Now Kindly Undo These Straps...

That Gay! is a celebration of the dreamiest, out and about slabs of flesh in the stockyards of horror past. 

I was playing with my streaming Netflix when out of no place (as they so often do) popped a homosexual.  Sure, he was pretending to be engaged to some fish - but, come on, he lives with his mother.  He may be a deputy sherriff in town, but even the dispatchers know that he likes a lot of sugar in his coffee (if you catch my drift).  Thusly, our first That Gay! gay is Mitchell Anderson.

Nestled snugly between Janet Leigh and Drew Barrymore rests Mitchell Anderson.  Everyone knows that being a gay is on par with being a platinum blonde when it comes to your mortality rate.  True to form, Mr. Anderson doesn't make it more than ten minutes into Jaws: the Revenge (1987) before that shark makes sashimi of him.  Bless his faggotyass heart. 

After Mitchell dies, the movie not only goes off the rails, but it repels down a cliffside all the way to Pandora where it communes with the tree of life.  Michael Caine shows up for some reason.  The shark actually growls at Lorraine Gary on more than two occasions. The shark may or may not eat a plane.  But don't cry for our sacrificial beefcake - if wikipedia is to be believed, he is living happily ever after running a restaurant in Atlanta someplace with his boyfriend.  Well done, Mitchell.  Your congratulatory grapefruit basket is in the mail.

In case you need a visual aid, here's Mitchell giving you oversized cardigan realness while throwing shade at Kathy Lee Gifford:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

eat, pray, die

"I don't know about you girls, but Mother Nicky here is going to get herself watered."

Do y'all remember when Jill Clayburgh was a movie star?  Back in the ‘70s, movies could be green-lit on the elegant premise of a seasoned, educated woman coming to terms with her own mortality in the Upper West Side. 

It was heaven.

Imagine one of these Jill Clayburgh classics, sans Jill Clayburgh - a woman going through a painful divorce left with no choice but to flee the hustle of Manhattan to find herself (with the help of her best gay) in the country.  Now throw in a dash of rural paranoia shaken gently with some pornstaches and a few rogue chainsaws and you have Savage Weekend (1979).

As a single mother stuck in a passionless relationship with an aging investment banker named Robert, Marie needed a new lease on life.   Robert is a boat enthusiast, so Marie and her best gay tag along for a weekend in the country where he's restoring a boat he bought for next to nothing from some hillbilly who speaks like a Toni Morrison character.  Why not? Marie is prone to reveries of sexual awakening. And judging by the way she looks at the local groundsmen, she apparently has a penchant for rough trade.

Nicky, her best gay, is an old-school sissy and sissies are nothing if not dependable.  The ladies can always count on Nicky to make them laugh, to bolster their fragile egos, he even cleans bat carcasses out of the time-share for them!  ‘70s sissies are a trip. They're simultaneously empowering and morbidly offensive; one minute Nicky's beating up homophobic hicks in a small town dive-bar, the next minute he's putting on a full drag beat and screaming like a woman with hatpins shoved through his frontal lobe.  And you ask why I love horror movies!

On the surface Savage Weekend is just another pulpy Grindhouse thriller, but if you look below the surface you can see a premonition of things to come.  We can mock the Sarah Palins of the world for their fourth grade educations and limited world-views but, at the end of the day, they're the ones with the guns and chainsaws!  No one gets rich in this country without someone else getting poor and one day the poor are bound to fight back. For Richard to have his yacht, he had to take it from the country bumpkin rubes. Marie, with her fancy apartment and educated friends, fetishizes the working class but once they reciprocate her advances, she retreats.  Eventually, the poor are bound to retaliate.  

Besides, the climax features a wrestling match culminating in machete versus chainsaw showdown between the two objects of Marie's burgeoning desires (both direct from their star turns in William Higgins' films) while she looks on helplessly in a cotton nightie and smeared mascara.  You really can't lose with this one.

(Faggotyass Drinking Game.  Anytime you see the boom mic in the shot: SHOOTERS!  You may want to have an ambulance on call.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don't Fuck with the Babysitter.

"Get the fuck out of the water, now!"
-Elizabeth Shue 
Piranha 3 (2010)

The Good.
1. Piranha 3 cast Elizabeth Shue and Adam Scott as its heroes.  Get out of my head!

2.  At one point, Adam Scott wears metal, Terry Richardson style frames and I actually gasped.

3.  The Back to the Future 2 reunion of Elizabeth and Christopher Lloyd made me feel warm and fuzzy all over (even though I'm certain that Christopher Lloyd would have no recollection of ever having worked with Elizabeth prior).

