Oct 9, 2013

The Lost Medallion: Gay-Positive Actors in a Fundamentalist Movie

Want to know what gay-positive actors Billy Unger and Jansen Panettiere have been up to lately?  Making a mess.

Actually, though The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone was released in March 2013, it was filmed back in 2009, when Billy was 13 and Jansen 14.  They both look and act around 10. 

A boy and a girl on an archaeological dig in the South Pacific, Billy (Billy Unger) and Allie (Sammi Hanratty) find a medallion that sends them back in time 200 years.  By the way, finding the medallion is a long, torturous process involving a mysterious book and two native Goons (yes, that's how they're listed in the credits).




I don't know how they figure out that they're 200 years in the past, but it's obviously a primitive culture, led by the boy king Huko (Jansen Panettiere), who speaks English.

Enemies attack, destroy the village, and lead everyone off to slavery except for Huko and his bff Anui (William Corkery).









The plot progresses like Karate Kid mixed with The Lord of the Rings.  There's a Damsel in Distress scene, an elderly wise man who offers cryptic advice, and a climactic battle between Billy and gay-vague Head Evil Dude, Cobra (retired man-mountain Mark Dascascos) that results in the destruction of the Medallion.  Then, using the Medallion that was just destroyed (don't ask), the kids go back to the 20th century.

Even though it's a mess, there are two redeeming characteristics:
1. A complete lack of displayed heterosexual interest, from anybody.
2. Gay-subtext buddy-bonding between Billy and Huko.

After chugging around the film festival circuit with it for awhile, writer/director Bill Muir decided to re-frame it. He added opening and closing scenes in which a modern-day fundamentalist Christian is telling the story of the Lost Medallion to some kids, explaining that it illustrates God's love.

Wait -- what?  I didn't see any religious symbolism.

Bill Muir graduated from the ultra-homophobic Moody Bible Institute, and has spent twenty years working for the ultra-homophobic Youth for Christ.  I wonder how he would feel if he knew that his movie had two gay-positive actors and a big ole gay subtext.

Somebody tell him, please?