So far I’ve seen the “Low-Hanging Fruit Basket” collection of shorts, Pageant and the “Queen with the Teetering Tiara” collection.

“Low-Hanging Fruit Basket” was an incredibly mixed bag. It opens with a movie that I guess is supposed to be comedy? Or something? I forget the title – oh, I just remembered, it’s called Sucker – but it’s basically dull porn starring your late-middle-aged neighbor, a dude with crazy eyes and one funny line. Uncomfortable, unfunny and unappealing. I can’t believe people clapped for that. How to Go on a Man Date was cute but took way too long staring at itself in the mirror and Le Weekend was a very tender and ambiguous little film that I really enjoyed. Gay Zombie fucking ruled, as expected. The first time I saw it was at NEVERMORE, during which I realized that the horror film crowd had no clue what to do with a gay romantic comedy and that was half of my enjoyment of the experience. This time around I realized that a gay film festival crowd had no idea what to do with a zombie movie and that was even better. The crowd really got into it after the initial warm-up period, though, and it got a lot of applause. VGL-Hunk was an extremely predictable but enjoyable fantasy with lots of eye candy and terrible sound editing and finally Rock Garden was an absolutely delightful little love story with a sort of Tim Burton feel to it. Overall I liked it and am very glad I stuck with it but seriously, Sucker? Even more embarrassing than that terrible, terrible gay slasher flick they showed last year. They need to be offering 3-D glasses at the door only the lenses should be blacked out and someone should announce when the last, straining thread of Sucker is off the screen so we’ll know when to take the glasses off.

Pageant is a documentary about the 34th annual Miss Gay America contest in which 60+ state and regional pageant winners are competing for that title in Memphis, TN, in a pageant that forbids the use of hormones or makeup. The movie follows five of the contestants and is absolutely enthralling. I’ve only ever done drag once and it was by request so I could perform a mock wedding for some straight friends at their engagement party and that was booger drag on top of that. So, the entire female impersonation scene is as foreign to me as a meeting of the Elks Lodge. I found the subjects fascinating and their stories touching and the film itself really fantastically put together. One of the subjects, Porkchop, was in attendance and now lives in Raleigh and I don’t know, it’s very weird, but out of drag and in person she had a kind of command of the crowd during the Q&A after that was impressive. It wasn’t anything major but one could tell how comfortable she is on stage, interacting with the crowd, in a way I’ve never seen a Q&A participant be before. I think I find it all so fascinating because these are people who have found a way to be comfortable in their own skin by completely changing it. They take this role they’ve created and they live it while the rest of us just stare at clothing catalogues and wish we were thinner or taller or shorter or blonder or whatever. Needless to say, if there were another documentary about the same people in, say, five years? Ten? Oh, I’d watch the hell out of it.

Queen with the Teetering Tiara was another very mixed bag. Cooking with Kay has some laughs in it but it walks that line between cute and offensive. Waiting for Yvette is very good once it gets going and is well worth seeing. The Red Dress is just sort of there, neither great nor not great. It felt filler-y. What the Frock is really cute and satisfying. I’m afraid I left early so I missed It’s Me, Matthew. The absolute best thing about that collection, though, and what (combined with What the Frock and Waiting for Yvette) makes it worth the price of admission? Tranny McGuyver. I would never have predicted that this movie would amuse me as much as it did but it did. It’s about a transvestite idiot cop and her idiot partners and it is hilarious. The humor is often extremely juvenile but their comedic timing is unbeatable and the film doesn’t dawdle over anything. It makes the joke, makes another joke, moves on to the next scene, bam, bam, bam. It hits its mark and it gets the hell off the stage and that is probably why I loved it so much. Seriously, its sense of timing and some really very funny writing and acting are top-notch. This is second only to Gay Zombie in my book and I would gladly go see it again. Also, the star’s blog is hilarious.

In an hour The Boyf and I go see Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror which really does sound promising and honestly can’t be any worse than that slasher shit from last year, the movie during which some unsober queen sat behind me, leaned forward on the edge of her seat, going, “Oh god! Oh god!” the whole time, the one that featured obnoxious Quebecois pissing off apartment balconies?