We're back at it again with more episodes of Shōjo Kakumei Utena, AKA Revolutionary Girl Utena! Last time we met several of our main characters, primarily Utena Tenjou and Anthy Himemiya. We saw Utena duel for possession of Anthy, something Utena finds very problematic, but the Student Council doesn't really agree as they want the revolutionary power that comes from being Anthy's fiancé. It's a weird show, but that's the 90's for you. So let's dive right in and meet the rest of the Student Council!
When I first saw the trailer for Joe Bell, I thought to myself, "What kind of hetero nonsense is this?" It told too much of the story: a young gay man kills himself, and his father feels really bad about it. I joked that the real title should be A is for Ally and just assumed that it would be a movie that would make my eyes roll. But oh, dear reader, I was wrong. This movie pissed me the FUCK off.
I did it! I actually took the time to reread The Fear Street Saga books! And it's a good thing I did, because the parallels between that trilogy of books and this trilogy of movies are... uh... Okay, so there's next to no connection and I can't get too excited about reading a novella written for teenagers, but still. Back to the topic on hand, Fear Street: 1666 ties all the threads from Fear Street: 1994 and Fear Street: 1978 together, revealing the truth behind all the bad things that happen in Shadyside. And I'm going to talk around that as this is a mostly spoiler free review. Yup, being super inconsistent about that with this trilogy.
Okay, so I didn't actually reread The Fear Street Saga as I suggested I might while talking about Fear Street: 1994, the first in this trilogy of horror. I'm going to try again this weekend, but I make no promises. It's not like it really matters anyway, since these films are more inspired by the Fear Street series, as evidenced by Sarah Fier being a central character in the films who isn't in the books. With that out of the way, I do have something positive to report: my expectations for Fear Street: 1978 were pretty low, and this movie sailed over them! It's not perfect, but it's better than most Friday the 13th films, so it gets thumbs up from me. Prepare for full spoilers this time, cause I want to talk about that ending 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'm starting this post with an aside. I live in in the Pacific Northwest in part due to its moderate weather. Well, it's supposed to be 100° the day I'm writing this, and we're on track for 110° on Monday, the day this goes live. So, uh, if I suddenly stop posting, it's because I died of heat stroke.
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...
I want you to know that there are times when I go above and beyond for this blog. Netflix has the Oh My Ghost films, a Thailand horror/comedy series starring a group of aging kathoeys--kind of like drag queens, kind of like trans women, kind of a third gender option... Similar to "baklâ" in the Philippines, which I talked about in the ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh post. But I wasn't satisfied with those films, because there's a piece missing. Oh My Ghost is marketed as the first of four films, but it's actually the second of something like six. The first is Haunting Me, AKA Hor Taew Tak, translated to something like Taew's Dormitory is Broken. But Netflix doesn't have Hor Taew Tak, so I spent far too much time searching before finding it on AsianCrush. Let's hope that's a trustworthy website, cause we're continuing Pride Month by taking about haunted ladyboys from Thailand!
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.