Oct 31, 2015

18 Gay Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves, Aliens, and Assorted Undead Bogies

I love the paranormal. Alien abductions, mysterious disappearances, time slips, vampires, ghosts.  Those few paranormal experiences I've had in real life can usually be explained as misinterpretations and exaggerations, but still they're fun, suggesting a world beyond the fields we know.

Childhood

1. The Naked Man at the Crossroads.  Ok, this happened to my great-grandmother, not me, but it was still a spooky story, especially hearing it in a house trailer in the deep woods of Indiana, late at night, with the wind howling outside.

2. The Naked Man in the Peat Bog.  My Uncle Paul always told us to never go near the peat bog, because a naked man lived there, and he would eat us.  But one day we went to the peat bog anyway, and sure enough, a naked man wearing a weird mask chased us.  Maybe it was Uncle Paul's friend, trying to scare us.  Maybe not.


3. The Naked Indian God.  At the annual Pow Wow in Rock Island, Bill and I saw an Indian youth, one of the dancers, peeing in the woods.  Or doing something else.  When he saw us, he vanished.  Are you starting to notice a pattern here?  Sublimated same-sex desire is visualized.

4. Greg the Boy Vampire gave me my first real kiss.  At least he said he was a vampire.



High School

5. Davenport House, where the first European settler to the Quad Cities lived, has a reputation for being haunted.  When we were in high school, we decided to check.

College

6. The Gay Ghost in the Basement. I didn't like going down to the basement, where the previous owner kept an art studio.  It hadn't been touched since he died; I kept thinking that he was just upstairs getting a drink of water, and he would be back  One day I saw him hunched over his easel, drawing pictures of naked men.

7. The Bell Tower at Augustana: if a virgin was kissed there, the bell would ring.  I tried to kiss Adam, the bookstore manager, but we were detained.

8. Getting Intimate in the Haunted House.  .


California

9.  West Hollywood was oddly bereft of the paranormal, unless you count my date with Richard Dreyfuss, which was actually more about discussing the paranormal.

10. But San Francisco was overbrimming with ghosts, bogies, and the unexplained, like Kevin the Vampire.

11. And I went home with the Amazing Invisible Boy, who no one could see except me, and who vanished before we can get into the bedroom.  Maybe he just left, but then why was my apartment door locked from the inside?


12, And when David and I were driving home from the Gilroy Garlic Festival, and we saw a UFO.  Or maybe it was the planet Venus.

New York

13.  New York was full of paranormal experiences, too, like the exorcism of the homophobic demon.

14. And the Man in Black who cruised me on Christopher Street.  I still think he was an alien, not a priest.

15. Sometimes you couldn't tell if a guy was a paranormal entity or just eccentric, like the time traveler from the 1920s.

Florida

16. I'm going to count the gay psychic angel, who told me about my past lives. I'm pretty sure he wasn't an angel, just a very cute guy.


The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Manneken Pis, the Urinating Boy of Brussels

This post has been moved to Small Town Beefcake.

Oct 30, 2015

Hansel and Gretel Grow Up and Get Boyfriends

Remember Hansel and Gretel, the Grimm fairy tale about a father who tries to kill his children by abandoning them in the woods, whereupon they stumble upon a candy house, and a witch who wants to eat them, but they turn the tables and burn her alive?

A very pleasant bedtime story for toddlers.

In Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), the siblings grow up into a pair of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style wisecracking, martial-arts-using witch slayers (Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton), who travel all over 17th century Germany with their arsenal of gigantic phallic-symbol guns.


By the way, Jeremy Renner seems to be somewhat homophobic.  Addressing the rumors that he's bisexual because he's living with both his girlfriend and his bromantic partner Griffin Hadley, he cursed "they're not f*** true!"


While investigating a mass child-disappearance in Augsburg, Hansel and Gretel run afoul of a bigoted sheriff and uncover a plot to bring hundreds of witches together for a Blood Moon Ritual.  They also find the answer to the secret of their past: why did their parents abandon them in the woods?

