Fags in the Fast Lane (2017)
Zombie Zoo Productions
Director: Josh ‘Sinbad’ Collins
Cast: Chris Asimos, Matt Jones, Sacha Cuhar, Arish ‘King’ Khan, Robert ‘El Vez’ Lopez, Kitten Natividad
Fags in the Fast Lane is not for everyone. Big surprise there. Seeing as the title alone is enough to send most folks either clutching at their pearls or dashing for the calm sanctuary of a rainbow framed profile picture. If that hurdle is leapt, Let me make that clear; I don’t just mean that not everybody will enjoy this movie, I mean that this movie is unapologetically inaccessible to a majority of people. Make no mistake, this movie is made by weirdos for weirdos and it celebrates that fact throughout its runtime like a firehose celebrates water.
I hadn’t realised how dehydrated I was.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is some half-baked production just because it’s entered from the margins. This movie is money-on-screen slick and it clearly reveres its mutant pedigree. Collins proves his chops at the outset with a Saul Bass style opening credits sequence, expertly animated by the criminally underloved Lluis Fuzzhound. Additionally, right off the bat, we’re treated to the glorious, cred-laden voice of rock singularity Tex Perkins who narrates us suavely and calmly into the subsequent psychotropic mardi gras of set pieces that fill in the space where the plot would normally be.
The cast is fabulously talented and dedicated beyond even on-board and optimistic expectations. I’m sure that’s due in no small part to the infectious, compelling passion of Barbara ‘Blaze’ and Josh ‘Sinbad’ Collins’ enthusiasm and their lifetime of experience attracting and befriending glorious misfits.
Our two main super gay superheroes are led by the most beautiful Sir Beauregard ‘Beau’ (Chris Asimos) and his immaculately attired and moustachioed pugilist sidekick Reginald Lumpton III ‘Lump’ (Matt Jones). After our heroes’ violent and righteous bi-weekly brawl against the local homophobes, Beau learns of a theft at the GILF bordello where his madam mother, Kitten (Russ Meyer vixen and celestial trash goddess Kitten Natividad) has been robbed of her powerful, golden, weiner-shaped sex totem. With the narrative conceit now established, our boys Beau and Lump set off with the accidentally kidnapped son of the local homo-hating chief of police. Thus begins a wild-mouse-paced, psychedelic road trip to retrieve the magical, phallic MacGuffin from Wanda the burlesque ogress (erotic giving tree; Aimee Nichols) and her deadly gang of sexy, deformed gogo dancers.
From here on I can’t help you. There are no guard rails skirting this awesome, low-brow labour of love and there’s very minimal signage. Believe me, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the cast of rotating travel companions (like Sacha Cuhar’s arresting Salome), incredible locations, ingenious sets and miniatures, killer choreography, unscheduled dives into various animation styles and pixel perfect genre-hopping that are crammed into this film. However, I’m guessing if you’ve read this far into the piece that you, the reader are already firmly in one of two camps regarding Fags in the Fast Lane. The first being that you’re sure this isn’t your cup of tea but you’re skim-reading forward because you’re mildly completist and you’ve already read most of the review. Also, if I were to take a guess I would say that you’re subconsciously anticipating the comforting familiarity of some unfinished, menial task in the hope that it will ‘ground’ you after reading about all this confronting oddness. Or, on the other hand, you may be tingling with excitement for Fags. If you’re looking around your Tiki themed studio/sunroom wearing Bermuda shorts, a pith helmet and/or an inflatable flamingo and thinking to yourself that this movie I’ve described sounds like the best thing since Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks then congratulations! This movie is for you. It’s a lovingly handcrafted litmus test for misfits that bucks against convention so hard that it feels like it may have accidentally landed here from a more interesting, less uptight dimension.
All that lovely pre-money John Waters, that wonderful Russ “I like boobs and up yours if you don’t” Meyer, Kenneth “figure it out” Anger, Lucio “more maggots” Fulci… where are these nutjobs when we need them most?
Don’t get me wrong, Fags in the Fast Lane has plenty of issues, it’s not all sequins and blowjobs. The second act bottlenecks somewhat, the pacing is fitful and some of the edits audibly clunk where
they should have zinged but I challenge you to care one whit about all that film critic shit when you’re watching our hero hang-glide over a fluorescent swamp of cocks and balls or witnessing a man extract sports equipment from another man.
It’s been a long, long time since I saw a film that so fiercely gave so few fucks about denominators. Sure, I’ve seen a lot of ‘inaccessible’ art films. Films that “aren’t for everyone” but they mostly still smell of a marketing department and that sweet ‘educated professional’ market. In a world where the mouth of movie making has been stitched to the anus of demographic analysis, seeing something like Fags in the Fast Lane, a gonzo, go-fuck-yourself, ‘hey-we-made-a-movie’ movie reminded me that I used to like them and there was a glorious time before somebody switched them with algorithmically produced dopamine triggers.
-Magnus D. Magnus