Leading up to talking about horror movies every weekday in October I got a Shudder account. If you don't know what that is, it's a streaming service that caters specifically to the horror genre. That's actually where I watched Mandy after Amazon was a lagging piece of garbage! I don't know if I'll keep with it after the free month is over, but in the mean time it has been interesting to watch some Shudder exclusives like 2020's Spiral, a queer horror thriller! Not to be confused with 2021's Spiral, which is the revival of the Saw franchise.
When a friend told me about Triggered, I was confused why she was drawing my attention to a film about kids in the woods with bombs around their necks. But that's 2020's Triggered; 2019's Triggered is about a social justice warrior murdering people. That made a bit more sense given my tendency to watch the worst movies. But maybe this was a parody made in good faith? Maybe the message isn't just, "she's a deranged person who's doing all this for attention." But then I saw it, and unfortunately that's absolutely the message. Well fuck me, I guess.
I mentioned this film back in June when I was watching the Pioneers of Queer Cinema bundle (specifically 1924's Michael in this instance), but it's finally time to talk about Anders als die Andern, AKA Different from the Others, the first film ever made with a pro-gay message. Yay for queer history!
The week of “movies I’ve been dragging my feet on watching” is wrapping up, so let's watching something that I was putting off because I knew it would make me uncomfortable! The premise of The Breeding is pretty simple: a white racist kidnaps a black gay man with the intention of torturing him until he submits to being a slave. Thank god this was written/directed by people of color, because if a white man was behind it I would cringe myself into oblivion. Based on that premise alone, I'm reiterating the warning at the top of the page: viewer discretion is advised, because sexual assault and racism against people of color is baked into the premise.
I first heard about this movie on Facebook when a (gay) friend had posted an article about it and the preview image was two male characters kissing. That was really all I needed to know, so I logged onto Netflix and watched it. And that, as it turns out, was the right decision!
And we have reached the last film in the Pioneers of Queer Cinema bundle! I really do recommend checking these films out, and I believe that the day I post this review (Friday, June 26th) is the last day all three are available. But when/if you purchase a movie you have between 5 and 10 days to watch it, depending on whether you pick an individual movie or the bundle. Okay, enough unpaid shilling, let’s talk about Michael, a the gay silent film of the trio.
And we’re back with the second film in the Pioneers of Queer Cinema bundle, Mädchen in Uniform, AKA Girls in Uniform. This is a very lady power movie: based on a play by a female writer, this has a female director and I’m pretty sure not a single man appears in the film. Very rare by today’s standards, but this was made in 1931 so I guess there’s another reason our current world sucks. Anyway…
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that there have been more reviews tagged “queer” than usual lately. That’s intentional and in honor of Pride month! There are no pride parades or celebrations I feel comfortable attending this year, so it’s down to watching a bunch of gay movies. And it turns out others have the same idea! My local indie theater is participating in Pioneers of Queer Cinema, showing a trio of very old queer films this month, and that’s our theme this week. We start with Viktor und Viktoria, the 1933 German musical that inspired the 1982 Mrs. Julie Andrews classic, Victor/Victoria.
I try to be a decent person; at least, in regards to this blog. Sure, I fuckin’ swear sometimes, but I try to provide content warnings where applicable. And dear reader, I gotta warn you about this movie: there’s body horror on screen, several allusions and threats about sexual assault, and both of those are tied enough to the plot that I’m going to talk about them. I enjoyed the movie enough to give it a thumbs up, but no one’s gonna judge if you decide to skip this one.
Last time I talked about Cyrano de Bergerac, and as promised, today’s film is heavily inspired by it, albeit with a more modern skin. In The Half of It our Cyrano is an Asian, lesbian high school student named Ellie, our Roxanne is Aster, and our Christian is Paul. But in addition to the queer theme, I say this movie is better because the characters are more fleshed out and real, but also because Ellie doesn’t die in the throes of delirium.