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.