Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.
The B-Side: Prey for Rock & Roll
Actress Gina Gerson–hereto largely known for her role in the debacle Showgirls–doesn’t get enough credit. Gershon has appeared in more than a few bad movies over the years, and done some bad acting in them. On the other hand, when gifted with good material, she proves herself a capable, even awesome, leading lady.
Case in point: Prey for Rock & Roll, the overlooked 2003 musical which cast Gershon as Jacki, a longtime rocker girl on the brink of turning 40. Jacki supports her lifestyle as a tattoo artist when she’s not on stage and, like so many rock stars, has more than a bit of trouble when it comes to romance. She has a knack for falling for all the wrong guys and all the wrong girls. Facing a midlife crisis, Jacki decides to make one last push for musical stardom…if she can hold her band together that long.
Stephen Trask, composer of Hedwig landed Prey as his follow-up job, and once again contributes some oh-so-awesome queer, glam rock to the zeitgeist. Gershon, in the lead, throws herself into both the dramatic and musical material, performing all her own songs and guitar playing for the role. Joan Jett served as her musical coach, and it shows. Featuring fine supporting turns by lesbian actress Lori Petty (another consistently overlooked performer), Drea de Matteo (of The Sopranos) and Marc Blucas (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Prey For Rock & Roll celebrates all things awesome about the rockstar life, and with an unapologetically queer twist. Like other queer rock musicals Velvet Goldmine, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and The Runaways, make sure to play it at maximum volume.
Available on DVD.