4.  Elizabeth Shue.  Congratulations, Mamma - you're back in the game and better than ever!

The Bad.
1.  This is not a movie in 3D.  Take off the glasses, you'll see.

2.  Eli Roth and cloyingly precocious child actors nearly ruin the delicate balance of tone Piranha 3 was going for.  Eli, do us all a favor, doll, and stay behind the camera.  xoxo

The Exquisite.

Move over Katie Cassidy.  Back off, Amber Heard. There's a new Scream Queen in town and she's British!  Kelly Brook.  Now and forever.  I love her hair.  I love her kind eyes.  I love Kelly Brook.

Monday, August 16, 2010

This used to be my playground...

"The only way to stop Jason is to return him to his original resting place where he drown in 1957, Crystal Lake - where his nightmare began."

Good morning!  I know many of you have been wondering where I've been this past week.  Shopping for leg warmers and scrunchies? Gallivanting at a gay horror convention in Prague?   Possibly reenacting scenes from The Silence of the Lambs at Clive Barker's house with my handheld tape recorder?  Well, let me tell you...

No Friday the 13th is complete without a trip back to my old east coast haunts - the pastoral stomping grounds that made me the Faggotyass that I'm so proud to be today.  It should go without saying that, back in New England, Jason Lives (1986).  I don't even know where to begin telling you all that I learned back home!

First of all: never deny yourself a mini-break.  Sometimes you have to go far away from washboard abs and facelifts to really put your feet up and exhale.

Whether you're on the East Coast of the West - in prison or on the beach, nothing pleases me more than to announce from every rooftop that mousse is back in the game and better than ever.  Don't be afraid to use it.  Use the whole can!

A weekend in a New England forest is the perfect place to catch up on your bookclub reading lists.

Just because you've been busy fashioning mason jar centerpieces in a log cabin all day, it doesn't mean you can't put on a subtle face and smolder.

Be careful of all that Dunkin Donuts coffee, they put a lot of cream and sugar in it without even asking about your diet.  Make sure you schedule extra cardiovascular workouts to burn it all off!

When leaving your hometown for the life you've made yourself so many miles away, always make a grand exit.

And wait an hour after eating before swimming in the lake!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I wanna be your Tokyo convertible

"Sunday's my birthday and I don't want to go to the mental hospital!"

Before there was Inception, there was Slumber Party Masscre II (1987).  The dream is real.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

something borrowed something blue...

"Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples..."

Happy day, dolls.  When the ashes clear and the stays have been granted, today may be a day to go down in history.  With that said, WHO AM I GOING TO MARRY?!?!

a.  Joey Seely?

b.  Billy from Silent Night, Deadly Night?

c.  Thom Matthews?

6.  Hart Bochner?

7.  That guy from The Burning?

g.  Joe Seely??

Am I leaving anyone out??

Tasha Yar is a terrible mother.

"He probably went out for a hamburger or a chicken know how men are when they're alone."

Since the ancient Greeks wrote about Medea, it has been a well chronicled fact that actresses are monsters*. We all know Gwenyth Paltrow is a bloody nightmare, but did you know that even lesser known, D-list actresses can fall prey to the trappings of stardom? Take, for instance, Tasha Yar

Tasha Yar was on a hit television series in national syndication. She was paid handsomely to wear custom-made costumes and to work tête-à-tête with some of the greatest living actors of a generation. But this wasn't enough for Tasha Yar. In her fevered actress mind, she decided that she was better than the hit-series with banker’s hours in a set location that nearly made her a household name. 
So Tasha packed up her two kids and her doctor husband and moved to a country house, Pet Sematary (1989) adjacent.

Ever the narcissist, Tasha commissioned a documentary crew to follow her and her dippy husband around as they acclimated to life in rural Maine. Much like Paula Abdul and her reality show, Hey Paula!, Tasha had no idea that the finished product would be a vitriolic exposé of a woman gone mad.

Watching Pet Sematary, we learn that Tasha Yar once had a sister with spinal meningitis who she let starve to death. We see firsthand her complete lack of mothering skills, as she rarely ever looks at her children, let alone feed them their Eggos. 

Her family may be falling apart, but heaven forbid she wear the same outfit twice. Despite having worked her maid to death, Tasha's still too preoccupied with organizing her collection of skorts to stop her baby son from running into traffic... and you thought Cybill Shepherd was a nightmare!

