Oct 16, 2013
Helmut Berger: Gays as Pure Evil
The Nazis are portrayed as beings of pure evil -- not because of their policy of extermination against "inferior" races, but because they enjoy gay sex. And heterosexual sex, of course. But the gay sex is emblematic of their moral bankruptcy.
Martin, the young heir to the Essenbeck fortune, likewise demonstrates his own moral bankruptcy by going to "that sort" of bar and performing in drag, but he also enjoys sexually assaulting women, including his preteen cousin and his mother (then suggesting that Mom commit suicide).
Wait -- gay men are threats to little girls? And adult women? Even Jerry Falwell never went that far!
Apparently not. Visconti also directed Death in Venice (1971), in which same-sex desire is portrayed as a sickness that invariably leads to death, and Berger also starred in Dorian Gray (1970), about the horrific physical consequences of an "immoral lifestyle" (that is, being gay).
No Gay Pride in this family!
At least Helmut was nice to look at, in a slim, androgynous way.
Luchino Visconti died in 1976. Helmut Berger continues to perform. He specializes in nasty, villainous characters, but for the last 30 years they've been mostly heterosexual, such as the evil Peter DeVilbis who seduces Fallon on Dynasty.
I guess the "gays as pure evil" bit is a little harder to sell today.