DEATH DROP GORGEOUS is brought to us by the trio of writers/directors, Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe, and Brandon Perras-Sanchez, and is a horror-comedy made in the early 2000s– Oh, oh, it’s NOT? Well, is it at least set in the early 2000s?…Oh…Ohhhh no…
Well, we better talk about the plot first.
DEATH DROP GORGEOUS tells the story of a bartender who tries to make it out on his own with his boyfriend but has to come back home after being cheated on. Getting his old job back at a popular gay bar and drag scene, trouble escalates as tempers flare backstage, his boss is shady as hell, and men keep ending up dead. Will he survive the murder, mayhem, and mystery of this deathtrap? Or will he, too, suffer the same fate of being DEATH DROP GORGEOUS?
So, you may have noticed already that I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing or the “comedy” portion of DEATH DROP GORGEOUS, mainly because I’ve seen and heard it all before….in the early 2000s. This really disappointing. With other queer indie movies upping their game as of late, I was hoping to find something campy but with a sharp edge, veering into the future. Not looking into an outdated past. There were a lot of cringey moments because of this, like the ending which was just one-liner after one-liner after one-liner, without any real end in sight. This I lay at the feet of writing and directing.
The other thing that I had a hard time with was finding characters to relate to or enjoy. Everyone seemed to hate each other and be in competition with each other, playing mostly caricatures of screwball queer films of yesteryear but with very little heart. Even the unsteady film, Ticked of T******* With Knives, had moments of community and character that felt real and enjoyable whereas DEATH DROP GORGEOUS floundered.
And don’t get me wrong AT ALL! I eat camp for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and as a midnight snack. But there are certain ingredients that go into it. There’s something special that makes it camp — pure and beautiful camp. Sure, you could call it camp or “gaysploitation” horror, but there was something that it lacked. Some heart. Some substance.
However, the reason why I’m picking this apart is because I really wanted it to succeed, and there were parts that I truly utterly enjoyed. Gloria Hole (Michael McAdam) was amazing and I wish DEATH DROP GORGEOUS would have just completely focused on her. There’s a part at the end (no spoilers) where it goes kind of arthouse, and I lived in those few minutes. I wish the whole movie was that because I ate it all up. It was absolutely stunning.
The last thing I’m going to talk about and congratulate them on were the visceral effects. The special effects in this movie were satisfying, appropriately gross, and visually entertaining. They did a wonderful job at blood and gore. The actors hammed it up beautifully, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve felt a bit sick to my stomach. So, hats off to that. Quite the accomplishment and terrifically done.
Bottom line: If you’re having a queer horror night, maybe add this to the rotation and check out DEATH DROP GORGEOUS, but I doubt it’ll stay relevant or become a classic.
DEATH DROP GORGEOUS is released on Digital by Dark Star Pictures on September 10, 2021.