Friday, October 25, 2013

Naughty Nosferatu


Decoding the meaning of gay vampires in popular culture has been a subject of academic debate. While some refer to it as a rather somewhat homosexual, cocksucking representation of gays in general, some see it as a gay portrayal of male sexuality without the limitations of gender roles. 

Both views can be applied to a series of gay vampire movies beginning with NOSFERATU (1922) directed by F.W. Murnau starring Max Schreck as Vampire Count Orlok who takes an interest in a young handsome real estate agent sent to to Transylvania to sell Count Orlok a new home in Germany. The film was a silent classic based on Bram Stoker’s novel "Dracula."

Tod Browning’s DRACULA (1931) came next followed by a long series of rather campy faggy vampire flicks culminating with such schmaltzy classics as SON OF DRACULA (1943) with Lon Chaney Jr. as well as a rather tres shockingly modern version entitled SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE (2000) starring John Malkovich as F.W. Murnau. Along with Udo Kier and Willem Dafoe as the new gay tres tortured version of the Max Schreck character struggling to play the role of Murnau’s cocksucking Count Dracula.

All of which simply pales the earlier rather closeted, vague ambiguities of Countess Zaleska’s lesbian sexual portrayal in DRACULA’S DAUGHTER (1936) which came toward the end of the Hays Production Code shifting the focus of LGBT representation to the 1940s and 1950s with more realistic, criminal portrayals of cocksucking gay vampires on the prowl.

Cocksucking gay vampire representation truly came out of the closet with INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE: THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES (1994) starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt which pretty much opened up the love, betrayal, loneliness and hunger of modern-day contemporary cocksucking vampirehood. 

When INTERVIEW played at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, the gay audience mocked and pooh-poohed pouty Brad Pitt’s portrayal of poor put-upon wealthy aristocrat Louis de Point du Lac as the handsome Louisiana plantation owner who’d given up on life.

The gay audience approved and were much more enthusiastic for the sardonic, campy role of Tom Cruise as cynical Lestat de Lioncourt who has no queer qualms about flaunting it as a decadent Deep South elitist cocksucker. He gives Brad Pitt the chance of a lifetime to become a creature of the night: a vampire. 

Brad Pitt accepts, and Lestat drains Louis' mortal blood dry, then raises him to the heights of queer vampirehood by giving a taste of what it’s like to be a queer cocksucker, turning Louis into a vampire. 

But Louis must learn from Lestat the ways of the vampire. It’s a bumpy ride down there in New Orleans as well as across the sea in Paris which is simply infested with the ancient Nosferatu Curse. 

The problem, though, which the gay audience at the Castro Theater picked up on was that poor Brad Pitt was always in a state of feeling guilty about being a cocksucking vampire. Anne Rice the author develops this theme quite nicely in her novelizations of the queer Nosferatu mythology.

Even though the Hays Production Code is no longer with us, still the Vampire queer meme creates a rather foreboding, forbidden impression for straight audiences and viewers of a queer cocksucking Predator, serving such long-existing stereotypes such as uncontrolled males on the prowl. 

But while the fags in the Castro Theater audience picked up on and dished Miss Pitt with a certain amount of knowing subtlety and appreciation of the queer ambiguities involved in this twin portrayal characterizations of gay vampirehood with both Pitt and Cruise—it’s still rather important and necessary to see such cocksucking roles in terms of post-INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE representations now in 2013.

As Heteronormativity, Homonormativity and Post-DOMA gay marriage developments continue, how will the gay and straight communities embrace on the screen any new Hollywood portrayals of nefarious Naughty Nosferatu?

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