Slash and burns: Comedy show put a queer eye on ‘straight’ films

Another look: Comedian Veronica Garza will have some fun with heteronormative cinema at "Queer Film Theory 101" at the Alamo Drafthouse's House of Wax bar.

By Molly O’Brien

They are queering things up! 

The comedy show “Queer Film Theory 101” makes a movie argument on the first Wednesday of every month at the House of Wax Bar in Downtown, the saloon serves as a waiting area for the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater. 

The show originated at the Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, and when the movie theater chain expanded to Brooklyn, the comedy night came with it. Founder Michael Foluk passed hosting duties on to Brooklyn comedian Veronica Garza, and we chatted with her about turning a queer eye on movies from her childhood. 

What is the show about?

Veronica Garza: We take movies from our childhood, or even TV shows that had a hetero-norm storyline — which is basically every movie I know, the way that we were brought up — and we talk about the queerness in it. Maybe you had a crush on a particular character, or maybe the show was always seen as straight and now you think ‘Why would I relate to this so much?’ 

I love queer things. Growing up, I watched “Beverly Hills 90210,” and I was really into Jenny Garth. And I really didn’t understand why I liked to look at her so much when I was 7. [Queer Film Theory 101] just helps you associate with a movie or show in this way and can help you form your queer identity.

What is the format of the show?

VG: I’ll book three comics or three queer performers. I like to go first, just so people get an idea of what they’re getting into. Recently I gave an example of why “Rocky” is queer. It’s one of my favorite movies. I try to do that quickly.

Why is “Rocky” queer?

VG: Oh my goodness. I think Adrian is a lesbian. She runs a pet store. She never dated a guy. She had this beanie.

I also touched on the idea of Rocky and Creed flirting. Because they’re in the ring. What do they do these men do before they hit each other? They’re dancing! That’s the gayest thing ever. 

So, spoiler alert: Creed dies in the second movie. Rocky and Creed had such a close relationship, and there’s this ’80s montage of Rocky and Creed running on the beach, doing push-ups, getting really sweaty, and encouraging each other. There’s water in the background. They do a high-five, kind of like a fist bump, and they get very close. Um, yeah, it’s gay.

Last month’s show featured a slide presentation by comedian Dan Frank regarding how “The Matrix” is about taking a pill and realizing your trans identity.

VG: Right, I liked this idea. Especially since it’s so close to life, with the Wachowski sisters who created that. It’s interesting. I feel like if they didn’t come out as trans, we wouldn’t have fully identified [the movie] with that, but that was the best part — it was something I didn’t see in the movie originally, but Dan found it.

What have your favorite presentations been? 

VG: Carolyn Bergier, comedian and host of the “Dyking Out” podcast, last year did a really good question about “My Girl” being queer. Sarah Kennedy, my former co-host, did an elaborate presentation once about the film “House Bunny.” Xorje Olivares, host of Sirius XM’s “Affirmative Reaction,” did a presentation on “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Olivares is not a queer comedian — he is a queer personality, I would say. His didn’t need to be funny, because he was talking about real s—. 

Catch “Queer Film Theory 101” next at House of Wax Bar [445 Albee Square West, fourth floor, between Fulton and Willoughby streets Downtown, (718) 513–2547, thehouseofwax.com]. Dec. 4 at 8 pm. Free. 

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