Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Queer Cinema: Karen Black Like Me

It's Pride Month, so I'm strolling the venertaed halls of Queer Cinema. Today: Oedipal issues and giant dildos!

If you were fortunate enough to catch Trilogy of Terror on television during the seventies, it isn't something you'll likely have forgotten, even now. And if, like me, you were a child at the time, you may have been severely traumatized by it.

Ask anyone what it's about, and they'll tell you (well, they'll tell you about the third part, no one remembers what the first two stories were): in the final installment of Trilogy, Karen Black plays a woman who buys a small African doll and takes it home to her apartment. When the amulet around the doll's neck breaks, he comes to life and starts chasing her around her home, trying to kill her. This segment is something of a minor classic in horror television. It's seriously creepy, to say the least.

But this spoof may be even creepier. Not because it's scary, or because the monster in this one is particularly threatening. No, it's creepy due to the strange relationship between Emil, our lead, and his mother (Anita Gillette). She kisses him on the lips, demands foot rubs, and talks of how she “washed [his] poophole until he was six.” When Emil (Ira Rosenberg) stands her up at the theater, she's more than a little pissed.

But Emil has bigger problems. (Beside the fact everyone pronounces his name like "amyl.") He's received a mysterious package in the mail, and inside is one very large, angry looking dildo. And like in the original film, removing the studded leather cockring imbues King Dong (yes, that's its name) with magical powers. Suddenly Dong is on the loose, tormenting poor, fey Emil.

Emil fights for his life, as Dong pursues him around the apartment, smacking him in the face, breaking through doors, and even spitting on him. That's not venom though. If the idea of a man being menaced by a large, growling dildo strikes you as funny, Karen Black Like Me does not disappoint.

Directed by David Briggs • Unrated • 1997 • 16 minutes