Queer Sh*t to Watch This Week

"Drag Race" is back, "Paris" is still burning, and "Elm Street" has never been more flaming.

NewNowNext spotlights the latest (and queerest) movies, TV shows, webseries, and other LGBTQ shit for your viewing pleasure in our weekly watch list. Grab your popcorn, squirrel friends!

In Theaters

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

One of the queerest mainstream slasher movies of all time, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge killed the career of its 25-year-old closeted star, Mark Patton. In their new doc, directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen follow Patton as he resurfaces to enjoy the adoration of horror fans on the convention circuit (including Peaches Christ and Mr. Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund) and discuss his experience in deeply homophobic 1980s Hollywood (including his relationship with Dallas star Timothy Patrick Murphy, from whom he contracted HIV). You can cut the tension with a knife (or a glove full of them) when Patton confronts Elm Street 2 screenwriter David Chaskin, who played a role (perhaps somewhat gleefully) in sabotaging the actor’s career. Scream Queen! is also available on VOD March 3. (Opens February 27, Virgil Films)
 

Straight Up

Out Asian-American filmmaker James Sweeney kicks off one hell of a promising career with this crackling, whip-smart screwball rom-com about an insufferably neurotic, gay 20-something, Todd (Sweeney), who wonders whether he’s actually straight—to the sarcastic bemusement of his besties—and starts a relationship with a deliciously acidic struggling actress (Katie Findlay) who seems to be his soul mate on every nonsexual level. This could very well be the funniest LGBTQ theatrical release of 2020. Bonus: You can also catch Sweeney’s 2015 short, Normal Doors, on which Straight Up is based, for free on Vimeo. (Opens February 28, Strand Releasing)

DVD and VOD

End of the Century

One of 2019’s best gay films, Lucio Castro’s feature debut adds a nonlinear time device and poignant “sliding doors” twist to its tale of an Argentinian man, Ocho (Juan Barberini), who travels to Barcelona and hooks up with a fellow visitor, Javi (Ramon Pujol). After they sleep together, the pair flash back 20 years and discover this may not be the first time they met. Sexy, profound, and haunting, the modern queer classic will sit nicely with Weekend and Call Me by Your Name on your shelf. (Available now on DVD, Cinema Guild)
 
https://youtu.be/o47CwiJLpes

Paris Is Burning

Opulence! That’s what Criterion Collection is serving with a restored, souped-up edition of Jennie Livingston’s iconic 1990 documentary about NYC’s ballroom scene, vogueing, reading, and shade almost 30 years before Pose walloped the masses. Besides an hour of never-before-seen outtakes (the doc was shot over the course of seven years!) and a 2005 commentary track with the late Willi Ninja, fans can enjoy a new conversation with Livingston, a 1991 episode of The Joan Rivers Show with several of the film’s subjects, and more. Tens across the board! (Available now on DVD, Criterion Collection)
 

Retablo

Peru’s official submission for the Best International Feature Oscar, director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio and co-writer Héctor Gálvez’s sublimely acted film is the tale of a 14-year-old boy, Segundo (Junior Bejar Roca), learning a craft from his father, Noé (Amiel Cayo). But when Segundo catches Noé getting it on with another man on the DL, their lives in their beautiful but deeply homophobic mountainside community are thrown into disarray. (Available now on DVD, Wolfe Video)

TV and Streaming

I Am Not Okay With This

The second Netflix series adaptation of a Charles Forsman graphic novel (following The End of the F***ing World) stars It alum Sophia Lillis as Sydney, a teenage suburbanite developing superpowers while crushing on her bestie Dina (Sofia Bryant) and forging a connection with sarcastic pot dealer Stanley (Wyatt Oleff, another It alum). Adolescence, amirite? (Streaming February 26 on Netflix)
 

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

The 2013 murder of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez at the hands of his own mother and her boyfriend—who tortured him with BB guns, burnt him with cigarettes, fed him cat litter, and kept him confined inside a cubby because they suspected he was gay—was one of the most unimaginable cases of child abuse in recent history. Director Brian Knappenberger’s six-part documentary chronicles the trial and revisits Fernandez’s family (including a gay uncle whom he lived with before being snatched away by his mother), while digging deep into the flawed Department of Children and Family Services system that, even when clear signs of abuse were reported, failed to extricate Gabriel. (Streaming February 26 on Netflix)
 

RuPaul’s Drag Race

The latest batch of queens to compete for 100,000 dollahs and glory represent Georgia, New York, Missouri, California, North Carolina, and the swing state of Wisconsin (don’t fuck it up this election, bitches!), while Season 12’s über-hunty guest judges include Robyn, Chaka Kahn, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Goldblum, Daisy Ridley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Leslie Jones, and Nicki-friggin’-Minaj! See you at the next gay-bar viewing party, squirrel friends! (Premieres February 28 on VH1)

Main image: Venus Xtravaganza in Paris Is Burning.

Lawrence is a New York-based travel and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Time Out New York and The New York Post.
@LawrenceFerber