Category: DVD Reviews By Duane

Simolke lives in Lubbock, Texas, and has received three StoneWall Society Pride in the Arts Awards StoneWallSociety.Com.
Besides writing these reviews for This Week in Texas, he has written the books The Acorn Stories, Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, Holding Me Together, and New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio. He also edited and co-wrote the spin-off The Acorn Gathering, a fund-raiser for cancer research. Visit his website, DuaneSimolke.Com for an excerpt and more information.

When Darkness Falls

Director David DeCoteau offers horror B-movies with extremely homoerotic undertones, mostly by putting a lot of cute guys in situations together that involve wrestling, underwear, or bondage. Some of those movies are fun as guilty pleasures, but the ones I’ve seen never quite make the leap from gay overtones to gay.

An Early Frost

The first major film to deal openly with HIV/AIDS, An Early Frost finally comes to DVD, courtesy of Wolfe Releasing. Nominated for fourteen Emmy Awards, this important movie arrived on TV in 1985, drawing attention to a disease no one wanted to mention, and to the stigma around it.

Almost Normal

Early on, strained acting and lame dialogue almost destroy Almost Normal. Hopefully, viewers won’t grab the remote and hit stop, because they would miss out on a cute, clever tale. Fans of the TV series Sliders or the movies Back to the Future and Peggy Sue Got Married should take interest in this movie about a middle-aged gay man who suddenly finds himself back in high school, in an alternate reality where gay is cool and straight is sick.


An eighteen-year-old gang member tries to hide his homosexuality amid a violent life in this gritty British drama. Shank offers a frank, disturbing look at life on the street.


Writer/director David Lewis presents a romantic story in a beautiful setting. Everett (Brendan Bradley) and Chase (Matthew Montgomery) fall in love among the California redwoods, despite the family that will soon return to Everett’s life.

Hollywood je t’Aime

Writer/director and former Odessa, Texas, resident Jason Bushman directs his first feature-length film. The offbeat comedy Hollywood je t’Aime brings a gay Parisian to California, where he meets interesting characters and tries to start a film career.

Make the Yuletide Gay

Writer/director Rob Williams brings Christmas to gay audiences with a sweet romantic comedy about how young love and coming out can both complicate family life. Keith Jordan and Adamo Ruggiero show strong chemistry in this award-winning film.

Yossi & Jagger

This Isreali film (in Hebrew, with English subtitles) centers around two male soldiers who have fallen in love with each other. They keep their relationship secret, stealing embraces in the snow or wherever they can. 

In The Closet

Griffin (J.T. Tepnapa) goes home with Press (Brent Corrigan) after meeting him (presumably) at a bar. We don’t know many details about that meeting, except that Press eventually found the courage to “chat up” Griffin. A feature-length version—and yes, this short film merits such treatment—might explore that awkward first meeting.

Were The World Mine

In this musical fantasy, a gay teen responds to homophobic bullying by using a magic spell to turn much of his town gay. The award-winning film arrives on DVD June 9.