One of the most annoying things I can read as a cinephile and critic is “this is too political.” Another is “this film has a clear agenda.” To these people, these moviegoing equivalents of “shut the fuck up and play the hits,” I quote Skunk Anansie and say, “yes, it’s fucking political.” It is through media, specifically through horror, that those of us who are the “other” can thrive. We root against the jock, we rally against the bitch, and we want to see the creep get his comeuppance.
The last of those wishes comes true in Labrys, a short film from BJ Colangelo, also the co-director of the wrestling horror flick Powerbomb. In this, we follow two women, Jill and Leenie, on their Tinder date at a dive bar that turns sour quickly, through no fault of their own. What transpires in these seven or so minutes is to the point, no coding or dancing around the obvious. While I won’t give everything away, the assertion that Leenie needs to “come to terms with what she is,” a phrase that is often coded to Hell and back, takes a whole new meaning here, and for the better.
There will surely be some folks who watch this short and think “this could never happen,” and save for Leenie’s true secret, those folks couldn’t be more wrong if they tried. What Jill and Leenie experience with Asshole Guy (literally the dude’s name in the credits, because fuck bringing his government name into this) is something that happens to not just queer women, but women, full stop. Does this take that to a fantastical extreme? Maybe, but horror is built on revenge tales, so if we’re going to ding Colangelo for this, I have some terrible news about your favorite horror movie.
The director has made the film publicly available via Vimeo, and coming in at just over seven minutes, it’s by no means a chore to watch. Take it in, enjoy something that is feminist and queer out loud, because in these tumultuous times, we need someone to root for.