If it’s late enough — and “Death Drop Gorgeous” is nothing if it’s not a “Midnight Movie” — and you’re tipsy enough, I suppose there might be a few giggles and grins in this death in a drag club slasher comedy.
Emphasis on “I suppose.”
Written and directed by a threesome, with amateurishly broad acting and stereotypical drag queen bitchiness interrupted by gruesomely explicit violence involving knives, a screwdriver and the last thing any man would want caught in a meat grinder, it might have looked promising on paper.
I found it all a bit much and 100 minutes of nothing at the same time.
The serial slaughter takes place in and around a Providence, Rhode Island drag club — The Out House. And who would’ve guessed Providence was this lurid? Oh. Right. Brown.
The club is run by a dese-dem-dose but LGTBQ-friendly goombah nicknamed Tony Two Fingers (Brandon Perras), with a stage that plays host/hostess to the likes of Rosebud Cianci, Lindsay Fuckingham (subtle), Tragedi, Audrey Heartburn and the queen of the hop, Janet Fitness (Matthew Pidge).
The elder-statespronoun of the parade is Gloria Hole (Michael McAdam), long in the tooth, dated in her act and despised by all.
Aspiring queen Brian (Christopher Dalpe) and close-friend and sometime bartender Dwayne (Wayne Richard) are the bystanders to all the mayhem that begins with a junkie lured into a car and callously poked with a screwdriver, his “blood drained” according to the detectives (Michael J. Ahern and Sean Murphy) assigned the case.
The detectives figure they have “a serial f–killing vampire with a taste for blood.” And even the detectives give off an overt gay-couple vibe here. We meet them as one is tidying up the other’s messy devouring of an éclair.
The funniest stuff here is the backstage dressing room digs that the queens dish out.
“If you’re gonna have two faces, at least make one of them PRETTY.” “I douched for THIS?”
Writers-directors (and co-stars) Ahern, Dalpe and Perras conceive an entire described world revolving around the drag club, with such eateries as “Papa Fagarti’s up on the hill.”
The murders — most of them humdrum, save for the bloodspurts — earn reactions of deadpan shock from those who find the bodies — “Damn, he had GREAT abs!” — and pseudo-zingers from the detectives, shaking their heads over the killer “shredding (the victim’s) meat and potatoes like that.”
Poor pacing always throws pedestrian performances into the foreground, and “Death Drop Gorgeous” is overrun with those as it plods along on ill-fitting heels.
Yes, the assorted queens have cute enough acts, and the drag shows — lip synched to original songs composed for the film — are the most professional thing in this.
But is it worth staying up for a midnight showing, spending for the drinks etc. you’d have to imbibe to dive into its vibe? Honey, no.
Rating: Unrated, graphic, gory violence, nudity, sex, profanity, drug abuse
Cast: Paul Bohn, Wayne Richard, Christopher Dalpe, Michael J. Ahern, Sean Murphy, Brandon Perras and Michael McAdam
Credits: Scripted and directed by Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe and Brandon Perras. A Dark Star release.
Running time: 1:44