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Blast from the Past: Top Gun Viewed Now by Experienced Eyes

December 2, 2010

O-M-G, the other day I caught the tail end of the film Top Gun. Now, like all the other twits in the late 80s I did, most likely, pay to see this movie at the theater or perhaps suffered through an insufferable date with a male in order to see it. I don’t remember specifically. I do remember suffering through a date and going to Hot Shots, a parody of Top Gun. Nothing like sitting through a movie with characters named Pete “Dead Meat” Thompson and Jim “Wash-Out” Pfaffenbach with a creep that you suddenly realize after examining his public mannerism that you loathe.

Anyway, in the Top Gun 1986 viewing, I remember sulky Maverick (Tom Cruise) on his little motorcycle riding around angry and all maverick-ly like, and I remember how he uses the same weak ass song in bars to attract women (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin”), and I remember how shockingly overly sexualized Kelly McGillis’s character, Charlie is, and, the dues ex machina technique employed that makes her his instructor.

What I don’t remember about Top Gun is all the male homoeroticism. At the time, those homosexual innuendos went right over my “men love me for me” pretty little head. The other day I picked up watching at the point where there is a bunch of men gathered around a swimming pool and Maverick is MIA as “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) (Is the name Kazansky some type of Cold War bullshit implication to invoke a good vs. evil stand off?) is receiving a Top Dick award. I assume Maverick did not get the award because he psyches out after his partner Goose’s death. Heterosexual men can go back to work after their wives and/or children are murdered or died unexpectedly without missing a beat, but let their male work-partner die and it is all choked up city. He rallies his courage though and shows up and congratulates the Iceman.

There are quite a few shower scenes. Heterosexual women are tricked into believing those shower scenes are gratuitous gifts for their viewing pleasure, hence, all the falsely directed publicity photos (see below) of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. That’s the hook in order to get money from heterosexual women.

When instead, the above advertising shot is just a subversive device to hide what is really going on. The below photo is a more accurate representation.

What is really going on is, a socially acceptable framing for heterosexual men that affords them an outlet that provides homoerotic fulfillment while maintaining hetero-patriarchal status without impunity. Not that I am implying he should be punished for desiring homosexuality. However, he should be honest with himself and live as a homosexual and leave women alone instead of participating in a collective charade that perpetuates misogyny.

The homoeroticism is thick too. First, Maverick humbles himself and congratulates Kazansky for getting the Top Dick award. All the males around them see what a heartwarming male bonding moment it is and wish for similar orgasmic times. Yet, we are not done with the hook. All bases must be covered. Maverick is the hero of the movie and there is no way the hero can be humbled (dick de-rected) without his dick being re-rected. What better way to do this than have the Top Dick acknowledge that the second dick is greater or equal to himself, thus, the final fight scene.

Following the hero’s dick de-erecting scene, “Iceman, Hollywood, and Maverick are ordered to immediately report to Enterprise to deal with a ‘crisis situation’, providing air support for the rescue of a stricken communications ship that has drifted into hostile waters.”

What happens? Maverick saves the Iceman’s ass. Awwww. After the downing of a few billion dollar jets and fishing the “good guys” out of the ocean, (the film purposely shows that the good guys are able to eject prior to their jets exploding, whereas the bad guys are not so fortunate) everyone is back on the deck of the Enterprise, sort of like George Bush on whatever ship he was on, and Mission Accomplished is celebrated. Iceman tells Maverick that he is now fully erected. Incidentally, the original point of the mission before the bad guys in the Migs show up is to rescue the stricken communications ship. Does that even happen? While the pilots and the Enterprise crew are all on deck patting each other on the ass, where the hell is that stricken ship?

Of course now that Maverick’s dick is fully erected he chooses his next assignment to be back with Charlie. What a woman’s man. I mean a man’s-man woman’s man. Heterosexual women are so lucky.

  1. Linda Radfem permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:05 pm

    I love this post Kitty! I also paid to see that shite in the 80s but I actually paid for a double dick feature with Costner’s “The Untouchables” being the other gratuitous celebration of male violence. I recall being confused too, because I had been told it was a women’s eye candy film – the volley ball scene is still prob remembered by het women as something designed for them- but earlier in the film there is a brief shot of Iceman giving Cruise’ character a seductive glance. I remember thinking eh what?

  2. December 2, 2010 11:26 pm

    My favorite terrible-movie-with-homo-erotic-overtones of all time is Lost Boys, about all the teenage vampires (not the girl-loving, romantic kind of modern days, alas!) in Santa Cruz, California (was called something else in the movie of course but that’s where it was). Keifer Sutherland says the non-vampire dude’s name so many times (“Michael” – can’t remember the actor’s name) that it’s like he read it as a get-people-to-want-to-sleep-with-you-technique in a book – people love to hear their own names!

    The best gay scene of the whole movie is these supposedly killer, manly, “handsome” young vampire guys SKIPPING around a fire while chanting Michael’s name as gay music plays. Actual gayness does not give me the giggles, but hetero-male-supremacy-enforcing movies that unintentionally are over the top with gayness, they get me every time. They were SKIPPING I tell you!

    Thank you for the trip down memory lane, Kitty. I have never watched the whole movie, Top Gun, because when it would show on TV and I would try to give it a go to see what all the fuss was about, I would become agitated-ly bored and have to change the channel.

    • December 3, 2010 5:00 pm

      You know Joan, I’ve never seen Lost Boys and never had any interest. I think it must be the vampire/vampire-ish theme. I can’t stand stupid vampires. When J.K. Rowling first introduced vampires in Harry Potter I remember thinking the sooner someone kills off those vampires the better. I looked up the Lost Boys (1987), Michael is played by Jason Patric. One interesting thing I did not know is it supposedly takes place in California. Judging by the previews at the time, I didn’t suspect California as the location at all. Then again in 1987 I haven’t been to California yet.

    • December 8, 2010 3:58 pm

      Cryyy little sissssterrr. That Sisters of Mercy song is the clearest thing I remember about that movie.

  3. December 8, 2010 3:49 pm

    I’d never seen Top Gun, but thankfully now I know to avoid it at all costs. It’s like that new movie with the “Action Movie Men” The Expendables which is rather homoerotic, well, the parts I saw that I wasn’t snoring through any way.

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