From co-directors and co-writers Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe, and Brandon Perras, Death Drop Gorgeous is a fun little queer indie slasher featuring lots of camp and gore.
I was provided with a free digital screener of Death Drop Gorgeous for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Death Drop Gorgeous isn’t going to be for everyone. It is the kind of film where you have to be willing to accept what the creative team has set out to do. So, don’t expect award-worthy performances across the board (the actors know what type of movie they are in and what’s expected), high production value, and a tight narrative. There’s an unpolished vibe surrounding this film, which, in a sense, lends to the overall enjoyment factor.
The story is about a bunch of murders occurring in Providence, RI. Queer people are getting killed and no one seems to have any idea who the murderer is. There could actually be more than one. The mysterious killer ends up being called the Vampire because their victims are being drained of blood.
We are introduced to Dwayne (Wayne Gonsalves) returning to Providence after a very messy breakup. Dwayne ends up staying at his best friend Brian’s place (played by Christopher Dalpe). He also meets his ex-boss (drug dealer and club owner) Tony Two Fingers to ask for his old job back. A lot of the drama occurs inside Tony’s club with Tony (Brandon Perras) doing the bare minimum to keep the establishment afloat and unable to properly handle the arguments between the Drag Queens he’s hired. The murders occurring in the area aren’t helping his business. So, Tony calls in two corrupt detectives to catch the killer. The two detectives, O’Hara and Barry, offer a good dose of comedy as they lean into the homoerotic suggestiveness present in buddy cop pairings in media.
As for the Drag Queens, there’s a lot of competition between them with the new blood pushing away the oldest performer Gloria Hole (played impressively by Michael McAdam. He understood the assignment!). Gloria’s been part of the club since the beginning and understandably didn’t appreciate being sidelined because she helped make it successful all those years ago. There’s also a Drag Queen named Tragedi (Complete Destruction), who has her own gothic aesthetic going on.
Along with giving viewers a whole lot of gore-filled murders that make use of screwdrivers, mirrors, and meat grinders, the narrative did take certain moments to comment on the queer community. There’s talk about ageism, hookup culture, drug use, exploiting employees, prejudices, and racism. However, I do think the movie didn’t do much to properly explore every sensitive topic it mentioned.
I found the pacing to be a bit weak. Certain scenes could have been cut or shortened. The film does have two post-credits scenes trying to explain some of the events. But I do think they could have been constructed better.
Having said that, in my opinion, the whodunit aspect of the narrative is handled well. There are a ton of suspects that will keep you guessing because you won’t be sure if you’re dealing with just one murderer or more. The kills are a gorefest. And I enjoyed that quite a lot. The practical effects reminded me of classic slasher movies. The killings focus on being over the top instead of being realistic. In my opinion, such a creative decision will allow certain viewers, who are more squeamish, to give this film a chance. There’s also comedy present during some of the kills. The characters do drop like flies in Death Drop Gorgeous, though. So, I would recommend stopping yourself from getting too attached to particular fictional people.
Death Drop Gorgeous was released in theatres and on Digital by Dark Star Pictures today.
If you’re in the mood for a queer slasher B-flick (featuring queer creatives) that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you should consider checking this title out.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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