5/1/10

Survival of The Dead's Gay Character(s)

I re-watched George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead last night, and still stand by everything I said about it initially.  However, this time, I trained my queer eye upon the film and come up with two interesting finds.

First, there is a primary female character in this film who is gay .  Tomboy (played by Athena Karkanis) is a no-nonsense solider who makes no bones about declaring her sexuality...what is most refreshing is the way she is treated by her comrades in arms, as well as others she interacts with.  Her sexuality is never used to denigrate, shame or eroticise her character.  Well done, Uncle Georgie, well done.
The next thing that I found interesting was the relationship between the bad ass, Sgt. Crockett (Alan Van Sprang) and the young man known only as Boy (Devon Bostwick).  It seems that almost immediately, Crockett becomes protective of the nerdy kid who accidentally falls in with the band of soldiers.  While he tough talks the kid at first, and even slugs him for shooting a zombie, Crockett seems to warm up to him, looking down on him as he sleeps later, and covering him with his jacket...

OK, I might have been reading too much into things, but when this bit of dialogue is exchanged between them, well, I could not help but read some rather homoerotic undertones into it.  This all occurs as the duo is holed up in an abandoned catering hall - I like to think of it as Survival of the Dead's "Great Expectations Moment".   Crockett is telling Boy about the small town he came from:
 "Small towns give birth to small people."
"But you're not a small person; what are you? 6'2? 6'3?"
 "6'1, last time I measured..."
"I don't think I'm full grown yet.  And who knows, I might even end up taller than you."
"You might kid, if you ever get to be full grown."



While I'd like to report that they are overcome by mutual desire and have a mad passionate affair; well that's not the case because a family feud is afoot as well as a zombie apocalypse to contend with.   What is of note, is by film's end, (SPOILER ALERT) Crockett, Boy and Tomboy are left to carry on - isn't that interesting a lesbian, a macho solider, and a nerdy kid who might be the apple of the soldier's eye.  The future might be bright after all.



9 comments:

B-Sol said...

Pax, I really enjoyed this movie, just saw it the other night myself. I feel it's been getting an unfairly bad rap. Possibly Romero's best since Dawn.

Pax Romano said...

B-Sol, oh I agree - this is actually a profoundly deep film. I fear that a lot of it is lost on today's horror film audience.

Jack Veasey said...

I haven't caught this one yet, but now I'll have to. It is now showing up on cable channels I get. I predict that Crockett will begin showing up in my fantasies too.

Jack Veasey said...

I have to tell you this -- the word I had to type in to get my above comment to appear was "unded." Not spelled right, but close enough for amazing synchronicity!

Prospero said...

Romero has a very positive gay character in his 1981 jousting biker flick "Knight Riders." In fact, he even gets a boyfriend by the end and everyone is happy for him.

Carl (ILHM) said...

Very interesting, it may be difficult to view the film any other way once I pop it in, will let you know if I walked away with the same impression Pax!

Chris Hallock said...

I loved all these little details. You have really made this one a case study in horror. Great job! I actually can't wait to see this again when it gets the limited theater release at the end of May.

Tower Farm said...

Wow...this makes me happy and I might have to see the movie now. I've seen too many straight-to-DVD horror flicks lately that are stuck in the 80s and using gay jokes as an easy laugh.
-Billy

jef-martel said...

I don't think it's really an homosexual relationship, but more a father/son relationship, at least that's the way i see it from the way you describe it.

still, that makes me want to see the movie.