Death Drop Gorgeous (2020)

Written and directed by Christopher Dalpe, Brandon Perras (who also played Tony Two Fingers, as well as doing the cinematography and editing) and Michael J. Ahern (who was Detective O’Hara), Death Drop Gorgeous presents a slasher world that we haven’t seen, well, nearly ever in the form: a campy, gay-positive glitter, makeup neon and booze-soaked — not to mention incredibly hilarious — murder saga.

Dwayne (Wayne Gonsalves) has just had a bad breakup, which brings him back home to Rhode Island and a place on the couch in the apartment of his friend Brian (Christopher Dalpe). As he pieces his life back together, he keeps moving somewhat backward, even getting his old bartending gig back, working at The Aut Haus alongside Tragedi (Complete Destruction), Janet Fitness (Matthew Pidge) and, perhaps most importantly, Gloria Hole (Michael McAdam), an aging drag queen who doesn’t draw in the young customers.

Unbeknownst to our hero, several club patrons and employees have already been killed and drained of their blood by a social hookup app using serial killer named The Vampire, with owner Tony Two Fingers paying off the cops to stay open. But when Brian goes missing — last seen getting into a cab driven by Linnea Quigley alongside Gloria — Dwayne starts keeping his eyes open.

I’ve never seen a movie where a man is killed with a meat grinder at a glory hole, directly followed by a scene with someone eating sausages, so this is quite obviously groundbreaking stuff. It’s even more amazing when you consider that most of the cast were non-actors and the movie was filmed almost exclusively in Providence on weekends over the course of a year and a half.

The film wouldn’t work if it was all comedy, so the slasher/giallo parts all work just as well if not better. That’s a testament to the work on screen.

I’ve always believed that determining that if a movie is a giallo or a slasher means answering a few questions: Do we care more about who the killer is than the killings themselves? Is there good music? And is there plenty of fashion? The answer to all of those questions is yes and I find it happily wonderful that the best two giallo-esque movies of the past decade — and the ones not slavishly bound to the conventions of the genre so much that they become pastiche — would be this film and Knife + Heart, two LGBTQ-positive films in a genre best known for gorgeous and fashionable women being killed in, well, gorgeous and fashionable ways.

That’s not to say that this movie is all Bava lighting and dubbed dialogue. It’s a movie onto itself, filled with high energy, hilarious dialogue and a creative team whose lack of experience surprised me, because unlike the majority of direct to streaming films that come to us, this feels like the kind of movie that I’d rush to the theater — well, you know, in any other timeline — to see.

That said, Death Drop Gorgeous will be released in select theatres and is also available on demand from Dark Star Pictures. If you want to know more, check out the official Facebook page.

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