Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The Brides of Dracula
Directed by Terence Fisher
Written by Peter Bryan, Anthony Hinds, Edward Percy, Jimmy Sangster… and Bram Stoker, I guess
Starring Peter Cushing, Not Christopher Lee

As the film’s opening narration explains: “Dracula is dead but his disciples live on.” Thus, Brides of Dracula has nothing to do with Dracula or anyone married to him. Instead, it’s about this guy…

Not exactly Christopher Lee, huh?

This is Baron Meinster, a vampire whose name is passably scary, if you ignore the fact that he sounds like a cheese.

The movie follows a beautiful French woman as she travels through a Romanian town populated by superstitious folks with suspiciously British accents. They say things like, “There’s nothin’ to be afeared of.” And then they go all silent and glarey when the French woman says the wrong thing. (They reminded me of the similar townspeople from the beginning of American Werewolf in London.)

Because this is a Dracula film, the French woman ends up staying the night at Castle Meinster, presumably because Castle Gouda was too far away. Castle Meinster is a beautiful estate with one of the most exorbitant candle budgets in history.

Seriously. It’s like every room is celebrating Hanukkah.

The French lady snoops around, even though Baroness Meinster warns her not to. Eventually, she meets the Baroness’ son, who is both handsome and a vampire. He’s also chained up in his room. The French lady frees him, because the French love freeing potentially dangerous prisoners.

Baron Meinster runs off and drinks his mom because he’s a vampire (spoiler, I guess) and the French lady doesn’t even try to take responsibility for the thousands of innocent lives that she put in danger. Thankfully, the French lady isn’t our heroine, because the next time we see her, she’s lying unconscious in a road. She’s not exactly Lara Croft.

This is when the film switches to Dr. Van Helsing’s POV. Van Helsing finds the French lady’s unconscious body in the midst of vampire country and automatically assumes the only rational explanation: she “was frightened” and passed out. Apparently, Dr. Van Helsing went to the same medical school as Dr. Phil.

From there, long stretches of the film are taken up by characters talking nonstop about mysterious neck wounds and all that boring stuff as 21st century audiences twiddle our thumbs and wait for something to actually happen.

Doesn’t this Romanian pub look like a
cheap Italian bistro from Lincoln, Nebraska?

In order to at least vaguely justify the film’s title, Baron Meinster proposes to our French girl (who has since relocated to a completely different city). He drinks her friend Gina, who’s so British she looks like a Dr. Who companion.


In a string of poor decisions, Baron Meinster shacks up with a crazy lady and two vampire brides (including Gina) in an old windmill. Because this is a horror movie, the windmill burns down. Van Helsing defeats him and all is right with the world.

Now, there are a few lingering questions here: Why does he follow the French woman to another city? Better yet, why does he propose instead of drinking her outright? What makes her so special? Also, why does he move to an abandoned mill, the only building that can literally turn into a giant cross. He’s just waiting to get staked.

One more thing: Shouldn’t there be three brides, not two?

And is the one in the back smiling?

 “I have very little appetite.”

“You may not believe it, but we’ve had gay times here. Balls. Dinners. Life.”

“Come closer. Please. Come closer. You see, I can’t come… to you.”

“And now I leave you entirely to yourselves… for ten minutes.”

This is the Meinster House. Home of the Meinster family. Meinster.

I’ve always wanted to review a Hammer film. I have fond memories of watching them with my dad back when I was very young. I also have fond memories of Power Rangers, so this is where you insert a grain of salt.

There are several murders, but they all occur off-screen. The Baroness gets killed, and we see her bloodless body for less than a second. The BFF Gina gets killed too, but that is similarly off-screen. What we do see is Meinster’s old lady henchwoman falling off the stairs and Van Helsing cauterizing his own neck wound. I didn’t even get screen captures from those scenes; that’s how effective they were.

