Bruce LaBruce’s “Saint-Narcisse” Asks “Is Mom a Witch or a Lesbian?” “Is Twincest Kosher?” and “Why Does That Monk Have an Arrow Fetish?”

Brandon Judell
5 min readSep 23, 2021

Warning! Humans should tread carefully into the oft inflammatory cinema of Bruce LaBruce.

To quote myself: “Mr. LaBruce, for the uninitiated, is a man . . . and a highly subversive one at that with a cult following. Yes, for over two decades, this queer underground filmmaker has shocked and entertained with his tongue-in-cheek-and-elsewhere oeuvre.”

His Hustler White (1996) “stars an ex-beau of Madonna’s in an ode to L.A. male prostitution that includes a white, very blond boytoy being consensually gangbanged by a very long line of African American hunks. Think of Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon. Gerontophilia (2013) focuses on a young gent discovering he has the hots for the male geriatric clientele of a nursing home. Then Otto; or, Up with Dead People (2008) chronicles with a gory finesse the plight of a carnivorous, neo-Goth gay zombie.”

And please don’t forget The Misandrists (2018), an unrestrained tale about a cloistered group of man-haters that includes such telling lines as: “We must tell the world to wake up and smell the estrogen” and “Remember, girls, the closest way to a man’s heart is through his chest.” Dust off that hacksaw.

While I am at it — and while you’re not here to restrain me — LaBruce, who received a career retrospective at no less than Museum of Modern Art in 2015, penned the following exchange between two besotted radicals for his ode to anarchism, The Raspberry Reich (2004):

“Heterosexuality is the opiate of the masses.”

“I thought opiates were the opiate of the masses.”

So much for Marxism.

Politics, however, are pretty much pushed aside in LaBruce’s latest act of celluloid subversion, Saint-Narcisse (SN). Here, instead, the nuclear family, societal narcissism, and religious leaders are pummeled into a tasty brew of nervy…

Brandon Judell

For half a century, Brandon Judell has covered the LGBTQI scene and the arts. He currently lectures at The City College of New York.