From the deranged minds that brought us Pickle Surprise and Loads, two totally perverse takes on the familial melodrama, just in time to make your families feel that much less fucked up! Dirty Looks presents two analog era queer experimental films Psykho III The Musical (shot on video) and Taboo (shot on 16mm).
Psykho III The Musical is an intriguing play on the tension between “authentic” and “pop” camp. This celebration of artifice was originally written, directed, and produced by Mark Oates as a stage musical parody following the release of Psycho II in 1983, and was performed at the East Village’s most notorious nightspot — The Pyramid Club. In 1985, after a wildly successful run, Oates reached out to longtime friend and Downtown video artist Tom Rubnitz to produce a video adaptation of the stage musical. With its premiere screening taking place at Area Nightclub in the October of that year, the cast features many Downtown legends, including John Kelly aka Dagmar Onassis, Mark Phredd aka Hapi Phace, Stephen Tashjian aka Tabboo!, and Loretta Nicks aka Brian Butterick. Oates makes a cameo appearance in the video in traditional Hitchcock style. Along with being a brilliant queer reading of a Hitchcock classic, Psykho III The Musical is an important historical document that celebrates the vibrant underground queer community of New York City. (Video Data Bank)
McDowell uses a cryptic piece of bathroom graffiti as the jumping off point to an exploration of one of his biggest obsessions: straight trade. (Liz Purchell on Letterboxd)
I had fantasies about who wrote the graffiti, what it was about and what blue magic is. In the movie, Fahed wrote the graffiti about his family. Abner slaps hard like blue magic--So the main threads are the family, what is blue magic, and who wrote the graffiti. Then there are the threads of youth and love. It's about rules and games and patriarchal manipulation. It's everything my family brought me up with smashed into one movie ... Yes, it's a cubistic narrative. Cubism is
seeing something from all perspectives, and that's what's going on in TABOO. (Curt McDowell)
Psykho III The Musical, dir. Mark Oates + Tom Rubnitz, 1985, digital projection
Taboo (The Single and the LP), dir. Curt McDowell, 1981, digital projection
Special thanks to Video Data Bank and Canyon Cinema.