In an appearance on an Australian radio broadcast the other day while promoting his Django Unchained downunder, Quentin Tarantino made a surprise announcement, which perhaps wasn’t so surprising for those of us who saw the obvious trajectory of his self-consciously subversive movies. QT, as he is known to Scientologists who still hope to bring him into the fold, was making this appearance on a station notorious for causing a nurse to kill herself after they prank-called her while she was caring for the Duchess of Cambridge. His goal? To support the right of all people to indulge in irresponsible mockery regardless of the consequences.
“So… what’s next for you, Quentin?” the host of the show asked him.
“Well, I’ve got a surprise announcement,” QT replied.
“Could you do it in that deplorable mock-Australian accent you affected in Django, please?”
QT was only too happy to oblige without taking offense; he knows all Aussies find anyone speaking in their accent deplorable. “I’m going to do a film about gays and the AIDS epidemic,” he drawled, overly nasal. “I reckon I’m gonna put the ‘poof’ back in ‘spoof’.”
LGBT media watchdog GLAAD, a.k.a. The Swish Inquisition, immediately pounced on the director for his use of the derogatory Australo-British term ‘poof.’ “Sry to all in LGBT community,” QT tweeted. “I’ll use f*ggot from now on. It’s the new n*gger, ayway.”
Five minutes after the announcement, my eagle-eyed agent was on the phone from London. “Dude, this is totally your movie” he said in that Britishy Cali surfer accent (but he’s Dutch).
“Tarantino writes his own,” I replied.
“Yeah, but he doesn’t know Ghey like you do.”
“But he’s not Jewish or black, either. That didn’t stop him from making Inglourious Basterds and Django.”
“You’ll do it uncredited. Listen, do me a favor,” he said, winding up the call in that way he has. “Whip up an outline, I’ll get it to Harvey. It’ll take you an hour. Love you. You’re the man. Big kiss.”
My agent is Str8, but he does have a way of keeping me hoping.
I knew immediately what this film had to be. It goes without saying that when you’re working with a director, especially an auteur, you have to think the way he does. I immediately got a flash of the one and only time I’ve ever been near QT, when I almost ran him over outside the Starbucks in the mini-mall on La Brea and Sunset. He put his hands on the hood of my car and stared at me slack-jawed like a meth head on his fifth day tweaking who is trying to figure out what dimension he’s inhabiting. Recollecting that moment, I entered his mind and saw what it had to be:
The Coulour Pinke.
Inspired, I grabbed my notebook. It’s Russ Meyer meets Tom of Finland starring The Village People, I jotted.
As a 70s B-movie buff like QT would know, Russ Meyer was the schlock director of such ‘classics’ as Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! which featured preternaturally buxom women in silly, convoluted circumstances that led them to fight each other and jiggle their assets as often as possible. Tom of Finland was a seminal gay illustrator known for his fetish art, who also hit a peak in the 70s, but died of AIDS. As for The Village People… yes, again, the epitome of gay 70s, in the form of the cheesiest disco group from the era, and that’s saying a lot. Members of the group each wore different costumes representing gay stereotypes.
Having been an active homosexualist in the 70s, albeit underaged, I knew what to look for in terms of references. I waded through Google Image, cringing at the styling and general awfulness of the period—I personally find it a low point in twentieth-century Western culture, but for a six-figure uncredited draft, I love it, it’s my favorite—and dipped into YouTube to revisit hit songs such as “Lady Bump.”
I was immersed in a flash flood of imagery and hackneyed plot. The Coulour Pinke was perfect for QT. My reservations that the AIDS epidemic was actually an 80s thing, a product of that Lady Bump 70s promiscuous-sex-on-drugs culture, and therefore anachronistic, were soon dispelled when I remembered that QT loathes historical accuracy, for some reason I’ve never heard him explain; he talks too much for me to pay attention and tries too hard to make the glass slipper of his endeavors fit the over-sized, smelly feet of his reasoning.
In The Coulour Pinke, our heroes are now a disco group of super-buff steroid Muscle Marys called The Village Assassins, or maybe just Village Badass… either one works, as long as at some point in the film one of the group, just before sodomizing a villain, squints and says straight to the camera (Clint Eastwood), “We put the ass back in badass.”
The plot is convoluted, of course, but QT has a hardon for that. Having discovered that the HIV virus is indeed manmade and has been unleashed on the population in an effort to eradicate Gheys, blacks, and junkies, Village Badass set out to track the culprit, Dr. Mangleher (Christoph Waltz), a sociopathic German scientist holed up in the safety of apartheid-era South Africa, backed by a fringe ultra-right-wing group that has local and U.S.-government support. After tracking down Dr. Mangleher, they dress him in backless chaps and a leather harness, strap him in a sling and gangbang him (see above “We put the ass in badass” line). The scientist understands that he loves gay sex—being German, he particularly appreciates the leather part—and resolves to become a member of the group, performing as a niche gay-porn stereotype: The doctor who gives physical exams that end in yet more sodomy.
Village Badass begin their worldwide rampage, stopping off first in Pretoria, where they infect the entire all-white South African government at once in an awesome scene that involves an explosive device planted in the middle of parliament, rigged with the help of Dr. Mangleher, which sends thousands of HIV-tipped heat-seeking darts flying with deadly accuracy.
Next stop is Washington, D.C., where the dictator Richard Nixon is still in power. Rather than resign over the Watergate scandal in ’74, Nixon enlisted the help of the Airborne Rangers and seized martial control of the government, and suspended the constitution. The U.S. is now a lot like Chile under Pinochet, except for New York City (where Village Badass are from), the denizens of which have once again successfully managed to ignore the rest of the country to do things their way.
While attempting to break into the White House, the group is captured and subjected to brutal torture, which the singers are not only resistant to, they actually enjoy. This in turn arouses their Marine interrogators, themselves quite fond of pain, who free them and join them in slaughtering Nixon, his wife, his children, and the entire cabinet.
During the climax, Dr. Mangleher reveals that he has the antidote for HIV, as well as the recipe for a pill that will cure limp coke-induced “disco dick,” which he’s thinking of calling Viagra. The whole thing ends, of course, with the White House as a bonfire behind Village Badass as they sing their hit “Horse Hung.”
I’m loving this. I think it’s subversive, plays right into many a Ghey’s paranoid delusions that the HIV virus was created to destroy us and junkies and blacks, particularly black junkies like us, and will whip GLAAD into such a froth Harvey won’t have to spend a dime on publicity (he can charge back the poster to the revenues of some minor foreign film that is thrilled just to do business with him).
When the outcry gets too loud, QT will trot me out at a press conference and admit I’m the real author for that gay cred thing. I’ll bask in the spotlight, my agent’s phone will be ringing off the hook with offers, and I’ll know in that moment that all of my struggles—from the perils of being an out gay teen in the late 70s, through surviving the 80s by simply not having sex during the prime of my youth and watching all those beautiful people I knew wither and die, until now when I still have to be so super-cautious of how and with whom I have sex—have been worth it, and all of Homolandia shall be redeemed.
After all, isn’t that what African Americans should feel about Django Unchained?