The years of having to deal with Tasha's ego, coupled with the death of their only son, sends her husband into a tailspin. He can't take it anymore. He's having a nervous breakdown. He tries to seek counsel from former TV-star, Fred Gwynne - who just so happens to be their next door neighbor. 
Fred had been through the Hollywood mill with his series, The Munsters, and Tasha's husband thought he could help put things in perspective. No such luck. There are no happy endings when you're married to an actress - just botox and personal trainers and life coaches and half-empty spray bottles of  I Can't Believe It's Not Butter all over the bathroom.

Pet Sematary is groundbreaking in that its principal performers are completely unconcerned with acting or line delivery or putting any energy whatsoever into the proceedings. Nonetheless, there are valuable lessons to be learned:
  1. Do not quit a series in its first season because you'll just wind up begging them to have you back and wind up acting as producer on a series of fair to middling documentaries.
  2. Do not bury your dead children in spoiled ground.
  3. Do not marry an actress unless you want a world of heartache in the years ahead.

*(The exception to this rule being Miss Sandra Bullock who is a lovely person and can do no wrong.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

respond to friend request...

"Come on in."

When a movie came along  that focused on a clatch of hipsters in the process of editing a documentary about ballet (which I love almost as much as I love scary movies) and promised to be a fright-fest, I was intrigued.  I love stories about people leaving the cozy confines of Manhattan only to wind up realizing that the rest of America is a terrifying, monstrous place.

When said film also happened to be about boys (like my bestie who also just so happens to be an editor) who fall in love with their mind's eye projections of strange girls who they meet on the internet, I was sold. 

Catfish opens on September 17th in limited release.  You should see Catfish.  It's like Paranormal Activity for smart people.  Besides, there's a hot Indian guy in it - those can be about as hard to find in mainstream media as gay hockey players.

Monday, August 2, 2010

teenage frankenstein


In case you haven't picked up on the common threads in our continuing exploration of the horror genre, let me spell one thing out for you in plain English: 

Being an only child with a single mom was the it-shit for gay kids growing up in the 1980s.

The hours spent home alone while mom was at work were perfect for letting our fancies run free.  For me, happiness could be found in my well worn copy of the Childcraft "Make and Do" Encyclopedia.  Who wouldn't want their own Friday the 13th finger puppet collection or an authentic replica of Patricia Arquette's popsicle stick house from 'The Dream Warriors?  
But not all little boys were interested in the arts - some boys preferred the Childcraft "How Things Work" Encyclopedia.  Take, for instance, Paul and his Deadly Friend (1986).

Paul was your average child prodigy - a heterosexual Doogie Howser.  While boys like me were off making decoupaged shrines to Corin Nemec, Paul was busying himself with creating artificial intelligence and teaching biology at the local poly-tech.  
Paul must have been a Capricorn because he occupies every hour.  When not translating binary moisture evaporators or going down to the Tosche Station to pick up power-converters, his days were filled with the companionship of his robot, BB, and his gay best friend, Paperboy.  He even found time between dissertations to fall in love with the white-trash girl next door.  
Things were just great for Paul until one terrible day when that crazy lady from Goonies shot his robot in the face and the girl next door got killed by her abusive, alcoholic father. 

The trouble with book-smart kids is that they have absolutely no capacity to deal with an emotional crisis.   Teenagers who spend their days in labs can get dark-sided. These kids may get all the scholarships, but something vital is lost in a person who only deals in theories and never feelings - microprocessors in place of human interactions.  With intellect comes arrogance. Paul thinks he can outwit the grieving process. Instead of writing a sonnet or instigating a canned food drive to mourn the loss of robot and white-trash neighbor girl, Paul slips a roofie in his mom's decaf, shuts down the power at the local hospital, and steals her corpse!

Paul thinks he can bring Kristy Swanson back from the dead using his understanding of brain chemistry and microchips.  What he brings back instead is a pudgy, mute girl with stringy hair and a penchant for smudged, blue eyeliner who can't seem to keep herself from killing off all the neighbors.  Losing his gay best friend and the trust of his mother in the process, Paul learns that girlfriends can't be remote-controlled.

By no means ground-breaking in its achievements, Deadly Friend plays like a horror movie incarnation of the syndicated series, Small Wonder (and it's lit about as well), this movie is good old fashioned story told by a master storyteller, Wes Craven.  Happy 71st birthday, Wes. Thanks for the good times. XxX

(Horror Nerd Alert: Does Paul's neighborhood look familiar?  That's because Deadly Friend used the same back-lot as Fright Night.)