4.10.2008

Review: Skull & Bones, (finally)


Remember when queer films were small and angry and weird--films like Pink Flamingos and Sins of the Fleshapoids? Yeah, well, I don't exactly remember that time, either, but I do know that somewhere along the way, queer ingenuity gave way to gay mediocrity.
I was pretty stoked when I heard about Hellbent. Then I saw it and was pretty let down with its cookie cutter plot, stereotypical characters, and plodding editing. There were no ideas in that film. Only a meth-head go-go boy could match its vapidity.

Then, last October I was tipped off by now-defunct QTA to the premiere of Skull & Bones which was timed just perfectly with my visit to Tennille and NYC. I went expecting a film on par with Hellbent, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a film with a guerrilla attitude and queer sensibilities. Sure, the production values were far below Hellbent, but the budget was significantly less. And, yes, some of the scenes could have been tightened by a better editor for maximum comedic payoff. But some great ideas and social commentary carry this film--as well as some sick jokes that, if you're like me, will have you in stitches. And one joke in particular that made me a little uneasy--and it takes a lot to make me even slightly uneasy.

The story is pretty simple--two gay dudes who are fed up with being cast aside by the Ivy League upper crust and who are obsessed with serial killers, decide to balance the scales by offing a few of the douchetards in Yale's Skull & Bones society. Its pretty simple for them to infiltrate the ranks--it only takes some liquor and blow before the secret society members are licking and blowing members. The killers fuck, castrate, murder, and zombify the hapless Ivy leaguers and end up with the docile, cock-hungry shell of a Skull & Bones member. As the film ends, their killing spree is still underway.

Skull & Bones is the type of independent film that there needs to be more of today--silly, energetic, gross, and most importantly addressing ideas at which the mainstream is not willing to look. Support truly independent film by dropping 20 bones on a copy for yourself--I did!

1 comment:

Clarkacus said...

I went to see Hellbent at the Gay and Lesbian film festival here in Durham, NC and I was so let down.

Now, I have had a problem with gay cinema for quite a while now: The two dimensional yet trendy characters in something that is not quite reality doing things that I couldn't identify with. Lots of films that garner a lot of attention (even It’s My Party), I just loathe because the characters are all bitchy douches with Dorothy Zbornak rapier sharp quips. Maybe that is why I liked Brokeback Mountain so much, because I can identify dealing with feelings of forbidden love – who can’t really? Maybe it isn’t so much gay drama as it is how men are portrayed. There are some of these films like But I’m A Cheerleader where I totally identified with the lesbian side of the story, but the guy side made me lament being gay. Is that wrong?

Being someone who always feels like they are an alien without a home (where neither straight or gay culture fully accepts me), maybe I am being too picky; I should learn to either make movies so I could make one that seems sensible or glean a passion for snorting tina off the toilet seat while I have anonymous gay sex at a gas station and be all smiles about it afterwards.

Heavy shit aside… I am going to have to check out this movie.

-- Santras