Born of VHS rentals and late night downloads, TOKEN HOMO celebrates the lure of exploitation cinema, where audience risk-taking and experimentation become defiant acts of same-sex spectatorship.
We avoid polite LGBTQ+ film festival favourites.
We prefer to linger in exploitation cinema’s out-of-the-way worlds of mess, muscle and wonder (1), where badly behaved movies ignite our passions.
TOKEN HOMO cruises in two aisles…
Cinema should always be social and so we are planning our own screening events at TOKEN HOMO. The kind of events we can’t find on London’s alternative cinema scene…
We’ll be starting with Sunday afternoon screenings offering queer tea and company (suited to your finest leisure wear…). These will beget – we hope – a series of late night events where we will attempt to recreate the classic exploitation cinema experience for contemporary queer audiences: adults-only double features with square-up reels of explicit content and added live performance spectacle (2).
CRUISING THE DIGITAL DRIVE-IN
Like the drive-ins or inner-city grind houses that came before them, today’s streaming services provide easy access to exploitation cinema of all shapes and sizes. Some of the films we can find online offer same-sex attraction on demand. Others are made by same-sex attracted filmmakers. Some simply allow the lewd pursuit of erotic detail. All of these queer delights – and more! – will be written about here as we stream and share, starting with a little project we like to call THE COMPLETE DAVID DECOTEAU.
David DeCoteau’s background in Hollywood’s 80s/90s exploitation biz gives TOKEN HOMO our title: I was sort of the ‘token homo’ in the business, and most of the day I’d be filming naked women and crashing cars (3).
TOKEN HOMO is also deep in debt to the unabashedly sexual and unapologetically political film fandom of Boyd McDonald (1) and Eric Schaefer’s seminal research into classic exploitation cinema (2). We salute Kim Newman’s completist urge for the under-appreciated (4) and imbibe Michael J. Weldon’s “Psychotronic Video” as our illicit chemsex (5).
(1): “Cruising The Movies: A Sexual Guide To Oldies On TV”, Boyd McDonald (1985/2015).
(2): “BOLD! SHOCKING! DARING! TRUE! A history of exploitation films, 1919-1959”, Eric Schaefer (1999).
(3) David DeCoteau quoted in “Meet David DeCoteau, the King of Homoerotic On Demand Schlock” by Will Sloan, Flavorwire.com, 28 OCT 2014.
(4): “Video Dungeon: The Collected Reviews”, Kim Newman (2017).
(5): “Psychotronic Video”, Michael J. Weldon (1989-2006): Traditionally ignored or ridiculed by mainstream critics at the time of their release: horror, exploitation, action, science fiction and movies that used to play in drive-ins or inner-city grind houses.
TOKEN HOMO is a RADIANT CIRCUS sideshow project.
Featured Image: IMMORTAL KISS: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT (2012).