#144 – Hot Box, The

(1982, US, 79 min) Dir Leck Mitchum-Arsch. Cast Al Pachinko, Joey Fantastic, Gorey George.

Infamous rebuttal to Friedkin’s Cruising by then notorious (and now respected) gay punk director Leck Mitchum-Arsch here working with almost half a budget for the first time following a half-dozen shoelace shorts with the money allegedly provided by Andy Warhol (though why a self promoter as thorough as he decline credit gives lie to the rumour). Much like Cruising, Detective Corleone (Pachinko) is sent undercover to the homosexual underground (as typified here by the titular gay club) where he’s tracking down a serial killer. Also as in Cruising the detective gets to like the hot man on man action he’s privvy to. The difference being that in The Hot Box the culprit (SPOILERS!!) is in fact the very chief who put him on the case (played by old horror ham Gorey George himself), his motive to attract Corleone’s attention. To cut a long story short Corleone shoots the chief dead and goes back to the swinging manly life he’s grown accustomed to, much to the consternation of his poor fiancé (marvellously essayed by drag queen Fantastic). To be honest it’s about as offensive as Cruising itself was but in more of a fun John Waters kind of way.

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