I may seem like I’m getting nit-picky on a film from a totally different time period and moral code, but these complaints feel symptomatic of a larger problem: I didn’t find this vampire threatening. He’s constantly running away from everybody (male and female, French and otherwise). Furthermore, when we first see him, he’s chained up by an old lady. Add that to the long list of bad decisions he makes in the last half hour of the film, and you’ve got a villain that doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of men.

One thing I enjoy about films from this time period is what I call “soap opera staging.” This is when two people are talking, one person turns toward the camera, and the conversation continues. This never happens in real life, and yet you see it all the time in older movies.

“But Gwendolyn. Ronaldo isn’t just my lover. He’s also my clone.”

No. It is not. In fact, I was surprised by how weirdly sex-less this film is. I clearly remember Hammer films having lots of blood, boobs, and naughtiness (like in my personal favorite, Frankenstein Created Woman… and Then Groped Her). I guess because this film is from 1960, it’s much tamer and less grope-y. In fact, a good chunk of the movie features the French woman wandering around in her pajamas, except in this film they’re nineteenth-century nighties, which are basically Victoria’s Secret Wizard Cloaks.

The tone of this film can best be described through two lines of dialogue. One character is dishing to her friend about this cute, pale guy that she’s dating: “Did you let him kiss you? Tell me, please.” “Only my hand.”

Sure, I could talk about the Meinster family dynamic, about how the mother disapproves of her son’s non-standard lifestyle and hides him away. On paper, that sounds at least a little interesting for a queer audience. And yet, that’s kind of a stretch. All-in-all, this film doesn’t give me a lot to sink my teeth into.

It’s definitely enjoyable, but it’s a little stuffy and British. And it’s not at all gay. On the gayness scale, I’ll give this a Sir Alec Guinness (before his tell-all biography came out).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Super 8

Super 8
Written and Directed by J. J. Abrams

Starring Elle Fanning and her 70s hair.


This film has a refreshing number of minor swear words for a family movie. It’s The Goonies all over again.

I’ve been hearing about this mysterious movie for months now, and while no one knew exactly what it was about, everyone kept using the word “Spielbergian.” Oh, it’s so Spielbergian. The kids are Spielbergian. People who didn’t even know what that word means overused it like Stephenie Meyer overuses adverbs. Immensely.

By the time it finally hit theaters last week, I was convinced that it was about a whip-carrying shark who makes friends with a friendly alien on a slave ship that crash lands onto dinosaur island while Robin Williams flies around with a robot version of the little kid from the Sixth Sense. That’s how Spielbergian I thought it was.

A dark-haired boy gazes up at a mysterious alien light.
We all know what Spielberg movie this is from. Munich.

And while Spielberg isn’t the most gay-inclusive director in Hollywood, he’s consistently entertaining. So I had to check it out. And then I had to write about it, because I kept thinking about all these great Spielberg jokes like Stephenie Meyer thinks about adverbs. Seriously.

This film does not shy away from death and blood, though no kids die. Just adults, because that’s how life is and God bless America.

This guy got hit by a train, but he
looks pretty okay. And he has gun.

I won’t spoil anything about the horrible alien creature that kills people and hangs their bodies upside-down in his lair. Did I say alien creature? I meant Earth-animal. And did I say kills? I meant nuzzles. And did I say bodies? I meant… Earth-bodies. Crap.

What’s with all the camera flare? Hasn’t this J. J. Abrams fellow directed anything before?

So the big secret of this film is that the
kids can shoot blue lights from their eyes.

Well, it does have the kid from 7th Heaven all grown up and made to look like a 70s-era stoner.

I assume he has a gay fan base. I don’t really know where that assumption comes from, but I’m just throwing that out there.

Aside from that, there is nothing gay about this film. It’s about a bunch of teen outcasts, blooming love, and alien encounters that are fun for the whole family. It’s a wonderfully made, wonderfully acted movie that I would highly recommend. It’s beautiful; it’s just not gay. For that reason, I’ll give this two Rob Lowes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Directed by Bob Clark (Black Christmas, A Christmas Story)
Written by and starring Alan Ormsby

Alan, the wizard-cloaked douche of the century, brings a bunch of friends (or perhaps employees) to an island at night. Once there, he resurrects the dead. The dead get all resurrect-y and kill Alan and his friend-ployees. It’s a morality play.

