Making bad gay movies great again
I caught up with with Daniel Krolik of the Bad Gay Movies podcast to talk about why we have a love/hate relationship with gay films.
When did you decide to start the podcast?
I’d known Bil for a few years, and we shared a lot of the same tastes of what kind of movies we loved and didn’t love. He had had the idea for this podcast for a while, and Michael and I were his first and only choices. We’d just seen Michel Haneke’s Amour - if that doesn’t inspire a bad gay movies podcast what will?
It took a few episodes to develop the chemistry, but it’s one of the most fun and easiest things I’ve ever had to do.
How long does each podcast take to record and produce?
We record it over a couple of hours. Bil works his editing magic, and it’s out a day or two later.
In years gone by there was always something a bit masochistic about gay films and gay film festivals - they weren’t great, but we felt obliged to support them as at least it was representation of some kind. Is there something a bit sacrilegious about making fun of bad gay movies?
We’re not just making fun of them. The three of us have all at one point created our own pieces, so we have an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. We break down the narrative, the direction, the performances, and figure out why and how the film we are talking about might not have worked . Even in the worst of them, there’s often a good idea at hand or good work by an actor or two that we’re able to latch onto.
What are some of your all-time favourite bad gay movies?
I have a soft spot for a few of our gay but not gay titles. The Mirror Has Two Faces was a personal joy of mine. And Marci X. I was deeply ashamed of my love for that one for so long.
In terms of actual bad gay movies, Violet Tendencies was fun because it was so dirty and profane, and so many titles we tackle shy away from actual sex. And Mindy Cohn is an absolute goddess. Oy Vey My Son is Gay for the Lainie Kazan and Carmen Electra combo I didn’t know I needed. And that one about the guy who fell in love with a father and son. That wasn’t uncomfortable at all.
Have any recent gay movies impressed you?
I loved Beach Rats - so unsettling and unsentimental. And the musical Hello Again, which I recommended on the podcast. I also spent a recent episode defending the merits of First Period to Bil. So check out that one too!
If we could get a re-make of a gay movie that had a lot of potential but didn’t quite deliver on it, which one would you choose?
I’m a theatre kid, so the idea of a remake of Terrence McNally’s The Ritz might be interesting. The original is fun because it preserves the work of a lot of great actors but is scrubbed clean of sex and grit. A remake might deliver more of that.
Is there any danger that you’ll ever run out of material for the podcast?
We have a very long watch list, and recommendations are constantly coming in, so not yet!
Any up-coming movies that you’re particularly looking forward to?
I’d love to do Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall on a future episode. I haven’t seen it yet, but its reputation precedes it.