Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as.

1943, USA
Howard Hughes
VHS

For a movie banned because of Jane Russell’s ample and spotlighted cleavage, this movie sure is gay. And I’m not saying that in a pejorative sense. I mean this movie is homosexual, literally. It aspires to high airs, has stilted, affected dialogue, and I’m pretty sure I caught it fucking The Ox-Bow Incident at the repertory drive-in off the 401. Jane Russell’s tits are huge, to be sure, but they take a back seat to the strangely familial sexual tension between Walter Huston’s Doc Holliday and Jack Beutel’s Billy The Kid. The two men spar verbally and physically throughout the movie, ostensibly over Russell and a horse, but in reality it’s just a pissing contest to see who has the bigger dick, which is like foreplay for gay guys when they run out of X. Essentially, this film would be Brokeback Mountain's ancestor, if it wasn't far too gay to breed.

Don't eat the brown Outlaw!

The Outlaw, directed by Howard Hughes before he started saving his urine, is a kind of pastiche of Old West heroes and legends, like a commemorative quilt or a laboured film clip collage at the 2006 Oscars. Holliday and William Bonney are joined by Pat Garrett and not a lot of research, coming off like a story about Sherlock Holmes fighting Dracula written by someone who has read neither. There’s too much dialogue and not enough action, with the camerawork in particular being more suited to a filmed stage play than a traditional Western. However, the subtext of the characters is fairly interesting. Bonney and Holliday alternate between friends and enemies at the drop of a hat, passing Jane Russell between them like a glass pipe full of crystal meth or, more accurately, like a fag hag trying to catch an infection. Pat Garrett, the hero of many a Western yarn, is a weasely lawman trying to make a name for himself, but in reality just distracts from the two protagonists, who switch sides like a bi-sexual high-school girl listening to an Ani Difranco mixed tape. Russell can’t act to save her life, but that doesn’t really matter, because she’s only there to give men a reason to watch this movie that won’t tip off their wives, like the fight-statistics in grappling magazines. And while the subtext does make the film interesting, there’s not enough on the surface to make it entertaining, essentially reducing it, like this review, to a series of bad gay-themed metaphors and similes.

3 Comments:

Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I saw this film after it was referenced in a class I took on the history of censorship in cinema. I was bored by it, but found it interesting as an artifact from a historical point of view.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

That seems to be a fairly standard reaction.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous a very bitter sexually frustrated man said...

this film sums up the lies and hypocrisy that has poisoned and plagued hollywood for over a hundred years, and it will only be brought to an end when we are able to see six year old girls being graphically buggered in mainstream films in extreme close-up, thereby signifying that the lies and hypocrisy has finally been eradicated forever.

11:59 AM  

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