On the way, Hansel hooks up with a good witch (Pihla Vitala), who challenges his "the only good witch is a dead witch" philosophy.  But he gets a nice gay subtext with the fanboy Ben (Thomas Mann), touching him repeatedly on the chest, riding with Ben's arms around his waist, and finally inviting him to join the witch-hunting team.











Meanwhile, Gretel expresses no heterosexual interest, although she does get an unexpected ally in a gigantic troll (Derek Mears), who also joins the team.  In the last scene, they're fighting a "sand witch" in the vast desert of 17th century Germany.

This is a very bloody movie; a scene involving the mass-execution of dozens of witches is particularly disturbing.  And I didn't like the anachronistic dialogue ("Awesome!") and technology: they have machine guns, phonograph records, tasers, and hyperdermic syringes.  But the people are attractive (at least, all of the good people are attractive), and there's plenty of gay subtexts.  


Oct 29, 2015

Movin' on Up: The Jeffersons

A spin-off of All in the Family, The Jeffersons set into the vacuum caused by the demise of Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers in January 1975.

It followed a nouveau-riche African-American couple, irascible George Jefferson (Sherman Hensley) and pragmatic Louise (Isabel Sanford), to a "deluxe apartment in the sky", where they were surrounded by wacky friends and neighbors: sarcastic maid Florence (Marla Gibbs), snobbish interracial couple Tom and Helen (Franklin Cover, Roxy Roker), looney Brit Mr. Bentley (Paul Benedict).

When I was in high school, it aired during a block of must-see Sunday night programs (Alice, One Day at a Time, Trapper John MD), so I watched quite often, though it had very little gay content (I preferred the strong gay content on What's Happening!!)


1. Virtually no beefcake.  As a teenager, I thought that George and Louise's college-age son Lionel (Mike Evans) was cute, but following the tradition of black beefcake, he always appeared fully clothed.  After a year, he was replaced by Damon Evans, who was rather too thin and fey for my tastes.









The most you could hope for was a hunky guest star, like Jay Hammer as Tom and Helen's son.












Or Ike Eisenmann as a teenage racist in extraordinary tight jeans, who has a change of heart after George saves his father's life.

2. Lack of bonding. Friendships on the show were always cordial and businesslike, never passionate.

3. No gay characters.  Apparently the network execs felt that seeing racial minorities was traumatic enough for Middle America, and gays would give them conniption fits. So no gay people were mentioned, although there was a male-buddy-is-now-a-woman plotline.






The lack of substantial gay content is surprising, considering that Paul Benedict and Damon Evans (left), both accomplished theatrical actors, were gay.  In an interview, Damon states that he didn't get along with the other cast members, except for Roxie Roker.

Sherman Hensley, who died last July, was probably gay, too; he was never seen with a woman and lived with his "roommate," Kenny Johnston, for over thirty years. But he refused to Say the Word.

He came from a generation of men who considered gayness "deeply personal," who didn't realize that Saying the Word could reduce homophobia, give gay kids a role model, and help them "move on up."

Oct 27, 2015

12 Unexpected Disney Channel Teen Hunks

The Disney Channel is very good about providing beefcake for its teen and tween audience (girls, no doubt, since they have frequently expressed disbelief that gay juveniles exist).  Jocks and male leads strip off their shirts with gleeful abandon.

But they are expected to have spectacular physiques.  The shock comes when pesky kid brothers, science nerds, and gay-vague pretty boys turn out to have massive biceps, six-pack abs, and tight chests that would have propelled them to teen idol stardom a couple of decades ago.

Here are the top 13 most unexpected teen musclemen on the Disney channel and Disney XD

Note: only on currently airing series, so I'm disqualifying Austin ButlerDaniel BookoDylan and Cole Sprouse,  Jake Thomas, Michael Seater, Nick Spano, and everyone on Wizards of Waverly Place.

