Hey dudes and mongrettes.
Queer ye, queer ye! In honor of Pride weekend down here in New York City, Camp Blood finds itself the proud host of …The Tri-Wizard Tournament!
…That isn’t funny. A boy died.
No, no, the Camp is hosting: the ritual burning of our almighty wicker man!
STOP IT. Now, listen carefully.
In the tradition of Robin Wood, of Andrew Britton, of Carol J. Clover and Barbara Creed, of Sharon Stone and Vincent Price, Summer Campers, our green grasses will be home to a critical quest, one you should joyously follow if one chooses. In a bi-weekly, bi-curious column, I, Counselor Ross, will be leaving the archery cabin (FOR GOOD! Damn those wheelie targets) for a month or two, picking up the grass cigarettes, and stalking over to the A.V. Tent to cipher through one of America’s queerest, loudest, and most flamingly on-fire ten years of film: the 1990′s.
Sure, the eighties can boast Jamie Lee‘s Prom Night jiggle and Angela’s skinny dip at Sleepaway Camp, but surely something had to happen in the nine-oh’s…
Inspired by Australian critic (Empire UK) Michael Adams‘ freakishly entertaining dive into a life-devouring abyss of organized viewings and criticism — memorialized in his diary-like non-fictioner Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies: A Film Critic’s Year-Long Quest to Find the Worst Movie Ever Made (read it!) — I’ll be crow-eyed and blister-toed running from 1990 to 1999, seeking out the genre fare from each year known for their, um, Wilde streak to discover once and for all which of them, uh, wears the tightest pants. Big budgets to art-house indies, ice-pick damsels to beautiful mistakes: no one is safe.
Come along for the ride as these hot summer nights transform into explorative (also curious, bitchy) evenings focused on Nineties Horror. I’ll blog around working days and dancin’ nights to bring you regularly scheduled programming, without fail. “It’s the perfect beach read!” – Oprah.
F-Y-Guy, I’ve chosen the nineties simply because it’s a familiar and chock-full decade. I could just as well tackle the eighties, or the seventies, or the sixties to find outrageous fun, of course – but perhaps those are next to come, kids. A lady can only hold so much gore in her arms at a time – just ask my mom, Beverly Sutphin.
In seeking comprehensive source material, I’ve scoured the queer-fear vaults: Sean Abley‘s Gay of the Dead blog on Fangoria with its interviews and spotlights, Harry Benshoff‘s queer film criticism mecca book Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film, and – last but not roast beef – the Horror Homo Guide provided by our very own Counselor Buzz, as hysterical as it is immense. These three chocolate factories have given me more hard sweets than I can suck. Combine their films with my own additions, and we’ve got a stew a-brew!
Films will be compared, contrasted, and violated. For easy analysis, they’ve been divided into sub-categories [#19: Ribald Comedies About Ladykillers; #3 And Featuring Julianne Moore; #20 Late-'90s Teen Backwash]. Those sub-categories will be randomly selected each week, most likely with an expensive color wheel! (Or scraps in a baseball cap.) All are viewed in their entirety, no fast-forwarding! Those never seen and a million times seen will be given equal attention. A grading curve will be approximately such, out of 100:
- The ACTING, graded out of ten (10). High points for a camp cast or stand-out performances; higher points for so-bad-it’s-guda.
- The DIALOGUE, graded out of five (5). Bring on the clever puns and zingers.
- The PRODUCTION VALUES, graded out of ten (10). Lavish costumes, sets, visuals. Budget!
- Any OPENLY GAY CHARACTERS, graded out of ten (10). A rarity, but so, so significant.
- The QUEER THEMES, graded out of twenty (20). Alienation, impossible love, subtextual bonds, and mommy’s boys… I’m sniffing them out, my classically trained queer-reading snout at the ready.
- Any OPENLY GAY or QUEER-FRIENDLY CAST and CREW, graded out of ten (10). Special attention paid to those Barkers, Mancinis, Condons, and Williamsons.
- The MUSIC, graded out of five (5). Sometimes the gayest thing about a movie can be the faggy flutes heard under the crucifixion scene. And you know it.
- The T&A, graded out of ten (10). Did you think we’d forget? Cuties, nudies, pecs, and pups.
- The FUN VALUE, graded out of twenty (20). What’s a gay horror without being as joyous as a moonwalk inflated with cotton candy and housing Lucy Liu!? Twenty-point category!
- A rare, five (5) point bonus will be added to a film for extra special noteworthy funkiness.
What makes a great queer horror pic is not just its ability to please the LGBTQ horror viewer, but also its ability to SUCCEED as an addition to the genre made with a certain smirk and/or wink from a sideways perspective. A perspective we all, as weirdos, recognize, praise and pass amongst each other for the sake of that ongoing chat of outsiderdom.
Above all, send recommendations! Suggestions! Please, comment, tweet, or send via owl!
Follow the adventure more closely on Twatter! We’ve created a handle specifically for event so you can witness moment by moment just what goes into a critical dive with this much crazy juice: twitter.com/GingerBredhaus.
I’m too happy to take the plunge for your entertainment, and oh, how stoned I’ll be.
What’s our first category? WILL IT BE Kiddie Horrors? WILL IT BE Ian McKellen Fright Fare? WILL IT BE Tales From Before the Cast Members of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Were Famous?
FIRST AT BAT: #3: And Featuring Julianne Moore! What ’90s horrors did this famous, favorite firecrotch of mine commit? Oh, you just wait and see…
If you walk by the A.V. Tent (the one with the smoke drifting out) on your way to the Mess Hall tonight and see my television screen flickering, throw me a smile! Expect my pants at my ankles.