There’s no other way to put it. This is not a review. It’s a goddam public service announcement.
Dear readers, last night it was brought to my attention that what Brother Chris and I do here on homoflix is not merely light-hearted fun, but sometimes an actual mission to protect you, your family, friends and allies from the horrendous shit that can worm its way into the gay and lesbian section of Netflix. Last night, I watched the 2008 stink bomb/1920s period piece Summer Lover (not to be confused with the 1982 Peter Gallagher/Daryl Hannah vehicle Summer Lovers or the totally decent if totally depressing lesbian flick My Summer of Love.)
So being shacked up inside during this hurricane forced my roommate Mike and I to talk about art. And to drink. For some reason we got on to the topic of gay cinema (wonder why!?) and were discussing how there aren’t really any gay horror films, except über-cheesy ones that err more on the side of satire than satanic. So you’ll imagine my glee when I came upon HellBent, the interestingly capitalized title on N’insant. Unlike my second horror choice, The Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror, this one seemed to actually be a gory slasher film! Just in time for Halloween. And hey, it’s better than facing the real horror of the fact that most of NYC has been without power for two days, the subways won’t be up and running for a week and climate change is real.
Like Sandy Duncan – this recent hurricane’s namesake – the protagonist of this film has a glass eye. I would write !!!!!~SPOILER ALERT~!!!!! in front of that last sentence if I thought this blog was anything BUT spoilers and/or you would ever actually watch this POS film. Now, don’t think I’m being harsh. The benefit of the doubt was given, my friends. I turned out all the lights, I put on my fancy headphones and I was ready to get scared. But I actually ended up laughing out loud at least four times at some ridiculous “special effect,” editing mistake or idiotically penned punchline like, “C’mon, we’re fuckin’ fabulous!” delivered with an inexplicable Bronx accent. For rls, I LOLd. Ask Mike, who was frankly just happy to hear something other than porn reverberating through the paper thin wall between our rooms.
I’m not gonna lie: I love action-adventure movies, and so does my boyfriend. We saw Surrogates together in an actual movie theater. Yes. We each paid $15 to watch Bruce Willis play a robot version of himself and blow shit up for two hours. What can I say, we’re dorks. But last night, the boundaries of our relationship and its tolerance of awful act-ad films were tested when I forced him to watch Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes with me at 1am. I literally have a bruise on my ribcage from every time he pinched me out of utter pain and in my iPhone notes, I actually wrote the words “some Meisner workshops would have gone a long way.”
Many questions linger in my mind after my first (and hopefully only) viewing. Is Lou Farigno gay? How did the film’s star, Vincent J. Roth, find time to also write the film, memorize his lines, eliminate all expression from his face AND design costumes? Was this film actually dubbed? Did they really pay someone to write that awful Tears for Fears-inspired superhero theme song that’s barely audible? Will I ever get those 85 minutes back (at least karmically)?
Wednesday. 3:26 AM and the insomnia hasn’t lifted despite the Bonnie Raitt playlist I’ve got cued up to complement my plastic sippy cup of Jameson’s. So what better thing to do than tell you about a recent experience I had watching a gay and lesbian Instant Netflix with my bud Rel. Her partner was out of town and mine has grown weary of my eternal adolescence so we were primed for a serious bro down, complete with some boxed butternut squash soup and herbal tea. My dog couldn’t really get on the couch at Rel’s place since he’s been bleeding from his dick for the last couple of weeks – a hump session gone awry, immediate folks in my life are pushing hard for a castration, but goddammit if I don’t love that little fucker’s marble-sized balls – so we got down old-school style on the floor – minus the popcorn and sexual tension. Rel was ready to follow this queer film aficionado to the ends of the earth and I pushed them there alright – by recommending the seemingly innocuous Butch Jamie for our viewing pleasure. But pleasure quickly turned to pain as we subjected ourselves to some of the most confusing eight-four minutes I’ve spent in recent memory, discounting the last cab ride I took from Manhattan to Bushwick.
It’s a Monday night and three whiskeys in (courtesy of Salvi’s, a small Italian-American bistro just around the corner of Extended Stay), I’m contemplating the notes I took on What’s Up, Scarlet?, a little gem of a gay flick about an uptight matchmaker, Scarlet Zabrinki (Susan Priver), who meets her match in the form of a mysteriously foreign and homeless actress named Sabrina (Musetta Vander). We’re first introduced to Scarlet at a bar mitzvah where her mother is pimping her to any eligible suitor in sight. She rather unceremoniously announces to the relentless boner she gets cornered by that she has to go home and walk her dogs. Quick cut to Scarlet under a heap of pups and I began to wonder if I would be alone forever as I observed my own canine wonder sweetly licking his balls under my favorite hoodie. But I suppose things could be worse. He could be humping the hoodie.
Anyway, Scarlet’s life ain’t bad except she ain’t got nobody. Until she gets tail-ended by the enigmatic Slav (?), takes her home and pretty soon has a new roommate. (Don’t ask, it’s implausible, but at eighty-four minutes you can live.) Her mother’s stoked because she thinks baby’s acquired a Venezuelan housemaid – see BAD GAYS/WRITERS? – and Scarlet actually starts enjoying herself, which consists of a trip to the theater and an almost lethal threesome to more lethal muzak at around forty-one minutes with Sabrina and a French lothario.
Ok, I’ll be honest. I just discovered that Cagney & Lacey is on Netflix Instant, so I’ve ben lax in contributing to your instant viewing salvation. I’m sorry. Donsies.
I watched Role/Play a few weeks ago and considered watching it again to refresh my memory for writing this review, but thought better of it, seeing as I already have indigestion and frankly, am running out of Tums. I hope you appreciate that I do this for you, dear reader, braving 1.5-star Netflix shit-shows so you don’t have to. My point: this movie is so stupid.