Apr 30, 2016

The Postapocalyptic Fade-Out Kiss

In the movie 28 Days Later (2003), an attractive young man named Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens from a coma to find himself in a deserted London hospital. Fully nude, he stumbles out onto the street, and discovers that the world has ended. 99% of the population has been transformed into bloodthirsty zombies, who roam the streets, attacking anyone “normal.” Soon Jim teams up with two other survivors, Mark (Noah Huntley) and Selena (Naomie Harris).

You may never have heard of Naomie Harris, but you know that she cannot possibly be a 70-year old lady or a 12-year old girl. You may never have seen a zombie movie, but you know that Jim and Selena cannot possibly end the movie as cordial friends.  They must fall in love.  And, of course, Mark is doomed.

The first line of Spiderman (2003) has the narrating Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) telling us, “Like all good stories, this story is about [a boy and] a girl.”



In Eagle Eye (2008), a supercomputer forces two strangers to work together on its evil scheme to take over the world. It needs college dropout Jerry (Shia LaBeouf) for complicated plot reasons, but it selects young single mother Rachel (Michelle Monaghan) seemingly at random. Why not a middle-aged woman? Why not a middle-aged man? Because Jerry needs a girl to kiss at fade-out.

The beefcake in these movies doesn't make up for the heterosexism. Whether the movie is serious or frivolous, artistic or hack, good or bad, comedy, tragedy, or drama, it must fade out to a man and a woman in love. Even if the “real” plot is about something else, like being bitten by a radioactive spider or saving the world from zombies, there must be a heterosexual romance.

See also: Two Zombie Movies with Gay Characters; and The Walking Dead: Gay People Unwelcome at the End of the World.