Queer Dark Thrillers


movie      fiction

  • Cruising
  • Author: William Friedkin and Gerald Walker
  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Producer: Jerry Weintraub
  • Year: 1980
  • Country: US
  • 106 minutes

fisting, homophobia, self-loathing, police brutality

movie cover Other images

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in San Francisco's S&M and leather districts. A young police officer is sent undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society. While barely seeing his girlfriend anymore, the work starts changing him.

Qvamp says:

This is more of a slow-moving thriller than it is a horror item, but it's pretty horrific. If you've ever wanted to see Al Pacino in the midst of the New York gay S&M community of the 70's, this is the movie for you. Then again, it is not the utmost in character development or plot, so it may bore you silly.

The gay community is presented as cold, mercenary, deviates only interested in sex. Whether or not the movie accurately portrayed the community it was representing is debatable, but it was considered to be extremely harmful to the gay community at the time. It is fairly homophobic by today's standards, but at the same time is a fascinating look into a gay world of the past.

What makes the movie horrific is what's not said. In the last ten minutes of the movie, a man is killed, but we don't know by whom. The who and the why makes the movie much more savage and horrible.

Rating B-
Queer Vampire Rating B
Amount of Gay Content sex


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User Ratings

By: mark howard ( mark_30097@msn.com )
Overall Rating: B     Queer thriller Rating: A    

I see nothing homophobic about Cruising - has this movie led anyone to believe that all gay men are serial killers?

When it was first made, I saw it as a scary movie with titillating sex scenes - I was 13 and couldn't wait to become a sex pig. Now, I watch the movie as a historical document of the sex world unknowingly on the verge of the AIDS disaster. Watching it, I ask myself how many people in it were already infected?

Sure, the plot isn't the best, but the movie still offers plenty to see and think about.


By: reggie fraijo ( HaAnNaMa@aol.com )
Overall Rating: B     Queer thriller Rating: C+    

Cruising is a interesting and thought-provoking movie. It does not compare to the book, which I would highly recommend. If anyone wants to buy the book, go online and look up the author 'Gerald Walker.' The book is pretty much out of print. The movie says at the start that it does not mean to stereotype that all gays are like they are portrayed in the movie ''only a small part of that world.'' I still thought that some of the characters were very stereotyped, dressing like cops, biker gangs and construction workers, interested only in sex and acting perverted.

Some thought that Al Pacino was miscast, but I thought he did fine. When I first saw this I thought the ending was too muddled and badly written, but the Director claims he did it on purpose, which makes the movie more fascinating after I saw it a couple more times. I think the movie seems to ask ''who are we underneath the skin?'' I will not give anymore away.


By: Sepp ( sepp_8814@yahoo.com )
Overall Rating: A+     Queer thriller Rating: A    

Tho this is now a 'dated' movie, it is still a thrill to watch. Perhaps due in equal measure to Pacino, subject matter, believe-ability (especially at the time of making) and lest I forget....the opening scene!

I happen to have a special fondness for this movie, awakening in me as it did, a special 'something'...and no, I don't know you well enough to go further. If are of the 'pre'-generation X age, as I am, much of what you see will ring true and 'feel right'. Tame as it is for today, at the time it came out it was wonderfully over the edge! It 'spoke' to me as few other movies have....if you have never felt like Pacino did in his superb and superbly acted 'drawn like a moth to the flame' role, then you probably will not care for this movie and will definitely not understand this movie!



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