Alan the wizard-douche. He makes me taste bile.

"The magnitude of your ignorance overwhelms me." 

I chose this film because I’m a sucker for bad zombie films. I basically have Shock Waves playing in a loop deep inside my brainstem. I figured this movie would satisfy my minimum requirements for a good film: corpses and victims.

Also, this movie has one of my all-time favorite titles.

Except for this one, of course.

No skins, and the shirts are all 70s and awful. Also, check out these pants:

I feel disheartened that an entire decade
embraced this style of polyester vomit.

The entire cast gets ripped apart by zombies, and yet we see nothing. No blood. No candy-colored grue. Just victims disappearing into the shambling mass of rampaging corpses. (Which isn’t a BAD thing, per se.)

Alan, the director/star, is the most obnoxious main character I have ever seen in a movie. And I’m an early-period Blake McIver Ewing fan. (No I’m not.)

Well, there is clearly a gay man in this circle of friends. He does his own zombie make-up, makes jokes about going straight, and is the first to be horribly murdered. It’s not exactly a positive portrayal.

However, I cannot recommend this film to gay or straight horror fans. The audio is bad, the lighting is almost unwatchably dark, and the zombies don’t show up until after our main characters say annoying things to each other for an hour and a half. The presence of a gay secondary character doesn’t make this gay-friendly. The only reason you might want to watch this is for the early-70s kitsch. For that, I’ll rank this film a solid Gene Rayburn.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Written and Directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the unholy duo who unleashed Date Movie unto the world

This movie follows the basic plot of Twilight and New Moon, pausing every few seconds to add jokes about Lady Gaga and wrinkly butts. In that respect, it’s reminiscent of late-period Paddy Chayefsky.

“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” [fart noise]

“Hearing you breathe is the greatest gift I’ve ever received.” [Becca farts in Edward’s face.]

This is the latest in a long string of Friedberg/Seltzer movie parodies starting with Date Movie and hitting an impossibly low nadir with Meet the Spartans. They are also credited writers on the much more legitimate Spy Hard and Scary Movie, the latter of which has seen a rapid drop in prestige thanks to these similarly titled train wrecks. But while films like Date Movie and Epic Movie have served as the Roger Clinton to Scary Movie’s Bill, Friedberg and Seltzer keep churning them out whenever another string of slightly similar blockbusters comes out. (Honestly, how does Will Smith’s Hitch qualify as an “epic movie” anyway?)

I wanted to review this particular entry in the series because it seems like the most relevant to the average horror fan (who would pay good money to see Twilight get farted on for an hour and a half). Also, the previous spoof movies have had a recurring theme of constant gay panic jokes, particularly in regards to 300. I wanted to see if that would also apply to their Twilight spoof.

From an abs standpoint, this film absolutely delivers. Of course, that’s not particularly surprising, considering the source material. However, this film’s version of Jacob is clearly over 18, which is way less skeezy.

No guts, but there is definitely blood. I particularly enjoyed a scene that mocked Bella’s paper cut from New Moon. While the original movie made her seem like a hemophiliac, this version added massive geysers of blood shooting out of her finger and (for some reason) elbow. That was the entire joke, but it somehow worked. When it comes to non-fart-related physical comedy, this film often delivered.

The actress playing “Becca Crane” (get it?) is really good at the faux-angsty Kristen Stewart mannerisms. She bites her lip, plays with her hair, and looks away all at the same time. She’s like an awkward puppet… or, you know, Kristen Stewart.

While this is not a good film (at all), it had its moments of stupid humor. For most of the running time, I felt like I was watching a little kid making nonsensical knock-knock jokes and kicking a dead horse, but since that dead horse was Twilight, I say kick away.

