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“Here comes Mrs. Baxter now!”

Like it isn’t perfectly obvious it’s a guy in old lady drag…or that it’s a lisping male baritone behind that dime store wig and cardigan…

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Yes, “Mrs. Baxter” is actually Paul (Abe Zwick), who’s being two-timed by big nosed boyfriend Stanley (Wayne Crawford) with some hippie chick named Alma (Marty Cordova) who keeps blow in her bikini.

“You’re gonna get me in a lot of trouble.”
“You mean your Aunt Martha?”
“Yeah…she don’t dig me goin’ out with girls.”

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Stanley has a swingin’ van that could pass for a pink-toned version of the Mystery Machine, but when Alma tries to go all the way, Stanley regresses to infantilism and shows his weird dependence on his domineering drag queen “Aunt”…who has some decidedly homicidal leanings.

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“Do you think I like wearing this birds’ nest?  Do you think I don’t feel like an idiot running around town in these women’s clothes?  And I wouldn’t have to wear a disguise if it wasn’t for you, would I?  I wouldn’t have to be panicking every time a policeman passed.”

Turns out Paul is holding something over on hapless Stanley…the murder of some old lady named “Mrs. Johnson” which Paul claims Stanley did while tripping on acid.  But it’s quite apparent who was actually responsible, even before we’re shown him burning a wanted poster of himself…and that he’s using the incident to keep his little boy toy in line.

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“I’m afraid Stanley is a little shy around girls.”

The pair finds themselves the victims of blackmail from a bum named Hubert (Don Craig), who quickly winds up as a permanent houseguest, and rather chummy with Paul, given the situation…

Stanley, meanwhile, gets involved with cute next door neighbor and nurse in training Vicki (Robin Hughes), giving Hubert time to search the house for Paul’s jewels.  When they catch him red handed, he runs down (and somehow kills!) pregnant neighbor Mrs. Adams (Yanka Mann), prompting Stanley to attempt to “save the baby” in the most demented way possible…finally the two hinted lunatics turn on each other, prompting a bizarro world Romeo and Juliet-style conclusion…

A bizarre blend of kitchen sink drama (with their whole demanding mother/rebellious teenager relationship dynamic) and slasher horror, this was the final feature in the brief career of Thomas Casey (Flesh Feast).

While the subtext is all too apparent, the film doesn’t really work as a horror, and it would be both demeaning and absurd to hold up as some sort of early slice of gay life (I’m sure that every gay couple is just like a drag queen killer on the run from the law who deceives his drug abusing infantile partner into putting up with nonstop emotional abuse…riiiight.), so what purpose…and more to the point, what audience did this film actually serve?

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A rather atypical Florida exploiter, this hippie-centric but very, very gay themed picture nonetheless boasts cameos from both Brad Grinter (Blood Freak, Sweet Bird of Aquarius, Death Curse of Tartu – cigarette in mouth as ever) and Bill Kerwin (Blood Feast, Playgirl Killer, Barracuda, My Third Wife George and any number of Herschell Gordon Lewis and Harry Kerwin features), though neither is onscreen for more than a blip.

Those interested can also view the film with commentary from none other than Dave DeCoteau, whose often homoerotically oriented horror pictures for Full Moon and Rapid Heart are far more entertaining and (dare we say it) classy than this dumpster dredge of freakout cinema – at the very least, few of them felt this uncomfortably melodramatic, twisted and over the top!

Good God, John Waters and Andy Milligan would probably be horrified by this unavoidably and freakishly weird stinker…

I remember seeing this film gather dust on the shelves of local video stores back in the VHS days, and never had the urge to even look at the description on the back – the title and cover photo alone smacked too much of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and similar films (how many “slashers” did Bette Davis and Tallulah Bankhead actually take part in, anyway? – The Anniversary, The Nanny, Die Die My Darling…the list goes on far longer than it should) to hold any interest whatsoever.  Of course, films like those do have their fans, and presumably this could be considered an (extremely) camped up version of those…sort of

Too camp to be camp?  You decide, if you’ve got the stomach for it…

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