Cut for Charity

Gypsy '83 DVDOne thing I love about snuffling around the charity shops for DVDs/videos is that I’ll often find some random film I never would have heard about otherwise, and they’re cheap enough to take a chance on… and so it was with an indie flick called Gypsy 83. What first piqued my interest was the cover… partly because of the rather sexy photo of Sara Rue dressed in full gothic attire, and partly because the top half of the sleeve had been neatly, but mysteriously removed. As you can see from the photo here, the section that was cut out (indicated by the bright red box) featured two topless young men getting it on. The word “gay” is used four times in the first paragraph of the back-cover blurb, so I wasn’t really surprised to get home and discover the nature of this “offending image”, but I’d still be curious to know who did the chopping… the donor or the shop staff? And since a similar, smaller image appears on the back cover, what exactly was their reasoning?

I’ve never understood why some people consider the image of two men kissing to be so much more offensive than a man and a woman kissing… but in this case I think they were actually doing potential purchasers a favour. It’s a clear case of false advertising, since the only actual sex scene is about two minutes long and pretty tame. It’s also intercut with a straight scene featuring Rue and an Amish hitchhiker (don’t ask), so I doubt it’s of much use to any gay fellas looking for some soft-core porno. Weirdly the BBFC classification on the back cover claims that the film “contains very strong language, strong sex and sex references”, which is probably a fair warning from a legal standpoint, but also slightly misleading. Are “gay interest” films often misrepresented like this? Seems a rather mean, exploitative trick to me… or does man-on-man action always warrant a stronger warning, regardless of the actual explicitness of the content? Oh well, at least the gothic content is more explicit and ubiquitous. The leads look gorgeous throughout, with fantastic hair and make-up, and I loved the way they set up candles and velvet curtains wherever they went on their road trip, turning even the most humdrum picnic bench or truck-stop toilet into a little oasis of dark beauty. That’s one thing I’ve always admired about Goths… the drama and romance they bring to an everyday setting, simply by walking down the highstreet in a top hat and frock coat!


About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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