Dark Star Pictures presents Death Drop Gorgeous; on digital from September 10th.
Anyone who has spent a good chunk of their life on the gay scene (me included) knows one thing; the gay scene can be incredible but draining, its sheer energy sucking the life out of you as you age. Its fun, hedonistic, alcohol-fuelled energy wrapped in tantrums, bitchy fights, rumours, sex and comedy. Much of this comes from the tight-knit community of punters, performers and bar owners that make the gay scene what it is.
Directed by Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe, and Brandon Perras, Death Drop Gorgeous is a proudly queer, spit and sawdust indie comedy-horror that could well be an instant cult classic. Here its homemade charm reflects the energy, volatility, humour and anarchy of the gay scene; a love letter to John Waters; one that he would no doubt both approve of and recommend. Dalpe, Brandon and Perras’ dark comedy is bathed in satirical wit and bloody gore, the rich history of the alcohol-fuelled gay churches and cathedrals of the scene sitting centre stage. Death Drop Gorgeous is a glorious glitter soaked blood bath of high heels, cocktails and lunchtime vodka shots that fully embraces its low budget handmade credentials to its full advantage.
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Dwayne (Wayne Gonsalves) has arrived back in the town of Providence after a breakup, crashing on the sofa of his flamboyant friend Brian (Christopher Dalpe). But, as Dwayne starts work as a bartender at the local gay club, a mysterious spate of gruesome murders takes hold, with each victim drained of their blood after a brutal stabbing or mincing. But who could be responsible for these heinous crimes?
As tensions rise on the gay scene in Providence, the bar’s resident drag queens begin to attribute blame through rumour and speculation. Here the cruel young Janet Fitness (Matthew Pidge) and the legendary Gloria Hole (Michael McAdam) all speculate on the identity of the potential queer vampire killer, using the events to further their careers in any way possible. But, what deep secrets lie within the club and its regular punters, and can a closeted police duo find the answers before it’s too late?
Like many passion projects, Death Drop Gorgeous was filmed on a minuscule budget, its cast working around their day jobs for over a year. But, unlike many passion projects that run out of steam, Ahern, Dalpe and Perras’ movie carries a sense of fun and joy throughout. This sense of fun and enjoyment surrounds every scene with delightfully over the top performances from the cast.
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But the true genius of Death Drop Gorgeous sits in its screenplay; here, the beauty and darkness of the gay scene are sliced away piece by piece with a sharp satirical knife. For example, the club owner Tony Two-Fingers clearly has mafia roots, referencing the birth of many famous gay venues. Meanwhile, the club’s drag queens constantly seek new and age-defying acts that keep them in the spotlight, their very careers, dependant on their ability to keep things fresh. Equally, the insular, protective nature of the scene is dissected as the first victims are quickly airbrushed from queer history, the club’s punters choosing to move on rather than have their magical, fairytale world of sex and booze interfered with by a corpse.
While Death Drop Gorgeous may earn its cult stripes from its sharp screenplay, let’s not forget that this is also a damn good slasher horror at its core. The horror here may be homemade, but it’s utterly inspired – I dare anyone watching not to have a new fear of handheld meat grinders and gloryholes after the credits roll. But, I digress; in short, Death Drop Gorgeous is witty, energetic, loud, and free, reflecting the scene it represents. Its humour is both cutting and loving as it bathes in its own unique creativity. Here the glitter-soaked horror that ensues is both inspired and inventive – paying homage to a range of horror classics from Misery to Carrie and Silence of the Lambs. The result is undoubtedly one of the most fun and inspired queer horror comedies of the past ten years.
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