Death Drop Gorgeous (2020)

Directors: Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe, Brandon Perras
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Certification: 18
Starring: Wayne Gonsalves, Payton St. James, Brandon Perras-Sanchez, Christopher Dalpe, Michael J. Ahern, Sean Murphy, Matthew Pidge, Complete Destruction, Ninny Nothin, Linnea Quigley, Neokti Feytal, Kelly Square, Jacqueline Dimera, Tradd Sanderson, Mike Murphy, Michael Puppi, Ryan Miller

In Providence, a masked figure is slaughtering young gay men, and draining them of their blood. In the mix are dejected bartender Dwayne (Wayne Gonsalves), who's returned after a breakup, and aging drag queen Gloria Hole (Payton St. James).

It's no lie that cinema can be guilty of misrepresenting different cultures, especially where the LGBTQ+ are concerned. By bringing the Providence drag scene to screen, directors Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe, and Brandon Perras allow viewers to be a part of the Providence drag culture, to be a part of this world, even if it's just for 104 minutes. It's easy to believe this was made with the best intentions from those involved, as we see a world where people can feel at home to be themselves, where a drug kingpin can find comfort with a human pup.

Our entry point into this world is Dwayne, who's returned after splitting from his long-time partner, due to an unsuccessful attempt at running a business. He's presented as a hopeful presence amongst a nasty atmosphere, a ray of light that shines through the toxicity. While this is a nice idea, it doesn't help how his character has little impact upon the plot. Wayne Gonsalves does well with his portrayal, but it would've been preferable if he could've been a more proactive presence.

At it's core, this is the story of Gloria Hole. She came into this world with hopes to become a star, but those dreams have long been dashed. Despite attempts to adapt and thrive, the world has moved on, and all she has left is how devastated she feels. Trying to thrive in such a toxic environment has drained her, anchored by the vicious nature of her main rival, Janet Fitness. Payton St. James does marvellous work capturing Gloria's inner fire, while also conveying the hurt she's nursing.

But at it's it's heart, this is a gleefully fun slasher that's set to a killer soundtrack. A feature where barbed insults are thrown at one another, and just as sharp as the murderous weapons. As with any good slasher, the kills are a big part of the feature, and there's a vicious burst of promise early on. A gory scene which involves a meat grinder is viscerally entertaining, but it's also a double-edged sword. With this memorable kill, it feels as though the film peaks so early on, and the remaining kills just can't live up to it. It's a shame, but when that's where the bar is set, it's understandable. At least the fun doesn't stop, taking us to a finale resembling a catfight, as though it's paying homage to soap operas like Dynasty. If this slice of gory fun sounds right up your alley, be sure to seek this film out.

Death Drop Gorgeous is currently scheduled to play at Film Festivals. Be sure to keep an eye out for it's appearance at a UK festival in the near future.