In the Heights (2021)

The COVID Pandemic has changed a lot about what we love about New York City; over the years it’s become something of an environment where opportunities have dwindled and the sense of community has been lost. From Gentrification and the Exodus of its residents, the city just isn’t familiar anymore. “In the Heights” is that reminder that once upon a time New York was about tight knit communities sticking together and beating the odds. And it’s a call to the idea that maybe it all can be reclaimed.

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Aliens, Clowns & Geeks (2019)

Richard Elfman’s “Aliens Clowns & Geeks” is the type of indie zaniness you’ll only find in back room of modern cinema. It’s a fearless, and bizarre mish mash of comedy, satire, science fiction, music, and just about everything else you can find. There are transgender individuals, and evil clowns, and a hero who can fire lasers out of his anus. And that’s really the tip of the iceberg when you manage to soak it all in. And you’ll need a hell of a lot of booze and weed to soak it all in.

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Workhorse Queen (2020) [Slamdance Film Festival 2021]

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.

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Freaky (2020)

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.

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Playroom (2006)

“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.

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Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

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.

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Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All-Time Volume 3: Comedy and Camp (2020)

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.

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