Eli Roth and That “Gay” Word!

Published October 14, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

green inferno
So, I honestly love Eli Roth! The man could…say, produce a slightly confusing Twins Peak like series called Hemlock Grove…and I’d watch it. He could play something eternally classy like the Wet T-Shirt Host in the Piranha remake…and I’d deem him the embodiment of Laurence Olivier in his prime. But, good queer boys in wonderment, he has to find some better derogatory phrases for his characters to use – like now!

If you remember, a number of years ago, Roth was brought to task by some fans for the use of homosexual slurs by his straight, college age male characters in Hostel. Roth’s defense was that he, himself, wasn’t homophobic, but that the phrases were indeed something that would come out of a twenty something’s mouth. Even though, as a gay man, I momentarily flinched the first time I heard Jay Hernandez’s Paxton describe a nightclub as a “fucking fag fest”, I did agree with Roth’s honest assessment of his creations and let it pass.

Flash forward nearly 10 years, though, and I do believe it’s time for a change! It’s only a brief moment (and I may be accused of creating shit piles out of pebbles), but in The Green Inferno, Roth’s cannibal flick homage that is still chewing up the nubile flesh of theater goers, the socially motivated final girl’s best friend, jokingly (but emphatically), declares, “Activism is so fucking gay!”

As I’ve stated, it is truly a blip in the proceedings, but it truly bothered me. You can argue it how you want, but when it comes down to it, in contemporary society, “gay” refers to homosexuality and when you use it as a negative, what flashes into everyone’s minds? Limp wristed, catty little puff boys who couldn’t put up a good fight in the cafeteria of life! Saying that the word has nothing to do with orientation or romantic preference, but merely describes something that is weak or lame doesn’t help either. The part of society that hates us truly believes that is what we are – less than, ineffective, wrong. Also, to argue that this vernacular would still be part of an urban college student’s vocabulary seems unreasonable to me. Gay, bisexual and transgender people are a part of almost every city dwelling student’s life now.

What is, possibly, ironic here is that Kaycee, the character who utters this proclamation, is played by model-actress Sky Ferreira, whose dance worthy 2013 album Night Time, My Time probably found its biggest fans in the queer community.

So, accuse me of nitpicking, but as one in huge community of GLBT fright lovers, I have to say that the use of this term, even in quick jest, was hurtful to me. I want to escape into a horror flick, not be reminded that, in some areas, I could still be bashed for being a dick sucker the moment that I leave the theater.

So, I still love you, Eli. But maybe it’s time to modernize?!? And, yes, I did appreciate the sensitive lesbian couple that played into the film’s bloody proceedings. But next time, why not be a true rebel and use a sexy male duo? Hot gay girls are so hetro-accepted – just ask Eva Mendes who played one in Urban Legends: Final Cut in 2000!

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!


3 comments on “Eli Roth and That “Gay” Word!

  • I really enjoyed your article. I feel the same way even through I enjoy Eli Roth’s work a can’t help but have qualms with the language used. I could understand the language being used in Cabin Fever since the script was written in the 90s and the usage was colloquial in the time period, (regardless of the offensiveness). That being said hearing slurs like that in a modern movie is just jarring. The usage seems stilted and backwater and I hope he can learn to use more inclusive language in the future.

    • Thanks for commenting. I know Roth’s homophobic language has been called out a lot lately in articles and posts. I’m so glad that we are talking about this openly and are using our voices to ask him and all creative types to use a more understanding and humanistic approach in their works of art. Wishing you an awesome week!

  • Thank You. I feel that the his language choices are probably the hardest parts about watching the film as their jarring but not in a good way y’know. That being said I feel that as a writer he is making some progress. Despite the heavy homophobic language of hostel Josh was extremely queer coded and as stated above Green Inferno had a fairly visible lesbian couple which was a bit surprising to see in the time period, (That being said it would be nice to see more LGBT rep in horror in general). I appreciate the nuance you took in the article as I feel a lot of people write off creators entirely instead of giving them the expectation of growth.

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: