Jun 19, 2022

Going to Movies in 1987: Sex with the Devil, A Voodoo Queen, a Spy, and a Ghost. Plus an Honest-to-Goodness Gay Romance


Might as well make a series out of it.

1987!  I was 26 years old, living in West Hollywood, and single.  Afternoons at the gym, browsing at the Different Light bookstore, Friday night parties, Saturday night cruising, church on Sunday followed by brunch at the French Quarter. My celebrity boyfriend.  A porn star at my birthday party. .  Mario in the White Room.  We rarely ventured out of West Hollywood, if we could help it, so going to movies was not a regular experience.  I saw only 11 in the theater that year.

January: The Bedroom Window, because the promos featured Steve Guttenberg's bare butt as he looked out "the bedroom window."  Male real nudity was unusual in movies in 1987, and Steve was spectacular.  By the way, he sees a murder through the window during a hookup with the boss's wife.

January (second movie of the month!): Outrageous Fortune, because it starred pro-gay Bette Midler and Shelly Long from Cheers.  They play acting students who discover that they were dating the same guy when he "dies" in an explosion.  But the body in the morgue can't be him...he was much, much bigger where it counts!  They get mixed up with spies.

February: None

: Angel Heart, because it starred Mickey Rourke, who had a boxer's physiaque, and because it was set in New Orleans: we figured that there would be some French Quarter drag queens.  There aren't.  Mickey plays a p.i. who investigates a murder and hooks up with voodoo princess Lisa Bonet. Apparently the sex scene was not simulated. 

April: Project X, because who wouldn't want to see anything that Matthew Broderick was in, even if it featured monkeys?  Actually they're chimpanzees.  And of course he gets a girlfriend.

May: None

June: The Witches of Eastwick. Three widowed/divorced Connecticut housewives (Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer) resort to witchcraft to find men, and hook up with the Devil (Jack Nicholson).  Things don't go well.  There's a lesbian subtext, but the cherry-pit-vomiting scene was nearly as disgusting as Jeff Goldblum turning into a human-fly-chair hybrid in The Fly last year.

July: Adventures in Babysitting, because it was set in Chicago, and I was feeling homesick.  The babysitter (Elizabeth Shue) and her three charges, including two teenage boys who are hot for her (Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp), plow through the cliched streets of Chicago's South Side.  While fighting gangsters, she gets a boyfriend.  The throwaway line "Thor is a homo" is offensive today, but in 1987 we didn't think anything of it.  Anytime you interacted with heterosexuals, you heard homophobic slurs.

July (second movie of the month, although I didn't actually see it until August): 
The Lost Boys: Corey Haim, a teen idol whom we assumed was gay, and his boyfriend discover that  a pack of vampires is living in small-town Santa Carla, California.  Their leader (Kiefer Sutherland) is seducing his older brother (Jason Patric)!  Gay subtexts everywhere!

August: Born in East L.A., because it was set in L.A., and starred Cheech Marin of the stoner comedy duo Cheech and Chong (naturally, we assumed that they were gay).  He plays an American citizen, born in East L.A., who loses his passport and gets stuck in Tijuana.  Where, of course he falls in love.  But there's some rear nudity and a flash of penis as he's hanging out of an elevator.

Maurice, an actual, real gay-themed movie, based on the novel by E.M. Forster. In the 1920s, upper class Maurice falls in love with working-class bloke Alec. They don't die; they don't break up; they don't marry women as a cover.  They are together at the end.  You can see movies of this sort all the time today, but in 1987, never.  It was overwhelming.  

October: None

November: Hello, Again. A housewife (Shelly Long) dies and is resurrected a year later.  Not only has her husband moved on, she must find a new love within a month, or she'll return to the dead.  Not to worry, by the end of the movie everyone -- Shelly, her sister, even her teenage son -- everyone -- is married wth children. 

Throw Momma From the Train. Danny DeVito agrees to murder Billy Crystal's ex-wife, if Billy will murder his mother.  A comedy remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, with no one actually murdered.  The gay subtext is left nearly intact: the end the two guys (and a girl) walk off into the sunset together.


  1. I mean, it's offensive, but with the way gender is in Norse mythology, where is the lie?

    The Lost Boys is one of those movies that feels a lot worse now, knowing the Coreys were trafficked like that, passed around like a bag of coke.

    And remember, some dude on 4chan lifted their story, claimed credit for it, and the Qberts were born.

    1. I think the offense comes from the word itself, which is not as bad as "homosexual" but still bad. Also the guy it's addressed to becomes extremely irate at the idea.

    2. Feldman wrote a tell-all book about his abuse, but didn't name any names. I didn't know that Haim suffered similar abuse, but it makes sense, since they were appearing in the same movies.

  2. "Maurice" had beautiful men falling in love with yes a happy ending...."Angel Heart" was very creepy and Rourke still looked hot before all the horrible plastic surgery.


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