- Oh that James Franco is at it again with making yet another movie about us. And this is why I LOVE this man.
“Alright. Let’s fuck.” -Brent Corrigan from King Cobra. And when a movie ends with a line like that, don’t you want to see why?
Okay, that’s it! I am officially pissed that I was not born a gay man! But no, I had to be born a lesbian who is a HUGE film buff (hence this website) and what this HUGE film buff lesbian has discovered over the last almost 45 years of my life of watching a million and one hours of TV is that gay men have WAY BETTER movies and TV series and characters than lesbians. They just do. End. Of. Story. And King Cobra was the nail that was hammered into the coffin of my fear and longtime suspicion that lesbian movies are mostly just plain ole not good. They just aren’t, sadly. There are a few exceptions like The Color Purple or Pariah or Saving Face or Kiss Me or The Girl King (and now that I’m looking at my list of favorite lesbian movies, this seems to be a white, American lesbian problem of bad filmmaking thing), but most of the time, I either can’t even finish the lesbian film because it’s just that bad or I do finish it, but it still just didn’t quite satisfy me, even if I liked the damn movie. I don’t know how many lesbian movies I have sat through wishing, hoping, praying they would be as good on average as gay-themed films, but they just aren’t. They just aren’t, dammit! I don’t know why lesbians can’t seem to dig deep and make movies that have a heart and soul that actually has real meaning behind it, instead of superficial, namby-pamby romances that don’t exist in the real world at all whatsoever, and I’ve experienced one hell of a romance in my real life, so I have a pretty good idea of what real love and affection and a meaningful, real relationship looks like and time and again I see this in gay-themed movies, but lesbians just seem to float along on a romantic Cloud 9 of this doesn’t happen in real life, so we’ll put it in our movies instead that are mostly meaningless and superficial, and worse, not very entertaining. King Cobra is one hell of an entertaining movie with a real heart and soul behind it, despite such fucking crazy characters; characters that are based on real life people, and the whole entire time I was watching the movie and enjoying the hell out of it at the same time I was absolutely appalled by what these real life characters were doing, I couldn’t help but scream at my TV, “Why in the God damned hell can’t lesbians make movies like this or at the very least why couldn’t I have just been born a gay man instead??!!”
I don’t know why I wasn’t born a gay man, but this contemplation that has consumed my brain for a few days now reminded me of all of those conversations my grandmother would have with me at her kitchen table while she was smoking on one Marlboro Light cigarette after another in-between puffs on her asthma inhaler while drinking on her always endless glass of Dewar’s and soda (she used to be Mormon so she was making up for lost time when it came to consuming substances) and forever telling me that I had better figure out why I chose my parents (specifically my mother) because if I didn’t figure out why, I’d just have to deal with them in the next life (yep, my family was always sitting around talking about their past lives and how not to screw up their next life and I’m still not sure why a lot of us did this, but we are weird family that way). Well, I finally figured that one out about my parents recently, so I’d now like to know why I wasn’t born a gay man in this life. But I wasn’t born a gay man. I was born a lesbian and this lesbian is a big fan of gay-themed films and King Cobra was no exception to this rule of mine.
So, enough about my issues with not being a gay man and how this sucks for lesbian me because most lesbian films suck, and not in a good way. What in the hell is a gay-themed movie called King Cobra about anyway? King Cobra is based on the real life murder of gay porn producer Bryan Kocis (although his name was changed to Stephen for the film and he is played by none other than 1980s teen sensation Christian Slater, so yes repressed gay boys of the 1980s, your dream finally came true) and what exactly happened to lead to his murder. Well, a lot of crazy-ass shit happened to lead to his murder, that’s what. Sean Lockhart (Garrett Clayton) is a young gay guy just looking to break into the porn business and Stephen is just the older gay guy who can do it for him. And thanks to movie magic, bada bing suddenly Sean Lockhart is a gay porn God named Brent Corrigan. And he’s a gay porn God probably because he’s one gorgeous guy who made this lesbian almost change her mind on that whole only liking ladies thing, which could also further explain why I wish I was born a gay man, he’s just that good looking and because he looks like some of the guys I dated before I realized I was a lesbian and yes, most of them where gay, which makes me ponder this whole why wasn’t I born a gay man thing even more, because apparently I was so meant to be a gay man, I even used to date them. Anyway, fame comes with a price and the price for Brent is that Stephen is pocketing all of that very hard-earned cash (no pun intended) (well, okay, maybe just a little) Brent is making him, while Brent is getting paid peanuts in comparison. But don’t worry because Joe (played wonderfully, brilliantly by James Franco and where is this man’s Oscar and yes I’m serious because time and again he keeps proving what a gifted actor he truly is) enters the scene to rescue Brent from getting paid peanuts, except there is one problem, Joe is kind of like a peanut because he is N-U-T-S, NUTS! Joe has a young, hot boyfriend, Harlow (Keegan Allen) and they live a very luxurious life thanks to his young, hot boyfriend being a hooker. And to say they have an intense relationship is an understatement. They have a relationship that is always, always, ALWAYS running at full-throttle NUTS and here is some dialogue that lucky James Franco gets to say to his boyfriend in the film, so I’m going to let him do the talking to explain how intense and crazy this relationship is…
“Who’s daddy’s little piggy bank? Hm? Who’s daddy’s little piggy bank? Where’s my little piggy bank? Oh! There’s the piggy. There’s the piggy. Where’s my piggy? Where’s my piggy?” Joe says to Harlow to encourage him to earn lots of cash from his next client.
