We've reached the end of Shark Week (or at least the version I planned back before they changed the date to July). But wait, you might say, I saw the title of today's movie, and that doesn't appear to involve sharks. And you're right! Alligator Alley--sometimes known as the infinitely better name Ragin' Cajun Redneck Gators--has absolutely no sharks in it. However, in the "Shark Bait: 6 Killer Shark Films" DVD collection, this is covered under "Plus a BONUS 7th BITE to sink your teeth into." Yup, this DVD 6 pack actually had 7 movies. What a twist!
One thing this blog lacks (as of writing) is an "About the Author" page. I've thought about it multiple times and even have a draft saved, but so far nothing has felt quite right. Early on I even considered doing a series of posts where I explain my history with the horror genre: from AOL public domain stories posted around Halloween by some guy named "Lovecraft" to The Fear Street Saga, three books that told the history of the cursed town Shadyside. I even still have those books! Well, imagine my surprise when they announced a trilogy of Fear Street movies inspired by the book series of the same name. Hell, they even got Mrs. Leigh Janiak--the director of Honeymoon, one of my favorite movies--to direct all three! These movies were specifically made for me, which is a bit sad cause the first one was... it was fine. It's fine. It was fine.
Who has two thumbs and survived the worst heatwave to hit the Pacific Northwest in recorded history? This guy! Anyway, Pride Month is almost over and there was one last thing I wanted to do in honor of it: watch Freier Fall, AKA Free Fall. It's a German film from 2013 about two men who fall in love, but society is against them. Sound familiar and a little... overplayed? Sure does to me!
I honestly considered not reviewing The Matrix sequels during Pride Month. The original film is now widely accepted as a trans allegory--no doubt helped by the creators, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, coming out as trans women in the years since. But my goal was to at least try to watch them with a queer eye, so Pride Month is as good a time as any. Did I find overt queerness in The Matrix Reloaded? Well... not really. Drat.
How do you define an "X movie" where X is whatever trait you're talking about? Is something a gay movie only because it features at least one gay person? Is it still "gay" if they're not the main characters? And is it still "gay" if one of the main actors is gay, but it never comes up so we're not sure if their character also is? I know it sounds like I'm talking around the Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, but that's a chore for some other time. After all, it's still Pride Month, so we're talking about overtly queer movies! Bit is queer, to be sure, largely because the main cast are lady vampires who are into other ladies, but that's not the only reason...
When covering queer movies during Pride Month, I don't really have any sort of "diversity checklist." I pick a queer movie--half of which I've seen before--and then I talk about it. But being a gay male, my preference skews towards movies about gay males. Well not this week! I'm kicking off this mini-theme with a film about a trans girl, and get this: she's actually played by a trans actress! Fucking groundbreaking, I know.
Once upon a time, I started a movie blog. The twist of the story is that what I created was not this Chwineka Watches, but a different, earlier blog whose name escapes me at the moment (probably also Chwineka Watches). The reviews were more longform, with posts being around 4000 words and featured several screenshots that had quirky captions because I was obviously inspired by Cracked Dot Com. One of the movies I reviewed at the time was Otto; or, Up with Dead People, a film about a gay zombie, something I'm redoing here as part of Pride Month. Looking back years later on that early review is weird to me now, because I can see how my opinions and thought processes have changed over time. Lemme explain.
I think this is the first anthology I've reviewed on the blog? The only other time I've used that tag was with The Star Wars Holiday Special, and that was mostly a "for lack of a better word" situation. The Field Guide to Evil is a horror anthology that focuses on multicultural folklore, broadening our horizons by showcasing creatures and demons from around the world. But unfortunately for this film, not every story is told as well as the others. There were some shorts I loved, and others that just left me feeling meh.
Sometimes you watch a movie because an actor you like is in it. I don't remember Hellraiser: Hellworld for it's groundbreaking script, but because the prolific Mr. Lance Henriksen was in the Hellraiser sequel that took place in an video game. And... Henry Cavill was in it? I'll file that away for later, but the point still stands. So while looking for my next movie to review I saw the trailer for Wildling, recognized an actor in this, and instantly knew I had to watch it. And as a bonus, Brad Dourif--Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Chucky in Child's Play, and a dozen more recognizable roles--is also in this!
I must've played a Mortal Kombat game at some point, right? I know I've played Street Fight and I was of course at least somewhat aware of the ongoing Mortal Kombat story/franchise, but I couldn't really tell you much. Scorpion and Sub-Zero wear the same outfits, Kano pees too much, and Mr. James Remar was Lord Raiden in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. I don't have anything against the franchise, but I just absolutely suck at fighting games. My husband--a professional gamer compared to me--is a fan, so he was more excited to watch the new Mortal Kombat than I was, but I was still up to watching people brutally murder each other!