RAMBO, BUT GAY: Coming Out to a Theater Near You!

by Jannika Coons @JerkasaurusRex

When I first discovered that writer-director Michael Serrato (Neil’s Puppet Dreams, The Big Gay Sketch Show) took Rambo, a movie known for its hypermasculine brand and spun it into a gay (musical) retelling, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I generally set the expectation phasers to “none” when confronted with something new, but, let me tell you, gentle reader, that RAMBO, BUT GAY has changed my eye. As the opening quote from Quentin Tarantino says, “Gay subtext always makes every movie better, ” and RAMBO, BUT GAY does not disappoint.

Here’s a quick synopsis: A “suntanned and lubed up” Rambo (Mario Diaz) minces into the sleepy town of Jerkwater looking to reconnect with his secret “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bunk buddy, Jimmy, and instead runs into the limp-wristed, closeted Sheriff Teasle (Serrato). Threatened by Rambo’s smoldering sexuality, Sheriff Teasle hauls him into the local police station, where he receives a literal dressing down by some waifish deputies thirsty for justice.  Escaping from the mist of an impromptu shower number and into the wild, Rambo throws together a nature-inspired battle look, dons his signature headband, and gets down to business.

This campy, tongue-in-cheek, homoerotic action thriller might have more transparent subtext than an American Apparel advertisement, but beneath the subversive narrative, catchy songs (composed and written by Mark Byer), and a loving eye for detail, the message of RAMBO, BUT GAY is a pretty sophisticated conversation-starter about queer representation and stereotypical masculine norms in media and contemporary culture.

RAMBO, BUT GAY is the first in what will hopefully become a series of gay retellings for the Nerdist Channel. Serrato believes that the rapid advancements in gay rights are challenging perceptions about the LGBT community and empowering its members to become everyday heroes, standing for equality, justice, fairness, and fighting for better representation in mainstream media.

Is there a “macho movie” you’d like to see in a gay retelling? Top Gun? Best of the Best? …Hard Boiled? Go to the Nerdist Channel and drop a line!

 

Jannika Coons (@JerkasaurusRex) is a pop culture enthusiast, amateur historian, freelance graphic designer, and a self-confessed geek. She loves puns, b-movies, and Byzantine history. Jannika is also one third of the creative talent behind Cullen the Kettle Black, a Twilight parody web comic.

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