The creative team behind Death Drop Gorgeous is back with their new feature Saint Drogo. Check out our spoiler free review below!
Horror continues to enjoy a resurgence thanks to the current cultural and political strife we find ourselves in. It has always been the case since after the Vietnam War that Americans tend to exorcise their demons through use of the macabre. And given the state of the world and our country over the past several years, it is hardly surprising that horror is sitting pretty at the top of the box office. However, as always, the real magic is happening in the independent movie scene and Saint Drogo is entirely representative of this fact.
Saint Drogo is the follow up to Monster Makeup Productions’ 2020 drag queen slasher Death Drop Gorgeous. Directed by Michael J. Ahern, Ryan Miller and Brandon Perras-Sanchez, the film is a complete departure from their previous outing. While Death Drop utilized camp and a frenetic pace to get the job done Drogo is definitively more psychological, atmospheric and a slow burn journey into folk horror.
Written by and starring Perras-Sanchez and Ahern as gay couple Caleb and Adrian, Saint Drogo follows the pair on an off-season trip to Provincetown where they are attempting to both heal their strained relationship while also looking for Isaac, Caleb’s ex-boyfriend, who has mysteriously gone quiet after spending the summer in the famed queer resort town. What follows is a gradual descent into madness as you meet the P-Town ‘year-rounders’ and find out just what they get up to when we all pack up and go after Bear Week.
The film showcases amazing growth for the team since Death Drop Gorgeous. From the performances and world building to the absolutely stunning cinematography captured by Kevin Bowden and Ryan Miller, Saint Drogo is a feast for the senses. Perras-Sanchez delivers fear and bewilderment with wild expressive eyes that rival any seasoned scream queen while Ahern delivers a subtle and innately powerful portrayal of a man stuck at a theoretical crossroads in his life. The pair together draw the viewer in and truly make you care about what happens to these two characters. They are also most ably supported by Matthew Pidge who gave a knockout performance as Eric and the masterful Peyton St James as Myron.
The movie is unapologetically queer in that the story centers around a queer couple and makes biting commentary on our culture as gay men; where our values lie and what we’ll do to obtain the things we think are important. And of course, there’s lots of gay sex! Bear lovers will really dig a certain sequence evocative of Eyes Wide Shut, only with lots of dudes, beards and chest hair. Similarly, our leading men Perras-Sanchez and Ahern are both cubishly gorgeous, easy on the eyes and frequently shirtless. And while I point all this out in good fun, it is also enormously importantly important and dare I say revolutionary to see things like this in a horror movie! Finally, this genre built by queer people is seeing stories where our sexuality is no longer taboo or subtext but right out in the open, where it belongs!
Another thing the film does exceptionally well is that it captures the desolation and eeriness inherent in Provincetown. If you’ve ever visited in the late fall then you know how deserted and frigid it is out there and through the use of camera, wardrobe and color palette the movie nails this feeling perfectly. It’s almost as if the town itself becomes a character in the story, that’s how omnipresent it is.
Needless to say, you should definitely check out Saint Drogo when you can as it makes its rounds in the film festival circuit. With a gripping story, stunning visuals and copious gore it is reminiscent of such films and stories as The Wicker Man, Starry Eyes and The Portrait of Dorian Gray. An absolute must-see!