Sunday, February 16, 2014

David DeCoteau

A Talking Cat!?! is truly one of the best films of 2013. Has it been recognized by the Academy? Perhaps not, and that is a shame. Will it be nominated for a Razzie Award? Perhaps it will (or already has), and that’s an even bigger shame. The Razzies are for ironic assholes who like to shit on things they haven’t even seen to make themselves feel cooler. Fuck the Razzies. I hate the Razzies. A Talking Cat!?! deserves better. I love this movie. I love the special effect for the cat’s mouth when it’s talking. I love that Eric Roberts recorded his voiceover work over the phone, and was clearly distracted most of the time. I love that this is supposed to be a family film, and one of the main characters wears a t-shirt with a Spanish phrase on it that translates to “a fucking day at a time.” I love that the cat gets sick, and this is what he looks like after being seen by the vet. There is a moment in this film that may have shocked me more than anything else I’ve ever seen in a movie. The mother of the film is baking cheese puffs in the oven, and when they’re done, she casually takes out the metal tray with her bare hands. She then hands it over to someone else, who immediately drops it because it’s too hot, meaning it’s not a flub. It was an intentional choice by the director to have the mom be impervious to pain.

The director of this film is named David DeCoteau. And A Talking Cat!?! is his 100th film. He’s already made a dozen more since, including A Talking Pony!?! and My Stepbrother is a Vampire!?!. I’m obsessed with his career, and of his 100+ films, I am ashamed to say that I have only seen 31 of them. If you are unfamiliar with David DeCoteau, it’s about time you learned.

DeCoteau started his career in the 80s directing pornography, both gay and straight, with titles like New Wave Hustlers, Revenge of the Babes, and Totally Awesome. He was then hired to work for Full Moon Pictures, and directed the film Dreamaniac. Not one of my favorites, save for an amazing scene where someone gets their entire head chopped off with a power drill. Through the 80s and early 90s, he made a bunch of camp classics and some legitimately fun T&A classics like Nightmare Sisters, Beach Babes from Beyond starring Joe Estevez, Don Swayze, Jackie Stallone, and Joey Travolta, Creepozoids, Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000, and the legendary Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, one of many films made with 80s scream queens Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer, and Brinke Stevens, who would later reunite in DeCoteau's 1313: Cougar Cult.

In the second half of the 90s, he made a few cheap horror movies, of varying quality. I’m a fan of The Killer Eye from ’99 starring Jacqueline Lovell (my favorite 90s softcore actress), but most of them can be skipped. In the 2000s, though, is where he really hit his stride, proving himself as a true visionary by creating the homoerotic softcore thriller. I highly recommend the films Leeches, Beastly Boyz, and the first two films of The Brotherhood series. The Brotherhood II: Young Warlocks is especially good. It’s about a group of boys who are having trouble adjusting to college life, and they meet a charming blonde who does card tricks that promises them the world. Below is an abridged version of the scene where the guys are indoctrinated into the society of warlocks.

So that’s the kind of thing you can expect in a modern DeCoteau film. There’s even a pool scene in A Talking Cat!?! Lately, he’s made a bunch of film under the 1313 banner. These films, which are all shot in the same mansion, exist solely to show off men’s bodies. There’s about 15 minutes of story, then an hour of boys walking around in their underwear and taking showers. And it’s great, but it’s also barely even softcore. The boys are all supposed to be straight, so they never make out or anything. The licking in Brotherhood II is the closest it’s ever gotten. And it’s surprisingly tame with nudity. Even in the shower scenes, you never get to see any ass, you certainly don’t get to see any dick. It’s all tease. It’s like these movies are made for people who think softcore is just too hardcore. Almost all of those are streaming on Netflix. And right now, he’s mostly making family movies about Christmas and animals and stuff. He may not put in the same effort as he once did, but his filmography is so amazing. He started in gay pornography, and now he makes family films. At the very least, no one else can claim that.

Ranked: The Films of David DeCoteau

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