Much like every post-Airplane! spoof, the humor is hit and miss, but there are so many jokes that statistically some have to land. I’d say I laughed six times during this one, which is a huge step up from the negative numbers of Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans. Perhaps I’m being overly kind because I was so surprised by the lack of gay panic hysteria in this film. There is only one scene that fell into that category: when the muscle-y wolf pack dances around in short-shorts to “It’s Raining Men.”

Clearly, it was not a good joke, but there really wasn’t anywhere else to go with it, given the source material. Other than that, I didn’t notice anything hateful. There were a couple man-on-man kisses, but nothing meant to make the audience squirm.

I was worried that they would have a recurring joke about Edward being gay, particularly because he keeps shying away from Bella’s advances. They didn’t go that way, however, and the movie was better for it.

So is this film gay-friendly? Not really, except in the shirtlessness quota. Is it offensive though? Nope. And considering the low-low-low-low bar I set for this film, that makes it a stunning success. I do not recommend this film to any human being, but on the gay scale, I’ll give this two Eric Roberts. It’s low-rent, but it means well.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I knew this film existed, but I had completely forgotten about it, much like everything else that Kate Hudson has done. When I saw it on HBO tonight, I at first thought it might be some demon chick horror/comedy. For some reason, I pictured Debi Mazar in a skin-tight dress, because my mind is a strange, dark place. Instead, I see Kate Hudson’s older sister dying horribly and the two Breslin children (one of whom is Oscar-nominated, because the world is a strange, dark place) pretending to be related to Hayden Panettiere. I sat through the entire thing (Again: Strange. Dark. Place.) and thought I would post a few comments about why it might fit in with the rest of the entries on this blog.

It stars Kate Hudson at her shrilliest.

And I bestow the crappy romantic
comedy crown to you, young padawan.

It begins with the death of an attractive, young couple.

Actually, it was a car accident

In one scene, a next-door-neighbor wields a baseball bat and goes to town on some high school partiers.

It stars an attractive, blonde woman who chooses love over her jet-setting career (as a secretary?). And her love interest is John Corbett, who suits up and plays some hockey.

He's like a living Disney character

Joan Cusack brings her unique brand of quirk in the role of the older sister.

Please tell me she has a gay following.

Sure, a bunch of other stuff happens that is neither gay nor horrific, and sure this is one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year, but it proves an interesting point: you can find horror wherever you go, if you only know where to look. It just helps if you’re looking in the general direction of a shrieking Kate Hudson.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


 File:Star Trek VI-poster.png

This installment of the franchise is the last time we get to see the entire crew of the original series (minus Janice Rand, because history has forgotten her). It’s all about the end of the Cold War, and it includes a Shakespeare quote every other scene.

Wherefore art thou, KHAAAAAAN?

Personally, this is my second favorite movie in the series, beaten only by part four and all its nuclear “wessels.”

Oh how I love whales and time-travel.

But you don’t come to this blog to read my half-assed captions and pseudo-jokes about Shakespeare. You come here to find out if horror and sci-fi movies are of interest to gay viewers. Well, I know Lieutenant Sulu has a large gay following, and in this film he’s actually the captain of his own ship.

Oh. Myyyyy.

But perhaps more importantly, we have Grace Jones vamping it up as a hyper-sexual shape-shifter who seduces a bunch of people because she can. If that sentence were any gayer, I’d have to type in pink font.

Ever heard the song “Slave to the Rhythm”? Holy. Crap.

We also have a young(ish) Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall herself) as a Vulcan replacement to Kirstie Alley, who was presumably too busy getting beamed aboard Xenu’s spacecraft to participate.

View ImageView Image
Slight improvement, huh?

I assume Ms. Catrall has a gay following because of her role in the one piece of entertainment that every gay man can agree upon:

I bet you were expecting Sex and the City.

But the main reason you should see this film is Grace Jones. She is a goddess among men. And shape-shifters.