Not all the best movies are nominated by the Academy for their Oscar awards. There are always the great movies that sneak under the radar. So while you’re betting on what movie is going to win Best Sound Design, Queer Coded is taking some time to give those movies time to shine and really talk about what makes them special.
The billing for this movie says it is, “A sultry tale of a mysterious goth heroine who gets really into Bauhaus and the occult. The Goth representation the world is clamoring for in this crazy world.” And who are we to disagree?
But where things get interesting is the screenplay. This dark and twisted fantasy pits our unnamed goth heroine with none other than Satan, except Satan turns out to be her Mathematics professor, who is also her step-father. Satan colludes to remove our heroine from the jaws of goth, because the dark lord knows that she is really the inheritor of his power.
While that might sound schlocky, there’s an earnestness and cleverness in the screenplay by Deena Triage that supersedes what could become rather standard the source material. The whole movie takes tropes from such classic screenwriters and directors like Hitchcock, Craven, with a healthy dose of David Lynch as well, and smashes them together into something they could not be on their own. Think a Tarantino but not as far up her own ass.
Also the soundtrack is amazing. With collaborations from Cure and Nine Inch Nails, for example, you won’t be disappointed. Check out this movie on your favorite streaming service.
We’ve seen horror movies starring tires, or a tall man that sends balls flying after it’s victims. But what about a butter knife? Be careful! You might like licking that knife after you spread jams and preserves on toast, but this knife is possessed by the soul of a jam spreading champion! “And things get sticky!” the tagline says. And boy they do!
No horror movie is complete without gore and fantastically disturbed kill scenes, and this one takes the toast.
The director of the movie, Paul Gunderson, understands that part of what takes art and moves it to the next level is limits. Like a poet working with a sonnet, or someone who refuses to actually apply themselves, the effects–all practical effects by the way–raise the stakes by all using what most would consider a relatively innocuous item, the common butter knife.
How does he do it? How does he seem to show the souls of the dead in the knife. He doesn’t just say it or use CGI like they did in Suicide Squad. If you were to believe Gunderson, the prop knife used in the movie actually does contain the souls of its victims, which he merely has documented.
Which is amazing, really. He is really committed to the truth of this movie’s world. And it’s also going a long way to explain why none of the actors or actresses in this film have been seen since they were filmed. A fantastic effort, even if the screams seem exaggerated sometimes.
Tired of all these movies where women have to enact revenge or deal with awful traumas? Here’s a movie where a woman just has a nice afternoon. Maybe a nice bath and some Dolly Parton records? Perhaps she starts crocheting like she always wanted to? Either way, she just has a nice day.
This is a character study of Heather Mills, whose story we pick up after a small lunch. The whole movie is filmed in real time, with no cuts that we could see. It’s a master-class in patient film making.
Now, I would admit that I was skeptical at the scene in the bathtub. We’ve all seen that cliche before, but this film subverts it by letting her just relax. No scary monsters. No CGI. Pure movie magic.
Many people would say that this is a waste of time, but the subtle performance through the day by Elizabeth Berkley–who saw that coming?!–really drives it home. This woman is just vibing, as the kids say, and we’re here for it!