Flashbacks: Portland’s queer horror film industry, Rock Hudson through gay-colored glasses, and the worst Bob Dylan album?


5 Years Ago

August 8, 2003 | Tony Giampetruzzi explored a new film genre, gay horror.

" I sit speaking with Gonzalez about his involvement in this bizarre undertaking, a member of the crew arrives from a trip to Hannaford with a bag full of detergents.

" ‘We got a little too much blood on the wall during the last scene,’ he muses.

"It’s true that Zombie isn’t getting nearly as much mileage in the press as, say, the proposed filming of Empire Falls in Waterville (a project that has me admittedly star-struck since it is happening in my hometown). In fact, Zombie and the many similar films that have preceded it have flown well below the radar, something I find a little unusual. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but when it comes to gay culture, well, let’s just say I’m up to speed. Besides, just about everything gay is chic these days, even if it involves gore, and the films that Dove and Gonzalez are making are essentially Interview with a Vampire, except this time, Brad and Tom are actually having sex and the yuck level is elevated — just check out; there’s little left to the imagination.

"Still, despite the somewhat disturbing nature of the films made by Dove (the short Physical Education is tagged with ‘this movie is not rated and contains graphic images of implied rape and murder’), he says that he is doing nothing more than providing a product to a niche market. His product? Scream kings, a tongue-in-cheek answer to the scream queens genre that began in the ’50s and remained popular right up through the low-budget, but very high visibility, ’80s." Read Full Article


15 Years Ago

August 6, 1993 | Gary Susman found Mark Rappaport’s Rock Hudson’s Home Movies to be a particularly enlightening look at the long-time closeted gay actor’s career.

"Now that it’s well-known that Rock Hudson was gay and died of AIDS, it’s hard not to look at his filmography in a new light, though no one has taken the process as far as Mark Rappaport in his hour-long video Rock Hudson’s Home Movies. This revisionist retrospective suggests that Hudson was constantly subverting his own image in his movies, blandly revealing the truth about his sexual identity while acting in character, if only one knew to listen. Deconstructing an exhaustive compilation of familiar clips in this context, Rappaport finds either hilariously campy innuendo or poignant sublimation in every coy line of dialogue or stoic glance that made Hudson such an icon of self-effacing virility. It becomes easy to believe that in all those pseudo-sophisticated ‘50s sex comedies, Rock was secretly relieved to have his attempts at romance with Doris Day repeatedly thwarted, preferring instead the company of Tony Randall."


30 Years Ago

August 8, 1978 | Kit Rachlis listened to Bob Dylan's new album, and hated it.

"Listening to Bob Dylan's Street-Legal (Columbia) is like running into an old friend who has gone fat and corporate in the two years since you'd last seen him. Had you heard? He and Sarah finally separated. There is going to be a hell of a lot of alimony to pay. She's probably going to get the house. And he flashes his gold lighter and tells you about all his new girl friends. After 20 minutes you're trying to find an excuse to get out of the conversation. After 50 minutes (the approximate length of the album) you're numb. All you want to do is go home, cross his name out of your address book and pour yourself a drink. Quick."


35 Years Ago

August 7, 1973 | Sharon Basco discussed Mattapan business owners’ attempts to form a vigilante crime patrol.

"The early morning gun duel that killed James B. Miller in his Fish and Chips Store in Mattapan was not the only impetus for the area businessmen. They'd been planning to find better protection for their stores before the shooting occurred. Miller was to have been among the group of businessmen who'd been planning to meet with police to demand better protection. His death spurred the community into action, and that was why they were meeting in Bollings's Blue Hill Avenue office that night. There were close to 50 store owners crowded into that room, some in a miscellaneous collection of chairs pulled in for the occasion, others standing near the door at the far corner of the room where the sign-in book was being passed around.

"Bollings finished his speech advising his constituents of the possibilities of protection by police, by private patrols, and by vigilante-type groups. I'll just tell you this one last thing, he said. If you ask me what has to come first, I say organize! You gotta have an organization to get police to listen.’ "

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