Jun 28, 2022

Going to Movies in 1990: Kevin Bacon's Boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey's Car, Aidan Quinn's Chest, and Matthew Modine's Squatter

 I spent the first six months of 1990 working -- that is, having other people take credit for my accomplishments -- at the Getty Consternation Institute, while desperately searching for another full-time job.  Finally I just quit, did temp work, pushed up my freelance writing, and took classes in Biblical Hebrew at UCLA. Lane continued to push me into going to movies that were even tangentially science-fiction like.   I saw twelve movies in the theater!

: Tremors, because it was science fiction-ish.  Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, and The Girl fight giant sand-worms.  They have a gay-subtext buddy-bond in spite of the fade-out boy-girl kiss.

February: None

March: Bad Influence, because we had seen the star, Rob Lowe, fully aroused.  This was just after the video started making the rounds of Lowe and a friend having sex with girls, so everyone in West Hollywood saw him.  He plays a baddie who drags straightlaced James Spader into a hedonistic lifestyle, including sex, drugs, and murder.  They would have a gay subtext except for the constant naked ladies hanging around them.

March (second movie of the month!): Coupe de Ville, because who wouldn't want to see Patrick Dempsey in anything?  Even a stupid movie about three brothers having adventures as they drive their dad's car to Florida for some reason. 

March (third movie of the month!)
: The Handmaid's Tale, because it was science fiction, based on Margaret Atwood's novel about a near-future dystopian society where women are forced to become "handmaids," producing children for men whose wives are barren.  It starred Aidan Quinn, who played a gay character in the AIDS drama An Early Frost, so we assumed that he would be gay here, too.  Actually he's the secret boyfriend of the Handmaid.

April: Cry-Baby.  Johnny Depp being a teen idol, before he got all bohemian and bizarre. Actually, this was very bizarre, too, directed by John Waters, about duelling youth gangs in 1950s Baltimore.  Montague-Capulet hetero-romance and no gay characters.

May: Last Exit to Brooklyn, because it was based on a novel by Hubert Selby, one of the few works of fiction we knew about with gay characters. Depressed, miserable gay characters, but in 1990 you took what you could get.  There are depressed, miserable gay characters in the movie, too, living lives of quiet -- and sometimes loud -- desperation on the margins of society.   

Total Recall, because it starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it was science fiction.  Lane could drool over the techno-gadgetry, and I could drool over...

June (second movie of the month!): Dick Tracy, because Lane grew up reading Dick Tracy comics.  He's a square-jawed detective in a stylized 1940s world who runs afoul of colorful villains like Flattop, Itchy, and Pruneface.  He and his girlfriend Tress Trueheart  adopt a kid for a heteronormative conclusion.

July: Arachnophobia, because it was science fiction, sort of, starring John Goodman of Roseanne.  He plays an exterminator who teams up with nuclear-family entomologist Jeff Daniels to fight a plague of spiders.  Not giant ones, just spiders.

August: None.

: Pacific Heights, because it was set in San Francisco, so there must be some gay characters, right?  Wrong.  It's about a male-female couple (Matthew Modine, Melanie Griffith) being hounded by a siniste squatter (Michael Keaton). He's identified as heterosexual, too.  But I've had my share of sadistic, overbearing, invasive, and downright looney landlords, so it was fun seeing the problems from the other side. 

October:  None.

November: Home Alone, because everyone saw it: a horribly neglected child is left alone during Christmas, and must defend himself against two bumbling burglars.

December: The Sheltering Sky, because it was based on a novel by Paul Bowles, who was gay, so we figured there would be gay characters.  Nope.  No gay subtexts, either.  


  1. Home Alone is a must-watch by a lot of people 🙂

    I do love me some Arnold movies, too 💙

    1. I liked "Home Alone." I've seen it a few times.

  2. As a boy, Arachnophobia featured the first nude scene I saw: Football team lining up to get their testicles palpated.

    Wasn't Cry-Baby also directed by John Waters?


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