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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Guilty Pleasures #1: The Films of David DeCoteau, part one







Where did it all go wrong for David DeCoteau? He started out making standard issue gay porn(New Wave Hustlers), moved into Cinemax After Dark territory (Beach Babes from Beyond) and direct-to-video horror movies (Curse of the Puppet Master). He even tried to jump on the New Queer Cinema bandwagon with the dreadful Leather Jacket Love Story. And the thing is, he was never a good filmmaker. In fact his movies were all terrible. Like, Ed Wood terrible. Even his porn wasn't very good porn. But then, I don't know, something in him must have snapped because starting with Voodoo Academy (2000) he went off in a direction that made him a household name. Well, in certain households.

According to DeCoteau he wanted to make "the first horror film for girls." If by "girls" he means gay men, he succeeded admirably. Voodoo Academy is about as homoerotic as they come without actually being a gladiator movie, a cornucopia of 18-21 year old boys wondering around in boxer briefs, taking long hot baths, having oil rubbed all over their smooth chests while strapped to a table, and in a scene that must be seen to be believed, forced by voodoo magic to fondle themselves in their sleep, throwing off the covers and writhing around in their underwear while feeling up every inch of their own tight young bodies for a good ten minutes.

Excuse me while I have some quiet time.

I'm back.

Voodoo Academy is full of bad to marginal acting, although, surprisingly, several of the actors have managed to sustain careers: Drew Fuller, Riley Smith, Huntley Ritter (the "gay one" in the minor classic Bring It On). I doubt any of these boys include Voodoo Academy on their resumes. On a technical level nothing about Voodoo Academy succeeds. Its lack of budget shows at every turn. The script is awful, the story makes no sense. And yet. And yet. If something were to happen to my copy of Voodoo Academy I would cry for days. Well, maybe not, but I'd be very unhappy.

Somehow Voodoo Academy failed to garner any Academy Award or Golden Globe nominations, nor did it win a Palm D'or at Cannes or the Golden Lion at Venice. I don't think it even figured at the Razzies. But for David DeCoteau, as we shall see, it opened a new era in filmmaking.

2 comments:

mischa said...

can I borrow that dvd.....I think I need some quiet time.

Anonymous said...

Hack "director" who's a joke. The fact he is affiliated with Charles Band says it all.