Note: some of them are young teenagers, so they won't be of interest to adults.




1. Billy Unger (above) as Chase, academically-inclined bionic teen on Lab Rats. 


2 Jason Dolley, goofy big brother on Good Luck Charlie.

3. Chris Galya (left) as Tony, doorman in the building where teenage nanny Jessie works, and her main love interest.









4. Ross Lynch (left) as feminine-coded aspiring singer Austin Moon on Austin and Ally.

5. Calum Worthy as his goofy best friend Dez.













6. Jake Short as 15-year old super-genius Fletcher Quimby on A.N.T. Farm, and as 16-year old comic book nerd Oliver on Mighty Med.


7. Mateo Arias (left) as surly martial artist Jerry on Kickin' It.














8. Blake Michael, older brother of the young girl with the talking dog on Dog with a Blog.

9. Leo Howard (left) as Logan Hunter, pesky kid who almost became CeCe's stepbrother on Shake It Up and now has a starring role on Kickin' It.

10. Adam Irigoyen as Deuce Martinez, aspiring dancer on Shake It Up.










11. Adam Hicks (previously on How to Eat Fried Worms and Zeke and Luther) as King Boz, pretender to the thrown of the island of Kinkow on Pair of Kings.

12. Ryan Ochoa (left) as Lanny, another pretender to the throne and all-around antagonist on Pair of Kings. (He also starred with Jake T. Austin and Jansen Panettiere in The Perfect Game, and bedeviled Spencer on Nickelodeon's ICarly.)

13. Mateus Ward as Marcus Davenport, evil android on Lab Rats.

Next: unexpected teen hunks on Nickelodeon.

And don't forget 12 More Unexpected Disney Channel Teen Hunks.

Oct 25, 2015

Dewey Martin: Forgotten Screen Hunk

When I was a kid in the 1960s, the Mean Boys made fun of everybody's name, but a few made them downright apoplectic: Clyde, Abner, Dewey.  Especially Dewey, since that was the name of the proprietor of the candy store across the street from Denkmann School, a fat elderly man who kept muttering about "longhaired hippie freaks."  Any kid named Dewey had better find a new name, pronto!

So I was surprised to discover that there was a screen hunk named Dewey Martin, a Texas boy who got his start in the gay-subtext Knock on Any Door (1949) as a young boxing tough.

He immediately got the starring role in The Golden Gloves Story (1950), playing a boxer who is sparring with his competitor (Kevin Morrison) for the affection of a girl.

And The Big Sky (1952), about two cowboys (Dewey Martin, Kirk Douglas) making a perilous cross-country journey and sparring for the affection of a girl.










And Tennessee Champ (1954), reprising the plot of an old Kane Richmond movie of the 1930s, except when Dewey goes on the lam after believing that he's killed someone, he falls in love with a girl, not Frankie Darro.

Plus Westerns, sci fi, war, an ancient Egyptian epic, anything that would allow him to shed his shirt and display his tight, rugged physique, back in the days when shirtless men were practically unheard-of on screen.

They may have had gay subtexts, too; I haven't seen them.






Later in the 1950s, though he continued to work steadily, starring roles became increasingly rare. Dewey played Dean Martin's buddy in the comedy Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), several different roles on the anthology series Climax! (1956-58), a Daniel Boone knockoff on The Wonderful World of Disney (1960-61), and Lester White, gay-vague "partner" of Uncle Beck (Brian Keith) in Savage Sam (1963), with Tommy Kirk.

In the 1960s he moved into television, becoming a familiar character actor.  His last starring role was in Seven Alone (1974), as the head of a family crossing the wilderness during the 1870s.

Dewey was married for three years to singer Peggy Lee ("If that's all there is, then let's keep dancing....").

He's still alive, retired, age 89, mostly forgotten by both Boomers and the modern generation.  But the photos, glimpses of beefcake past, remain intact.
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