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Filthy Gorgeous - The Trannyshack Story

Wed 31 May 2006 In: Movies

Review: Filthy Gorgeous - The Trannyshack Story Dir: Sean Mullens USA, 2005, Beta SP, 84mins This is an arty flic about some very arty people. These are not your granny's drag queens, oh no. There's no Judy mooning over the man that got away, there's no Barbra snivelling that you don't send her flowers any more, no, no no! (There is Liza, briefly, but it's Liza recovering from a nose job.) Obviously frightened at a very early age by their mums' fan pics of Pat Benatar and Siouxie of the Banshees, these are the children of Jayne County and the cuzzie bros of Marilyn Manson. Their most notorious 'drag' is a reenactment of the murder of Sharon Tate - pregnant tummy sliced open, bloody baby removed and handed to the audience (all to the appropriate tune of 'Helter Skelter'). Then, finally, one of them - the seemingly mild-mannered Glamamore (Mr David) - mentions the phrase 'performance artist'! Of course, onstage, Mr David is not mild mannered at all. No way. He does a sizzling version of 'Rock'n'roll Suicide', finally stripping down to nothing but a bit of white body paint, a frail body and dingus shoved between his legs. It's a moment of astonishing vulnerability. So it's quite a relief when Suppositori Spelling does a great but - in the circumstances - rather trad version of 'I put a spell on you'. No surprise they show one of them (I forget who, drat all those clever clever names) pulling a mini 'Old Glory" out of his butt hole while synching to "Star Spangled Banner' early on. There's more, much more shocking stuff to come, folks. What's really annoys me about these rather smug artists is their mean failure to aknowledge their influences and teachers. Yes, one of them mentions his 'drag mother', Puttanesca, and we get two brief clips of Puttanesca. She looks nothing but gorgeous, but when she opens her mouth she does sound - now how shall I put this nicely? She does sound mature. So these folks have performance skills, they've learnt how to move, how to present themselves, how to get across to an audience. But where did it all come from? No word on that, no, they just jumped out from under a cabbage leaf fully formed apparently. We do hear their dressmaker of choice is Mr David and the outfits cost from $100 to $350. And only worn once, their performances are one-offs, usually not repeated. So, when you're next in LA on a Tuesday night, if you're a late twenties male, mosey on down to the Stud bar and you'll find it transformed into Trannyshack and you can hoot and holler at the 'new school' drag queens. John Curry - 31st May 2006    

Credit: John Curry

First published: Wednesday, 31st May 2006 - 12:00pm

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