Friday, September 14, 2007

Cruising, and the Freezing Over of Hell

After many false starts and high promises, this blog will finally go from a pipe dream to an actual carcinogen floating in the blogisphere. Instead of harping on the wisdom of leaping into an already criminally overexposed marketplace, I thought we'd just make with the posts.

Three things have happened in the past week that I never thought that I'd see in my lifetime:

1. William Friedkin's Cruising is slated for a Sept 18th release.

2. William Friedkin's Cruising is currently enjoying a theatrical re-release in several major cities.

3. People are actually talking about William Friedkin's Cruising.

Being a champion of this film is roughly the equivalent to being the defense attorney for a serial murderer - "they were born crazy, what's your excuse?" For the years since it's 1980 release, it has been discussed in the framework of "the most homophobic movie ever made" or as the beginning of the decline of one of America's most original filmmakers. For it's star, Al Pacino, it wasn't a matter to be discussed at all.

Of course, I was instantly drawn to the film.

It also helped to find that a good friend was like-minded in this magnificent obsession. Visiting his site at will give you access to his snappy prose style, but going directly to will send you tumbling headfirst into a world of heavy leather, underground S&M clubs, grisly sex killings - and plastic Ken dolls. Until very recently, it seemed we were the only two people who even remembered that Cruising even existed - but thankfully, all that has changed now. A few years back, I wrote a windy, exhaustive (and exhausting) article on the film for a friends website that can be viewed here Needless to say, at the time it was written the notion of a proper DVD release was highly unlikely at best, and when Warner Bros sent out the press release announcing said release, it was quite gratifying to read the following:

Notes Drew Fitzpatrick of
, "Maybe now, with gay-themed movies and television shows permeating pop culture with a more or less even balance of characterizations, the time might finally be right for Cruising to wipe away 25 years of bad cultural karma and take its proper place in the oeuvre of one of America's most consistently challenging filmmakers."

It gives me great pleasure (and a yellow hankie-size chunk of pride) to tell you that the DVD of Cruising can be purchased by following the link below.