What Is It with Gay Men and ‘Carrie?’

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One of the joys of living with a partner who was born and raised in another country is seeing American pop culture again for the first time through his eyes. One night, Fred and I were watching Another Gay Movie, Todd Stephens’ bawdy gay male take on teen sex comedies. Determined to train Fred in the subtle art of camp, I carefully explained the film’s references to Mommie Dearest and Airport 1975. At one point in the movie, there’s an extended riff on Carrie. Although I had seen the … [Read more...]

Teorema: God Will Save You from Your Dull Middle-Class Existence

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At a dive bar in New Orleans this past January, Ryan and I got together to discuss possibilities for PopTheology.com for the coming year. As the drinks flowed freely and we watched my beloved Bengals blow another playoff game, our bar napkins filled up with penned ideas. Maybe it was my mounting gloom at the outcome of the game, or the effect of cheap booze on a cold winter’s day, but the best idea we could come up with was “outlaw directors.” “Great!” Ryan said, “but what’s an … [Read more...]

The Camp and Queer Bible Goes Down Under

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On short notice, I was given the opportunity to contribute an introductory essay to an event surrounding an exhibit of Father Michael Morris' biblical film poster collection. The exhibit, called Epic! 100 Years of Film and the Bible, was showing at the Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne. The event was part of their "Midsumma Festival," and focused specifically on LGBT interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. Many of my students and colleagues have heard my lectures or descriptions of my … [Read more...]

Religious Baddies

We're having a little fun here at Pop Theology as Halloween rolls around. This time of year, we celebrate all things monstrous and horrific, and while evil comes in all shapes and sizes, many of us also know that it often comes dressed in religious garb. Below are a few of our favorite religious baddies, evil characters who are either explicitly religious or feature as the villains in explicitly religious films. These films range from the 1950s to the present day and cover genres from biblical … [Read more...]

Innocent?

The search for new old, classic horror/thriller films has already paid off this week. After a so-so experience with Cat People and The Curse of the Cat People, the freaky meter jumped up a notch with The Innocents, a film I can't believe I haven't seen until now. Definitely check this one out. … [Read more...]

Here Kitty Kitty

It’s October so as much as possible I’m trying to (re)visit some classic horror and thriller films, frequently taking queues from the Turner Classic Movies schedule. As they often do in October, they’re showing The Curse of the Cat People (1944). It’s the loosely related sequel to Cat People (1942), neither of which I had seen…until now. … [Read more...]

Cecil B. DeMille and Roy's Rock

In 1958, Malcolm Boyd, an Episcopal priest and former Hollywood writer, soon to be known as author of the bestselling prayer book Are You Running with Me, Jesus? offered a contemporary assessment of 1950’s biblical epics. In Christ and Celebrity Gods: the Church in Mass Culture, he called the films “orgiastic, lengthy, overwhelming spectacles that have as little relation to ‘religion’ as orange juice stands have to a cocktail bar.” He went on to lament the genre’s “wildly … [Read more...]

The Ten Commandments of 1923: The Exodus, Take One

Richard here. Adding some more wisdom culled from the notes of my dissertation, here's the account of Cecil B. DeMille's first foray into biblical film, his 1923 silent version of The Ten Commandments. … [Read more...]


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