“I need my golden cock,” says King Khan, one of the many farcical characters in Josh Collins’ new Australian film Fags in the Fastlane, a whimsical hybrid that takes audiences between watching a John Waters B-movie and softcore porn.
The cock Khan refers to is one that seemingly holds magical powers, and is the object of desire for many of the film’s key players, including protagonist Sir Beauregard.
Barreling straight out of the crazy mind of filmmaker Collins, the film is put together with comedic charm, a glue gun, and lashings of lipstick.
Fags in the Fastlane takes off in the tradition of lost LGBTI classics such as The Gay Deceivers, The Pink Angels, and Zorro the Gay Blade.
Collins says he’s been a fan of the trashploitation genre since his school days.
“Trash cinema sticks a gaudy finger up at anyone who tows the line,” he says.
“It challenges, it outrages, it undermines the norm.
“Trash cinema is punk cinema. Why be good, when you can be bad.”
The film is packed with old school special effects, trompe-oeuils illusions, and distorted perspectives on film lavishes.
“Trashploitation is not about realism,” Collins adds.
“Rather using its own twisted version of reality to critique and lampoon contemporary comforts and morals.
“It seems to me that a thrill packed ride of genuine home made cinema that laughs at its own cheapness and yet triumphs over it in so many different ways is a welcome poke at our ever incredibly politically-correct world.”
Trashploitation is a genre of film members of the LGBTQI community have developed an affinity for over time. From the early eighties sensation Divine in Pink Flamingos to the nineties German flick Killer Condom, the community has always felt a sense of attraction towards this surreal brand of films.
And what’s not to love with the extravagant, overblown, and flamboyant characters these films serve us? They usually tend to be caricatures of people we already know and are close to.
Fans of the grindhouse genre will be thrilled by this creative work from Collins.
His passion for the film is conveyed very clearly throughout it, made clear by the audience’s reactions to seeing it on the big screen. At the opening night premiere in Melbourne they howled with laughter at the over-the-top nature of the film, and squealed during the grotesque scenes.
All in all it’s homage to Melbourne and queer decadence and depravity is what made this writer warm up to it sublimely. Given it’s an LGBTQI film that explores something different than a love story earns itself bonus points.
This may not be a blockbuster of any sort or be far reaching when it comes to distribution, but it’s the creative product of local talent, and that makes it good enough to give this film a go.
Fags in the Fastlane will be screening in Ballarat as part of Ballarat Frolic on Thursday 7 September, 7.30pm at the Lost Ones Gallery.