Queer Sh*t to Watch Right Now

"Riot Girls," "AHS: 1984," and John Waters’ "Polyester" still smells fresh.

NewNowNext spotlights the latest (and queerest) movies, TV shows, web series, and other LGBTQ shit for your viewing pleasure in our weekly watch list. Grab your popcorn, squirrel friends!

In Theaters

Riot Girls

In a postapocalyptic world where adults all died from a virus, the town of Potters Bluff is populated by two rival teenage factions: the Riverdale-ish Westside Titans, led by diabolical jock Jeremy (Munro Chambers), and the punky, scavenging Eastsiders, including fierce lesbian couple Nat (Madison Iseman) and Scratch (Paloma Kwiatkowski). If that sounds like a perfect cuddle-night-indoors flick, you can also watch it on VOD. (Now Playing, Cranked Up)


Crystal City

Director Terrence Crawford delves into the destructive, enduring trend of crystal meth addiction within the gay community and its relationship with HIV/AIDS (which Jay Corcoran previously explored in 2006’s sexually explicit, disturbing Rock Bottom ) via interviews with former and current addicts. The 20-something Crawford admits he was also addicted to meth while attending NYU film school and inspired to make this film so that he might finally share what he went through. (Available now on DVD, Gravitas Ventures)

Mr. Leather

Until we see a leather equivalent of RuPaul’s Drag Race (Daddy’s Drag Race?), this documentary about the Brazilian Mr. Leather competition should satisfy. May the best master—or pup—win! (Available now on DVD, Dekkoo)

The Third Wife

A coming-out period piece involving polygamy and underage brides always makes for a fun Friday night, and that’s what we have in this gorgeous, sensual 19th-century Vietnam-set drama about a 14-year-old named May (Nguyen Phuong Tra My) who becomes third wife to a crazy rich polygamist, Hung (Long Le Vu), and discovers her sexual self with help from his second wife, Xuan (Mai Thu Huong Maya). There’s a lot to unpack here culturally, including the higher status wives receive if they bear male children—plus truly sumptuous filmmaking. (Available now on DVD, Film Movement)


Director Abel Ferrara’s biopic about the final 24 hours of the life of provocative queer Italian filmmaker and author Pier Paolo Pasolini—who, spoiler alert, was allegedly murdered by a teenage hustler—stars Willem Dafoe, who previously played queer in The Boondock Saints and grabbed Greg Kinnear’s ass in Auto Focus. Practice makes perfect! (Available September 17 on DVD, Kino Lorber)


Director John Waters took his first plunge into the Hollywood “mainstream” with this 1981 OTT Sirkian-lik melodrama about a scent-obsessed Baltimore housewife, Francine Fishpaw (the late, great drag queen Divine), whose life is a shambles until she finds new romance with the hunky Tom Tomorrow (Tab Hunter). As with its theatrical release, Criterion’s slick, extras-packed 4K restoration is accompanied by an “Odorama” scratch-and-sniff card, so viewers can smell what Francine does-and it ain’t always pretty. (Available September 17 on Blu-ray, Criterion Collection)

Tattoo of Revenge

Best known for poetic, artful gay male dramas (I Am Happiness on Earth; Raging Sun, Raging Sky), queer Mexican director Julián Hernández tries his hand at a 1990s-set female empowerment thriller—yes, there’s a little shameless Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-ing going on here—about a woman (Diana Lien) who avenges rape victims by seducing and inking the rapists. (Available September 17 on DVD, Breaking Glass Pictures)

TV and Streaming

This Close

Gay deaf creator, writer, and star Josh Feldman and deaf co-creator, writer, and star Shoshannah Stern play best friends Michael and Kate in this GLAAD Media Award–nominated SundanceTV dramedy. In the eight-episode second season, we dip into the BFFs’ pasts and the unique challenges deafness presents, while Michael’s relationship with Ryan (Colt Prattes) takes a more serious turn. AMCPremiere subscribers can also binge the first season and catch new episodes. (Airing now on SundanceTV)

American Horror Story: 1984

A riff on 1980s summer camp slasher flicks, the ninth season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series looks to be queer as ever, and a whole lot bloodier. There’s some lesbian action in the trailer’s first moments, while the cast includes Gus Kenworthy, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, and Pose’s Angelica Ross. While Sarah Paulson reportedly won’t co-star, don’t be surprised if she and other members of the AHS troupe make cameos in retro lerks to die for (see what we did there?). (Premieres September 18 on FX)

Photo: Madison Iseman, Paloma Kwiatkowski, and Ajay Friese in Riot Girls.

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