James Hennigan

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Review: Bad Witch

Published September 12, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Bad Witch

High school awfulness is just something you seemingly have to live through. Any attempts to balance the scale just end up in Carrie-style mayhem. This definitely proves true for the participants in the upcoming Bad Witch, a fun film written by James Hennigan and co-directed by Victor Fink & Joshua Land.

At first, Roland Grimm (Jackson Trent) thinks Xander Perkins (Chris Koslowski) is a gift, a miracle seemingly delivered from the skies to help combat his teenage awkwardness. But as Perkins’ witchcraft laden solutions to Grimm’s problems begin to backfire, the young man soon regrets his involvement with this handsome, trouble making grifter. In fact, as death and betrayal overtake his world, Roland may soon pay the ultimate price for his association with the dark side.

Anchored around the casual, friendly energy of Koslowski and Trent, Bad Witch dabbles in gooey body horror, male sexuality and willingly explores a culture that is beginning to move away from labels as it restructures its sense of societal taboos. Here, Xander’s insistence that he is a “witch” not a “warlock” will truly make sense to a generation of film lovers who refuse to define themselves within the long accepted pronouns and gender rules. Nicely, the film also contains a very comical, truly gruesome death sequence involving one of Roland’s rivals – a moment that is almost worth the price of admission here alone.

Interestingly, while there is no homosexual tension between the film’s leads, Bad Witch does break boundaries by focusing on Koslowski’s taut masculinity. In a world where gorgeous, often traumatized women still serve as the focal point of horror projects, this celebration of male beauty is a novelty in itself. A natural progression from such witch based projects as I Married A Witch and Bell Book and Candle (from the ‘40s and ‘50s) and The Witches and The Craft (from the ‘90s), Bad Witch is sure to find many fans among those who like their terror delivered with a quick chant and an eager spell or two.

https://www.facebook.com/Bad-Witch-Movie-1655286761199731/

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

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Review: Deviance

Published March 31, 2017 by biggayhorrorfan

Deviance-poster

Deviance is probably not the gay themed horror film that the community wants right now. With our liberties in danger and the powers-that-be convinced that we are less than deserving of normal rights, a movie about a queer hustler and a possible homosexual serial killer is probably not the shining beacon of positivity that activists are looking for. Even in ordinary circumstances, writer-director James Hennigan’s dark look at perverted lust and unsavory life choices may have earned a raised glance or two. But art is not supposed to be politically correct or follow conscionable trends. Thus, this is an often brave and revealing piece of celluloid.

High school student Connor (Hennigan) is living with his drunk, abusive father (Greg Thompson) and his concerned sister (Tracey Allyn). When he is caught kissing another boy, he is thrown out of the house and takes to the streets. Meanwhile, the shy, sheltered Milton (Tim Torre) is under the sway of his extremely religious mother (Melissa B. Robinson). His obsession with a handsome jock soon takes a twisted turn, though, and, as a result, his family life is completely blown apart. Years later, Milton is still struggling with his violent impulses while Connor’s continued reliance on prostitution to make ends meet collides with a moment of murderous rage, as well. The two outsiders are eventually drawn together and, as the movie races to a close, only one may make it out alive.

Deviance-mainFilled with strong performances and a look at homosexual sensuality that owes much to the grisly novels of alternative queer icon Dennis Cooper, Deviance also deals honestly with how bad parenting and the extreme tenets of hypocritical faith can destroy the souls of the young, no matter their orientation. Hennigan, Thompson, Allyn and Robinson shine in their various scenes, committing fully to their roles, whether sympathetic or not. But this is Torre’s show. He physically embodies all the awkwardness of Milton’s desires with a concise neediness and skilled precision. It’s a powerful, multi-leveled performance.

Hennigan, meanwhile, directs with a taut understanding of his two troubled protagonists. In a minor misstep, has take on the surprise ending is more in keeping with the slasher motif and seems at odds with the film’s layered and dramatic tension. But, if it means more films with Torre as Milton, then it is a forgivable offense. It is about time that we have a gay monster to march up the body strewn paths previously occupied by Michael, Freddy and Jason and this character just may be the one to do it.

Deviance is available for viewing on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Deviance-Tim-Torre/dp/B06WP55DN5

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

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