Friday, March 11, 2022

Death Drop Gorgeous


Death Drop Gorgeous
Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe, Brandon Perras

Yes, it’s supposed to look like that.

Someone is out there murdering young gay men and stealing their blood. Meanwhile the drag queens that perform at a local bar are engaging in petty squabbles to grab the limelight. Gloria Hole (Michael McAdam), is the elder queen of the stage and is slowly being edged out of her position in the limelight. Dwayne (Wayne Gonsalves) is a young man who has returned to work at the bar after a particularly bad breakup. These things will collide in an orgy of blood.

The film spends its opening scenes showing that even in gay subculture there is plenty of ageism, racism, and toxic masculinity. Aside from the ageism, Death Drop Gorgeous only touches on these topics in the most surface way possible. These are topics that almost never receive the attention they deserve and I think it would have been an interesting angle from which approach a slasher story.


"Ice creaaaaam man!"

Death Drop Gorgeous shines in its dialogue, notably in the acid tongued exchanges between the drag queens. These scenes are easily some of the best in the whole production, everyone is just giving it their all with hilarious and incredibly cruel insults. The film could have dropped all the slasher elements and just been about the life of these drag queens and I think it would have been a stronger and more focused story.

By the third act things take a turn for the serious (mostly), and there are some haunting images here, but the film has not planted the seeds earlier in the plot to make this turn into pure horror work. We are subjected to sudden change in tone that jars but not in a way that makes the film more interesting. As an example, of the number of murders in this story, we get a throat slashing, a stabbing, a face smashed on a desk, all presented in a fairly straightforward manner, but we also get a silly dick mauling with a meat grinder.


Everyone's grandma in the 1970s.

Death Drop Gorgeous wants to be a lot of things, a camp comedy, a slasher film, a character study of someone reaching the end of their career, and a comment on problems the that often plague queer spaces. It does manage to touch on all these elements but never manages to connect or mix them in any reasonable way. Death Drop Gorgeous is over 100 minutes of tonal whiplash. With the right script and direction that can work, but this film can never build the momentum to make it happen.

Death Drop Gorgeous is a missed opportunity and there are far better modern queer slashers out there, I would turn off Death Drop Gorgeous and go watch Knife + Heart (2018). It is afar better film with a lot more to say on the horrors and joys of being queer.

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