Oct 3, 2022

"Dimension 404": SIx Episodes, Two Gay Protagonists in a Hulu Horror Anthology

 




Dimension 404
(2017), on Hulu, was a horror anthology with Twilight Zone-style narrator and a cyberspace theme, promising "stories like none you've ever seen before," although most of the stories were seriously cliched.  Then it said "You have 20 minutes left," although each episode was over 40 minutes long. I ended up fast-forwarding a lot.  But at least there was a lot of LGBT representation.  

Two of the six episodes centered on LGBT protagonists.

"Polybius": Andrew, a bullied gay teen (Ryan Lee) in the 1980s, accidentally unleashes a demon in a video game.  He thwarts it with the help of his two friends, one of whom (Sterling Beaumon, left) might return his affection.  Or maybe he's a gay ally, which would have been quite brave at the time.  The word "gay" never appears ("fag" does), but you get the idea from Andrew saying "I'm tired of hiding" and telling his friend "I love you."   Plus the narrator talks about "being different"

Plus there are a lot of locker-room hunks wandering around in two separate scenes.

"Bob": An army therapist has to treat a supercomputer made of human flesh, so he can thwart a terrorist attack on Christmas.  She is anxious to get home to her wife and kid for the holidays.



Two other episodes contain minimal heterosexual romance.

"Cinethrax": A Gen X slacker (Patton Oswalt), in a theater occupied entirely by cellphone-clicking millenials, sees a monster through his special 2-D glasses.  He attends the movie with his niece, not a girlfriend, and never expresses heterosexual desire.

"Impulse": A video gamer discovers an energy drink that speeds up time, thus allowing her to play faster and win competitions.  Unfortunately, it also fast-forwards through her life. She gets a husband (Matt Lauria, left) and kids, but only to indicate time passage through the Apocalypse (caused by the energy drink).  

That leaves two heterosexual-romance-oriented episodes:


"Matchmaker": Although he is attractive, has an impressive bulge, and lives in a gorgeous New York apartment,  Adam (Robert Buckley) can't get a date.  His sleazy roommate advises him to try an online service. 









"Chronos": A physics student and her boyfriend (Utkarsh Ambudkar, right) encounter a time-traveler from a 1990s tv show.

Hulu cancelled the series after one season of six episodes.  Maybe the humor was too snarky, or the plots were too drawn out, or there was too much competition from other horror anthologies. 




9 comments:

  1. Boomer have you seen "They/Them" ? They sold it as "queer slasher horror" I found a lot better than the bad reviews suggested? You can see it on Peacock- but I would wait until you can see it for free.

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    1. I read some of the bad reviews: the kids are never actually in danger, and they break into impromptu song, even though it is not a musical.

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    2. The kids are in danger from the evil that runs the camp- there is a harrowing electric torture scene - the song scene makes sense within the story- kids do sing at camp

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  2. I recognize Polybius, but that's not the story. Basically Polybius caused seizures, leading to it being seized by the CIA.

    The urban legend is a spin on MKULTRA, and the name is a reference to Poly Play, one of those "X in One" games in the vein of the real (but largely unplayable) Action 52.

    Polybius could be adapted to any number of media. Grant Morrison created Ultra Comics for their take on Polybius as a comic book.

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    1. This story is just "based" on the urban legend. Here it's a demonic monster that comes out of an arcade game and swallows your soul, but if you win the game, it resets, and everyone comes back to life.

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    2. The actor/musician shown on the right is (was?) Julius Cole Rassin. who sadly committed suicide on 2/24/2018.https://wilmingtoncares.com/obituary/julius-cole-rassin/. Ironically, this pic originally included 4 guys, but Jack Griffo was cropped from the right side.

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    3. I just searched for "Sterling Beaumon" and "shirtless." I didn't know who the other guys were, nor that Jack Griffo was cropped out. Actually, I don't know who Jack Griffo is. If the photo upsets you, I'll take it out.

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  3. You can see the episodes on You Tube.

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  4. I loved loved "Polybius" with the gay nerd hero and his potential boyfriend Jess- this was a very gay positive episode that should be better known. Actually I wish someone would expand it to a feature

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