Throwback Thursday: Poison

The second feature film by Todd Haynes – the award-winning director behind SafeFar from HeavenVelvet GoldmineCarol and many more – Poison was a groundbreaking American indie, one of the most fervently debated films of the early 1990s and a trailblazing landmark of queer cinema. A work of immense visual invention, Haynes’ spectacular follow-up to his legendary, copyright-infringing underground Barbie Doll-biopic Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is still audacious, disturbing and thrillingly cinematic.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, this amazingly self-assured early feature proved to be quite a controversial work upon its release. It made national headlines when it was attacked by right-wing figures. Interweaving three seemingly unconnected stories, each with its own individual filmmaking style, this low-budget independent effort will mesmerize many, perplex others and possibly even disgust more than a few.

Hero, the first tale, told in a semi-documentary form, recounts a young boy’s killing of his abusive father and his miraculous flight away. Horror, filmed in a 1950s sci-fi horror flick manner, follows the tragedy that strikes a scientist after he successfully isolates the human sex drive in liquid form. The final tale, adapted from the writings of Jean Genet, is Homo, an intensely sensual and lyrical story of obsessive, unrequited love set in a prison. Together, these three interweaving stories combine to make Poison a wholly original, provocative, unsettling and intelligent film that is still a must-see for adventurous gay cinephiles.

After a small re-release in theaters, this New Queer Cinema classic is finally coming back to DVD – and to Blu-ray for the first time – in an all new must-own edition! If you haven’t seen it, we highly recommend you place an order. It’s not for all tastes, but it’s history and reputation make it an absolute must-see!

Watch the original trailer for Poison below and click here to pre-order your copy. The DVD and the new Blu-ray will be available on June 29th.


Coming Soon: The Happy Prince

In a cheap Parisian hotel room Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett, who also directed) lies on his death bed and the past floods back, transporting him to other times and places. Was he once the most famous man in London? The artist crucified by a society that once worshiped him? The lover imprisoned and freed, yet still running towards ruin in the final chapter of his life?

Under the microscope of death, he reviews the failed attempt to reconcile with his long-suffering wife Constance (Emily Watson), the ensuing reprisal of his fatal love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas (Colin Morgan) and the warmth and devotion of Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas) who tried and failed to save him from himself.

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Throwback Thursday: Safe

Restrained but emotionally involving, this harrowing tale of a woman who becomes physically allergic to the environment doubles as an AIDS allegory. Safe, an indie classic from Todd Haynes, was greatly misunderstood back in 1995, when it was first released. Over the years, it has become a critically-acclaimed cult classic and has garnered a reputation as a subversive stand-out of the New Queer Cinema movement.


Safe © Criterion Collection

Safe © Criterion Collection

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Otto; Or, Up With Dead People (c) Strand Releasing

Halloween Highlights: 50 Queer Horror Flicks We Think Are Worth a Look – Part 4

Second to last! We’re coming close to the end of this series! Being authorities on all things gay-cinema, we at wanted to put in a good word for some queer movies that don’t make the usual ranked horror lists. We came up with a selection of 50 different gay titles that are either direct horror movies or horror adjacent (suspense, mysteries, thrillers). Below, you’ll find part four of our five-part list – in alphabetical order – with new lists appearing each Monday in October. Keep checking back each week for the latest additions!

We tried to limit these to films that are currently available on our site – either on DVD or Blu-ray, or available via our On-Demand service. If a movie is missing from this list, chances are good it’s just out of print or otherwise currently unavailable/hard to access. This isn’t, as you’ll see, a definitive list of the greatest gay horror – that’s not what we were going for. This is just a sampling of some offerings that usually fly under the radar. Some are good, some are great, some are delightfully campy and ridiculous, some might be downright terrible, but they’re all available to help get your into the Halloween spirit!

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My Own Private Idaho

Throwback Thursday: My Own Private Idaho

With My Own Private Idaho (only his third film at the time), director Gus Van Sant proved himself one of the most daring, innovative and accomplished directors of his day.


River Phoenix‘s portrayal of Mike, a solitary, narcoleptic street hustler searching for his long-lost mother is not only brilliant, it’s his finest performance. Keanu Reeves gives strong support as the slumming Scott, his beautiful but shallow straight friend and the unresponsive object of Mike’s love. The nighttime desert scene in which Phoenix professes his love for Reeves (partially improvised by Phoenix) is both a heartbreaking and startlingly perfect moment in gay film-making.

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