It’s been a long, rough journey for drag queens to become accepted among modern society. After decades of being pushed in to the underground to celebrate their art form, now we’re at a rare moment in time where the drag profession is now being celebrated. After RuPaul’s efforts to inject the drag queen lifestyle in to the world with her hit series “Drag Race,” drag queens went from being pushed in to darkness, to now taking pictures with awe struck children, and hosting concerts with families and children.
And yet, after all of it, there’s still so much more to be done.
Blumhouse has found a little niche market in taking classic comedies and turning them in to bonafide horror movies. After “Happy Death Day 2 U,” they take the creaky Disney classic “Freaky Friday” and add a slasher twist to it. Shockingly, it works more times than it doesn’t. Christopher Landon doesn’t just embrace the classic narrative, but he tops it off with a gory slasher movie, and even injects so many LGBTQ overtones that it wouldn’t surprise me if it picked up steam as a LGTBQ classic very soon.
“Playroom” is yet another horror movie with an identity crisis, and the apparent struggle for a solid identity is concocted by director Stephen Stahl who wants a coming of age movie, and a horror movie wrapped in one bizarre package. Paired with homophobic overtones, “Playroom” (also known as “Consequences”) is the story of a group of friends in the eighties (Stahl never lets us forget it’s the eighties) who bond and love one another, and eventually disconnect as life takes its toll.
Critically maligned when it was first unleashed on the world and was bashed for years by fans, “Freddy’s Revenge” is a movie that caught the fan base by surprise. With the advent of the internet, fans have been able to appreciate the sequel to one of the most influential horror movies as a classic in its own right. It’s a sentiment that’s managed to spread along the entire horror community as more queer horror fans have found “Freddy’s Revenge,” allowing Freddy Krueger to reach a part of society that reached beyond dreams and in to the sub-conscious in to ideas about self acceptance and repressed sexuality.
Danny Wolf’s documentary series is something of a contradiction in that it’s a series about cult movies that were or continue to be unappreciated. And yet, every movie that’s covered all has rabid fan bases. Some of them even have conventions and social gatherings celebrating them. While the “Time Warp” movie series doesn’t re-invent the wheel, if you’re in the mood to celebrate some fun cult films and just lose yourself in mainly American cult classics, then Volume 3 is right up your alley.
The nineties had a weird trend where studios took classic films and attempted to rework them in to contemporary trash films. Pamela Anderson starred in a “Casablanca” remake with “Barb Wire,” Vanilla Ice tried for his own “Rebel Without a Cause” remake with “Cool as Ice,” and oddly enough Paul Verhoeven aims for a remake of “All About Eve” with the cult Joe Esterhas anomaly known as “Showgirls.” Simultaneously lambasted and praised for being so unabashedly stupid and sleazy, Verhoeven attempts to hide a narrative better suited Skinemax than world wide release in theaters beneath thin art house veneers that fool no one.
When I was a kid growing up in the Bronx, everyone knew who Walter Mercado was. When he was on Telemundo we would all remain in complete awe and silence as he dominated the screen with an almost supernatural presence. Filled with charisma, theatrical enthusiasm, and flamboyance, Mercado gave the latinx community astrological readings that were almost always steeped in hope, optimism, and spirit. Along the way he broke barriers becoming a worldwide sensation as a guru who defied gender, sexual, and style barriers everywhere he went.
Long before America accepted the Luchadore as a part of modern wrestling, Lucha Libre has been an immense force of the wrestling world. It’s broken so many barriers and allowed the culture to seep through, even integrating what’s known as the “Exótico.” Cassandro is a kind of luchadore who mixes the art form of drag along with the art form of professional wrestling. Often times Cassandro is no different than Gorgeous George or Ric Flair, but he’s different in the way he embraces his homosexuality so openly and absolutely without apology.