Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Elvira, Natasha Lyonne, and schlock-loving drag queen Peaches Christ walk into a movie theater… ring any bells? You’d be forgiven if not, because their movie, All About Evil, has only been the stuff of midnight-movie legend—until now!
On one gloomy night (we presume) in 2010, a dense, eerie fog hangs over the Bay Area (you’re picturing it, right?), where The San Francisco International Film Festival dares to premiere the unthinkable: The feature film debut of director Joshua Grannell… also known as the legendary drag artist Peaches Christ! *thunder crashes*
That film? All About Evil, a campy horror-comedy that had “future cult classic” written all over it—in blood! *a black cat shrieks*
Except, after a limited theatrical run, the film disappeared without a trace, only to be whispered about in arthouse theaters and drag bars across the nation. For over a decade, fans have been clamoring to feast their eyes on the monstrosity, but only now are they getting their wish: In collaboration with Shudder and Severin Films, Peaches Christ is reviving All About Evil from the dead!
A low-budget horror movie tribute to the greatest low-budget horror movies in history, All About Evil is the exact kind of feature you’d expect from a ghoulish drag queen like Peaches Christ: Campy, bloody, and so very gay. Russian Doll star and cult cinema treasure Natasha Lyonne gamely plays the lead role, Deborah Tennis (that’s pronounced “De-bohr-ah Ten-neese”), a meek librarian who takes over her late father’s struggling movie theater and is immediately in way over her head.
In a moment of panic, she murders an aggressive patron, and then accidentally projects footage of the act to her in-house audience. Awestruck by the realism and bloody mayhem of the “film,” the crowd hails Deborah as a visionary, and it’s not long until she’s seen as “the new queen of indie splatter cinema.” The only problem is, if she wants to keep her new legion of fans happy, she’s going to have to keep murdering, again and again.
If it wasn’t clear from the synopsis, All About Evil is absolutely ridiculous in the best way possible, dialing everything up for maximum camp appeal: The acting, the buckets of fake blood, the laughs, the drag queens. In addition to Lyonne, the film boasts an impressive roster of names from the world of queer cinema: There’s gay icon Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira Mistress Of The Dark, Kaboom‘s Thomas Dekker, Knives Out‘s Noah Segan, and even John Waters’ muse, the great Mink Stole. It’s apparent on screen that they all had a blast making this schlock-fest, and Peaches Christ keeps things screaming along, directing this maniacal movie like a symphony of guts and gags.
So, why did it disappear for all of those years? Some say it may have been the handiwork of one of the most ghoulish Boogeymen of all: Distribution rights. Upon news of its resurrection, Peaches Christ shared the following message:
“For years, the movie has been unavailable and fans have been clamoring for it. As the creator, it’s been frustrating to say the least. I feel like I’ve been given a great gift from both Severin and Shudder and am thrilled so many new people will discover my Evil little baby. I’m really proud of the film and am hoping the re-release helps get another feature film going!”
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Don’t be mistaken: This is no zombified corpse—All About Evil feels just as fresh and freaky as it did when it first premiered, and now it can truly become the cult classic it was always destined to be.
On June 10, Severin Films released a Blu-ray version of the film, loaded with special features, and, beginning June 13, it’ll be available to stream on Shudder, so you can watch from the comfort of your own