Three shirtless people lay next to each other in bed on bright-red sheets. The man on the right has his arm around the woman in the middle, who is wearing a black bra and has a bob haircut.
Image Credit: Strand Releasing

Considering it comes from groundbreaking queer filmmaker Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin, Kaboom), it’s a bit surprising that 1995’s The Doom Generation is dubbed “A Heterosexual Movie.”

But don’t let that subtitle fool you—the pitch-black crime comedy is as transgressive and queer as anything the iconoclastic director has made over the course of his 35-year career.

The film follows Amy Blue (Charmed‘s Rose McGowan) and Jordan White (Donnie Darko‘s James Duval), two wayward teenagers in love, who pick up a mysterious drifter named Xavier “X” Red (That Thing You Do!‘s Johnathon Schaech) one night while driving home from the club. By the way, notice anything about their last names?

Things quickly take a turn for the dangerous, however, when X accidentally kills a convenience store clerk, and the trio begin a life on the lam, hopping from one destination to the next on a surreal journey where they continually encounter figures from Amy’s past and everything they buy winds up costing $6.66. Hm, could it be a sign?

But their nightmare descent only becomes more complicated when Amy, against her better judgment, winds up sleeping with X. Jordan is understandably upset when he finds out, but that rage soon evolves into a different feeling entirely, as he and X acknowledge a carnal mutual attraction.

See! That doesn’t sound very heterosexual, now does it?

Three people stand next to each other in front of a white background. The man in the elft wears flannel, the woman in the middle has a black bob, and she's leaning on the man on the right, who is shirtless and wearing a cowboy hat.
Image Credit: Strand Releasing

On that note, in a conversation with Fire Island director Andrew Ahn last year for Indiewire, Araki explained why he opted to give the film that cheeky subtitle:

“Jim Stark, the producer, he’d say to me, ‘You make these gay movies that gay people hate. They’re too punk rock for gay people and they hate them.’ So he’s like, ‘If you make a straight movie, I’ll produce it and get you real money for it.’ And I said, ‘OK, sure,’ because fuck it. Why not? So that’s why Doom Generation has a subtitle, ‘A Heterosexual Movie.’ So I made this heterosexual movie, but in a very punk rock bratty way, made it so gay.”

And that, folks, is why we love Gregg Araki.

And that’s why we’re especially excited to learn that The Doom Generation is receiving a special 4K restoration and re-release courtesy of Strand Releasing, said to reflect “the director’s cut, intended by Araki.”

The filmmaker is slated to screen the film in New York April 6 at BAM as part of Newfest‘s “Queering The Canon” series, followed by further screenings in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more locations to come in the following weeks. Stay tuned to Strand Releasing’s website for more details.

In the meantime, you can check out the scintillating new trailer for the restoration below:

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