Saturday Morning Flashback: DAVID DECOTEAU : Bad Movies, Hot Guys

For Gay Pride Month, let's take a look at something I wrote, way back, concerning Gay Horror Film, Director David DeCoteau:

Fans of horror films are often treated to scenes of nubile young maidens in trouble. In fact, it's become a staple of the genre. From sweeping Gothic tales with creatures carrying unconscious women in nightgowns through the misty moors, to oversexed college co-eds running naked from a machete welding maniac, pretty young things in trouble is the norm.

Of course, if you are a gay man (or even a straight woman), it might get to the point where you sort of wished you could see a doe eyed young man looking all spooked as he is trying to get away from the villain. Or how about a film that features a mostly male cast thrown into the formulaic world of a slasher film? Wouldn't that be a treat?

Apparently, director, David DeCoteau knows what you want.

DeCoteau, who cut his teeth as director of some pretty dreadful horror films in the 80's ( Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, anyone), is now the prominent (if not only) creator of such gay-centric horror epics like The Ring of Darkness, The Brotherhood, Wolves of Wall Street, and the one that started it all, Voodoo Academy.

Usually, these films star a bevy of pretty boys, one token hot chick, and sometimes a D-List actress to give them some added camp value.

The stories are usually lame rip-offs of better films, the acting third rate, and the special effects laughable. But the guys... oh so delectable. DeCoteau populates his works with Abercrombie types and manages to film them often shirtless, or in their underwear, as much as possible. The filmmaker is very fond of slow-mo shots of his stars in a wet or sweaty mode -- specifically I am thinking of the scene in The Brotherhood were a young buck stretches as he prepares for his morning run clothed in nothing but an impossibly tight pair of red shorts and sneakers.

Yeah, DeCoteau really knows how to shoot his principals so that they sparkle like rare jewels ... what a shame he does not show that much love to the rest of the elements of his films.
Honestly, David DeCoteau's works are reminiscent of the fare of that other beloved hack, Edward D. Wood Jr. Not since Plan 9 From Outer Space have movies looked this tacky, has acting been this horrendous, have screen plays been this lame...
And much like Wood, DeCoteau is a workhorse. According to his Wikipedia entry, the man has directed over fifty films! Well, you have to admire his work ethic.

Please, understand, I am not mocking David DeCoteau, far from it. I respect and admire this guy. Just think of the balls it took to create films like this. In his own convoluted way, DeCoteau was paving the way for Brokeback Mountain. And, if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, all one has to do is take a look at Renny Harlin's The Covenant, with it's tale of four hunky college students who are witches. The Covenant is pretty much a DeCoteau formula film with better acting and good special effects!


Gabriel said...

I really feel affection for David Decoteau. I don't think he could be compared to Ed Wood because he has a sens of aesthetics which can't be discussed, This man knows how to use sptolights, and is capable of holding a camera (unlike many of more popular directors). Voodoo Academy, despite of being one of the most ridiculous Decoteau movies is also one of the most erotic ones... I suppose it makes it one of the best !
But the man is also able to make good movies (I mean really good movies), House of Usher (2008) for example, is far from being perfect, but highly enjoyable... and this is not only due to the male cast.

Jack Veasey said...

I recently saw my first Decoteau film, The Brotherhood. While I found his blatant use of beefcake a hoot, it didn't grab me where I'd need to be grabbed to put up with its faults -- mostly because none of the guys were my type! If only someone would make soft porn thrillers like these with rugged bears or Daddies...or at least a James Marsters or Marc Blucas!