THE COMPLETE ‘BOXER BRIEF HORROR’ OF DAVID DECOTEAU

DAVID DECOTEAU

TOKEN HOMO begins with an appreciation of one of the most arresting exploitation studios of the moment, David DeCoteau’s Rapid Heart TV. DeCoteau directs internet-ready films with a gay male gaze for a straight, bi or genre-curious female audience (or so he has claimed…). His 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” (1).

DeCoteau is now making amends, gathering the finest community cast of jocks, hunks and twinks ever to head straight-to-video. In film after film, “DeCoteau’s Boys” (2) battle giant killer bees, UFOs, prowling cougars and Bigfoots (…Bigfeet?) with a relentless disregard for keeping their clothes on. From soft core shower scenes to episodes of “mild sado-masochistic threat” (as film classifiers might have it…), DeCoteau’s Boys are destined to die wearing only their underpants. This classic exploitation film aesthetic (3) has given rise to his signature sub-genre: ‘boxer brief horror’.

Whilst rarely (if ever?) characterised as gay, these male bodies are exposed as objects of desire by DeCoteau’s queer lens. Their undressed, toned but never OTT torsos (DeCoteau seems to be less of a leg man…) are explored through endless close-ups and lyrical montage. This filmmaking style is born equally of low-budget necessity – getting as much screen time out of each ‘talent’ contract as possible (4) – and DeCoteau’s flare for arousing his audience’s prurient interests.

DeCoteau’s films belong on demand where we will catch up with them late at night in the comfort of our finest leisure wear. We will give each of them a unique ‘boxer brief rating’ out of 5, with 1 being entirely modest and 5 satisfying even the most diehard cotton fetishist.

You can follow the action online at tokenhomo.com and on Instagram @tokenhomo.


READING (between the lines…)

(1): David DeCoteau in Meet David DeCoteau, the King of Homoerotic On Demand Schlock by Will Sloan, Flavorwire.com, 28 OCT 2014.

(3): “BOLD! SHOCKING! DARING! TRUE! A history of exploitation films, 1919-1959”, Eric Schaefer (1999).

(2 & 4): 1313: BIGFOOT ISLAND (2012), DVD Commentary Track, David DeCoteau, Rapid Heart.

ABOUT

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.

Join our sexual assembly by following the action online at tokenhomo.com and on Instagram @tokenhomo.


TOKEN HOMO cruises in two aisles…

SENSATIONAL SCREENINGS

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.


CREDITS

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).