United States – 1986
Director – Bob Dahlin
Troma, 1993, VHS
Run Time – 1 hour, 26 minutes
The very title of this movie invites an easy assumption when writing in the context of a queer blogathon. I decided to go ahead and make that assumption more or less just because the VHS tape had been sitting in my “In” box for quite some time and I wanted an excuse to watch. If you’re looking for the simple send-up of classic B monster flicks that Monster in the Closet purports on its surface to be, it’s here, packed with B-movie personnel and flaunting its Troma pedigree. And if, like me, you’re looking to find a bunch of subtext, you can’t miss a preponderance of queer innuendo that, even if it stumbles a few times along the way, turns out to be surprisingly transgressive.
|image from Lost Highway|
Perhaps a more appropriate question is whether paranoia, punishment, oppression, hatred and violence is preferable social behavior than, well, than love. The answer to this eternally vexing question lies amply suggested beneath a few thin layers of parodic silliness, but never explicitly committed to in Monster in the Closet. What sealed the deal for me was that Clark doesn’t hook up with the obviously romantically available female lead. Pairing them up would have been a straightforward and easy way to truncate any idea that homosexuality was anything more than monstrous. But it doesn’t. In the end, people rebuild their closets having dispelled all notions of “monstrosity”, which anyway, is better symbolic of fear and shame than any lifestyle choice.
Watch the whole thing online and come to your own conclusions.