“Come on. Work out like a man! Don’t be a little bitch, Harlow! No little bitches! No little bitches! No little bitches! No little bitches!” Joe says to Harlow while working out to keep Harlow’s body in a hooker-worthy state. And maybe I said “No little bitches!” to myself while doing some bicep curls yesterday during my workout to help keep my body in a hooker-worthy state and I gotta say, “No little bitches!” is a great motivator. Maybe I should hire James Franco as my personal trainer?
“Yeah. Fuck, yeah. Fuck that ass! Fuck that asshole! Give me that dick! Big dick’s mine!” And I think that one is kind of self-explanatory what was happening between Joe and Harlow there.
So, like I said, their relationship is kind of nuts and intense. In other words, you are never even remotely bored when Joe and Harlow are on the screen together, especially with dialogue like that said by James Franco, which makes me wonder, who did James Franco run lines with when he was learning lines like that, because that could have been a person who was either having a blast running lines with him or going, “Now what in the hell is this movie you’re doing again?!”
So anyway, once Joe and Harlow enter Brent’s life to rescue him from an evil BUT gay Christian Slater, Brent’s life becomes horribly out of control because Joe and Harlow decide after Christian Slater won’t let them use Brent in a movie to just go ahead and break all of those repressed gay boys from the 1980s hearts and stab Christian Slater over and over until he is no more. And two seconds after he was stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed, my wife came home from work and for once she finally had good timing because the poor woman hates violence of any kind (even on the TV), yet inevitably she always walks into our living or bedroom just as some horrible violent act is happening on the TV screen. My wife also wishes she was a gay man and also prefers gay men’s books and stories to lesbian books and stories (she’s a reader, not a TV watcher), but I’m glad she didn’t watch this film because that scene really is quite violent and I found myself turning away from the TV just to avoid how far they went with that scene, but I applaud the bravery of the scene anyway because it was important for the audience to know how violent the murder really was and how completely fucked up Joe and Harlow really were (and I guess still are since they are now in jail for pretty much the rest of their lives).
And after that we go on one hell of roller coaster of a ride in this movie that already was at that point one hell of a roller coaster of a ride as Brent tries to help the police catch the killers. But don’t worry audience because this movie ends on a positive note because Brent then becomes the master of his domain and makes his own damn gay porn movies instead of having rich old gay guys profit off of his good looks. The End.
So, the moral of the story is, I may have not been born a gay man and I may not know why (although I have the beginnings of a theory), but at least I can watch their movies. 🙂
Fun Fact 1: Justin Kelly also directed James Franco in another gay-themed film based on a true story – I Am Michael. Two completely different films, but I actually suggest watching them as a kind of double feature to see how talented and versatile these two filmmakers are.
Fun Fact 2: Molly Ringwald (who was this 1980s repressed lesbian girl’s crush) and Alicia Silverstone also have cameos in the film. And I can’t help but be a little weirded out and even a little bummed when Molly Ringwald and Alicia Silverstone are on my TV these days and are middle age now instead of teenagers because that means I’m middle age now too. Although I gotta say, middle age is WAY, WAY, WAY better than being a teenager and it makes me wonder if Molly and Alicia agree.