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An army of gay/nazi bikers make their engines roar and ride the way to pain/pleasure as sexual and sadistic symbols are intercut into the dazing chaos and rhythmic experiences of this underground film by cult director Anger. Written by
Bruce Byron worked as a motorcycle messenger in Manhattan. His zodiac sign was Scorpio, and so he called himself that, as well as carrying at all times the scorpion amulet which he is seen kissing and holding in the film. The honorable discharge certificate from the United States Marine Corps, on the wall above his bed, was his own, as were all the pictures of James Dean and Marlon Brando, of whom he was a big fan. He is seen reading the Sunday comics section from a newspaper, which really was his favorite thing to read. The newspaper clipping near his bed, with the headline "CYCLE HITS HOLE & KILLS TWO," was about an accident in Times Square that had killed one of his friends. Another friend, who worked in a medical-products factory in New Jersey, had supplied him with the pure methamphetamine powder which he snorts from his fingers during the "Heat Wave" sequence. See more »
What is significant about this text is that Anger got many of the shots from the initiation rites of American biker gangs. As such, the butch ruggedness of these ostensibly "straight" men is conflated with the none-too-subtle homoeroticism of their rites--which leads the viewer to question the rigid dichotomies of "straight" and "gay" that dominate North American social discourse.
Also of significance is the extent to which, by appropriating "butch markers" such as leather and motorcycles, the homoeroticism undermines the stereotypicality of the "nelly" homosexual male.
Not a terribly accessible text, but it becomes pregnant with significance for the viewer who does a little background reading first.
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