Written by Josh Collins and Steven G. Michael with Collins directing, Fags in the Fast Lane is a low-brow, tongue-in-cheek comedy that goes for a style and universe that would make John Waters proud. The humor and the story are in your face, over the top with just about everything and the glittery kitchen sink thrown at the viewer. The story is one that includes something to shock or offend everyone. The trashploitation sub-genre is well represented here and viewers who won’t have been stopped by the film’s title should find something to have fun with here.
I remember a time where it was nearly impossible to get a film like “Fags” made, but now we’re in a glorious time where the LGBT community is allowed to be fun and unleash their creative visions. “Fags in the Fast Lane” is Andy Warhol, John Waters, Russ Meyers, and a dash of Frank Henenlotter thrown in to a blender and given some pretty fun tweaks here and there allowing Josh Collins and writer Steven G. Michael to go as far out there as he wants. Thankfully he never loses track of the narrative or the film’s genuinely weird sense of humor once. “Fags” is a very LGBT aimed action comedy but it also has an admirable sense of self-awareness always looking for any reason to poke fun at itself.
Cati Gonzalez’s “Ekaj” presents an interesting conundrum for me, because while they compare their film to “Midnight Cowboy” they also compare it to “Kids.” I for one loathe “Kids” while loving “Midnight Cowboy.” The latter is the tale of the American dream and our grasping for it that is often unattainable. Thankfully while “Ekaj” can sometimes have the guerilla filmmaking of “Kids,” it’s thankfully much more steeped in “Midnight Cowboy,” in the end, which is why I probably enjoyed it.
Ted Geoghegan’s “Mohawk” is stellar and a very timely commentary on colonialism, manifest destiny, and the last gasp of what would become a slain race in the middle of a pointless war in 1814. “Mohawk” has a very unusual aesthetic to it, approaching audiences with a unique score, some great digital photography, and a tone that’s right down the line between horror and action. It has a lot to say about the unfair and cruel destruction of the Native American race, with an enemy we all have learned about but still known very little thanks to revisionist history.
In his return to the screen, super hero Surge leaves Big City for a visit to Las Vegas where he’ll find adventure, love, and celinedionium. While trying to save the city and possibly the world, he also attempts to help a friend and figure out more about life.
I give director and writer Paul Etheredge-Ouzts a lot of credit for creating a traditional slasher film with a lot of the conventions turned around for an all gay cast. Every single character in the movie is gay, right down to the psychotic masked killer. Ironically, “Hellbent” does fall in to the traps of conventional slasher films, with people willingly walking in to danger, and a slasher whose origins is completely unexplained. I was disappointed in the latter, as I was expecting a big twist, or at least a link to protagonist Eddie’s past as an aspiring police officer.
Touko Laaksonen was an army officer and diligent brother who had a talent for drawing muscular men in various revealing outfits. Known as Tom of Finland, he was once arrested for his drawings before finding popularity and fame in the United States.