JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Lock Up Your Sons and Daughters (Programmer: Bill Taylor) - May 30, 2003
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Lock Up Your Sons and Daughters

Anti-Queer Films: 1950-1990s

No rating No rating
87 min.

Reviewed at the 2003 Inside Out Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival
Propaganda buffet a reel education

Vancouver curator Bill Taylor is owed a debt of thanks for compiling these seven offerings that are a spectacular display of ignorance and fear mongering from decades past. Thank goodness those days are over and lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgendered are accepted as equals by society at large! (Hello there Elsie “just shut up” Wayne and the Canadian Alliance who prefer the “don’t know, don’t tell doctrine”.)

In Once upon a Honeymoon (directed with a marvellous sense of fun by dance choreographer Gower Champion) an eager-to-please angel flits down to Earth (getting a bit of a draft up his toga: special effects on a $10 budget) to assist a newlywed couple whose composer-husband must pen a new tune for his employer’s Prima Donna before ravishing his patient bride in their long overdue honeymoon.

The pixie dust is a hoot (Tinker Bell would be proud) even if it comes across more like anthrax than magic sparkles. Soon the wife bursts into song, hubby gets to the double bar and an impromptu dance sequence is accompanied by their invisible benefactor (well, of course he can play the piano, duh!).

And what an angel he is, opting to leave the lovers to themselves, knowing full well that his successful mission will be handsomely rewarded when he returns to his Heavenly Daddy—or what’s a heaven for?

Bill Brose’s Red Light Green Light, Meeting Strangers, which followed, had a far different tone, giving stern warnings to the kids that the only kind of “dangerous strangers” are gay. The fact that most pedophiles are heterosexual must have been lost on the editing floor.

My favourite of this collection was Soapy The Germ Fighter. Despite the fact that young Billy’s tub scenes might—in today’s climate—be censored as kiddie porn there was much to learn: Soap isn’t for sissies—even Cowboys wash up after a hard day in the saddle—then put on clean clothes (but don’t shower first) before heading into town; Girls should wash their hair (discreetly shown doing so in the sink) at least every two weeks; flies carry germs ON THEIR FEET (this was emphasized vociferously).

Subliminally, the whole piece came across (unintentionally, of course—that’s always the most fun) as a different kind of wet dream where the uninvited sticky stuff can be instantly washed away by the all-knowing Soapy who’s just waiting be picked up and worked into a lather.

Perversion For Profit is a dozen minutes of near-facts and bigotry delivered with compelling “authority” by George Putnam, the “Outstanding News Reporter.” He revels in delivering the dirt on pornography and how “The Communist Masters of Deceit” are behind everything. That cash is its basis is indisputable, as is its easy availability to adults and children alike. But his zealousness reminded me of the Bard’s great line “He doth protest too much, methinks.” I expect George’s research into the graphic evidence of evil and perversion (the goat didn’t look worried!) was as extensive as his self-ministrations to his findings were exhaustive. Double Standards “R” Us.

The set of Anti-Disney Videos was as ridiculous as they were indicative of the Religious Right’s narrow, self-serving focus. The evil of providing same-sex benefits to Disney employees was decried; hosting an annual Gay Day (where the outrageous footage was entertaining and well, kind of Goofy!) was scorned and swishy voice-overs in animated films (perhaps it should be renamed The Lion Queen?) were thrown out as valid reasons for boycotting the world’s biggest entertainment factory.

And furthermore, butts, boobs and questionable activities—there’s a double entendre in anything if you look far enough—have invaded cartoon features to the point where they’re no better than porno (but what are the parents to do when dragged to the cinema by their young ones?). That claim would be the same as reading anything more than good clean fun into the baths scene in Ben Hur!

In The Report: The Gay Agenda, one-sided reporting was shown at its best. Spurred on by the economic and “moralsuasion” of organized religion (but what did Jesus and his twelve disciples do to relieve their tensions while on the road?), the gay community was vilified with gusto. With “expert” testimony from two recovered homosexual men (and not a few “experts” in human behaviour) we learned that there is a cure. Hallelujah!

The “converted” revealed that they had spent considerable time and effort in their doomed quest to become full-service fags, but they came across as more unable to move up from one-night stands than born-again breeders. For them, the quoted mantra: “Today’s conquest is tomorrow’s competition” may be too close to home.

Still, learning that a shopping bag on the floor of a public washroom stall indicates that two men are engaging in sex (the bag hides the second set of feet, didn’t you know?) was a revelation. Can’t wait for the next sale!

Mark Woods’ rebuttal, The Heterosexual Agenda, is a clever foil to the U.S. report, but needs to have a more consistently earnest tone for the parody to keep its punch.

So what’s the moral of them all? Inserting body parts into the openings of others can result in ripping, tearing, ecstasy, love and babies. Caveat emptor! JWR

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Programmer - Bill Taylor
Directors - Short Films - Gower Champion, Bill Brose, Mark Kenneth Woods
Further information, future screening/performance/exhibition dates,
purchase information, production sponsors:
City of Toronto Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival
Cross-reference(s): Please click on the image link(s) below
for related work:
Reader's Forum
May 3, 2007

First of all I can't believe anyone is still screening "Red Light, Green Light" that you reviewed as part of the 2003 Anti-Queer Film festival.  As the writer who conceived the stop light notion and wrote the film, there was no queer bias in the screenplay or the film.  The characters were not identified and it would take a tremendous leap to state categorically that anyone in the story was gay.  I was dealing with child abuse and predators, not attacks by homosexuals.  An interesting side note: At the time of my research it was evident that the majority of sexual abuse came from within the home environment and from individuals children knew and trusted.  The company went into a panic and told me to take any family references out of the film because of fear at that time that it would scare the hell out of children.   Another piece of trivia: one of the actors pulled out and at the last minute I substituted for one of the predators.  I'm the workman with the crew cut in the vacant lot. 

Nothing happens so we, and the children don't know if this is one of the bad guys except when the red light flashes - and that means "always be cautious." - Michael Halperin (Los Angeles, California)

May 20, 2007

Oh man, I just went to your site (I'm so glad your review of Lock Up Your Sons and Daughters is still there), I was going to link it to my Facebook profile, when I stumbled on the letter from Michael Halperin about Red Light Green Light!  Oh I just DIED reading that.  I mean, is Mr. Halperin SERIOUS when he says the film isn't anti-gay? Or just delirious?  If he's so "be aware of strangers" as he seems to be, why are all the strangers approaching the kids the same sex?

"It would take a tremendous leap to state categorically that anyone in the story was gay"

Gee. I'm speechless. - Bill (Taylor), curator of Lock Up Your Sons and Daughters, Vancouver


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