Hemo2Homo: Sweeney Todd
The Hemo2Homo Connection's creators met online in 1996, and posted their first movie review in 1998. Both have been living with HIV for over twenty years, and have annoyed their friends and loved ones for longer than that. Steve Schalchlin resides in Los Angeles, CA. He is an award-winning musician, singer and songwriter. Shawn Decker lives in Charlottesville, VA. He is the author of My Pet Virus.
Homo: Hey, Hemo.
Hemo: Hey, Homo. You still alive?
Homo: Wait. Let me check my pulse. Ah, something's throbbing. Yes, I'm alive! You're that same thinblood-hemophiliac guy, right?
Hemo: Yup, same thinblood. It's been 10 years since our first review, can you believe that?
Homo: And they said we'd never make it.
Hemo: Life expectancies of people with HIV/AIDS have gone way up since then.
Homo: And that's a good thing, right?
Hemo: Yes! But expectancies for honest movie-reviews have gone up as well. So the pressure is on. Why don't you pick the first review back?
Homo: I love it when I get to be the top.
Hemo: Is that a hole in the bottom of your tub of popcorn, or are you just happy to see me? Either way, I am excited to hear what you have on tap, what, with all the late-breaking technological advances in movie-making.
Homo: I thought our new return to form should start with... a nice, refreshing musical!
Hemo: Oh, dear God.
Homo: After all, being gay and all, homos like me are supposed to love musicals. And why not start with the bloodiest one of all: Sweeney Todd.
Hemo: A musical... with blood? Tell me more.
Homo: Well, see, it's about this barber in London who slits peoples' throats out of revenge for some judge stealing his wife and sending him away to Australia or something. (Back then, the worst thing they could do to you was to send you to Australia). After he gets back to London, he meets up with this chick who owns a pie shop, so they create this trap in the floor over the pie shop that sends the bodies down into an oven where they bake the bodies into pies.
Homo: I should let you know in advance that I'm a bit predisposed to wanting to love this one because it was the first Broadway musical I ever saw. Right in the front loge, looking at the original cast of Len Cariou, who I didn't know anything about.
And Angela Lansbury, who I did.
Hemo: Wait... you did Angela Lansbury?
Homo: No, thinblood. Try to stay with me here, I'm setting a mood.... where was I...
The opening sound of the stage musical was an authentic steam whistle that they got right off a ship. It sent chills up and down my spine and forever turned me into a show queen -- as long as the show was about serial killers and whores.
But, God, forgive me, I have a confession to make: I still can't sit all the way through Oklahoma.
Hemo: I hear ya, thickblood. I rented Rent, and had to stop watching after 6 minutes. I got halfway through the guy on the motorcycle, singing as he whizzed down the street. If you're on a motorcycle in a movie, you best be firing away at someone with a gun, or shoulder-mounted rocket launcher. Or chucking a grenade at robots.
Homo: Actually, you lasted longer than I did. But Rent- like almost all movie musicals- sucked.
(INSPIRED BY HOMO'S WORDS AND THE PROMISE OF BLOODSHED, HEMO MAKES THE THE SPELL-BINDING JOURNEY TO THE THEATRE.)
Hemo: You weren't lying, this movie is a hemophiliac's wet dream!
Homo: What did I tell ya? The blood really flows in this one! A Horror movie where everyone sings and many throats are slit.
Hemo: Yeah, and if our little movie review doesn't bring together the hemophilia and gay communities, than Sweeney Todd most certainly will.
Homo: Amen to that. And you gotta love that scene in the bakery with the disgusting, cockroach pies.
Hemo: Reminds you of hospital cafeteria food, doesn't it?
Homo: Oh, god. Hospital food with a side course of broad spectrum antibiotics... Good eatin'! Anyway, in that scene, I thought of you and wondered if you'd eat that gunk if there was cheese- your lifeforce- on top.
Hemo: You know what I did eat in that theatre? A black licorice Jujy Fruit!
Homo: So your teeth could look English?
Hemo: The movie- like my mouth- was so damn dark: my method of holding the candy up to the screen to determine its flavor proved to be as futile as resisting the allure of a close shave from Mr. Sweeney, who sang, "I want you, Bleeders!"
Homo: No. No. He said, "I want you, BREEDERS!" Clearly, he was a modern man who realized that Homo Superior kicks ass.
Hemo: I googled it: it is "BLEEDERS"! He sang the line in desperation, because it's really hard to get a hemophiliac to sit down for a straight-razor shave.
Homo: You hemos are such pussies. But you are learning, young one. Forget about shaving: I've always wondered about airport shoe-shiners. Do they use a rigged-up chair like Sweeney Todd, to help back up the U.S.'s policy that foreign positoids can't enter the country?
Hemo: That's some last line of defense. If one of us gets through, we are berated into getting that shoe shine. From the Jamba Juice to the Cinnabon, scantily-clad federal agents flirt, saying things like. "I just love Fins! But your shoes..."
Homo: Are you sure you're not gay? We should install one those chairs in the Oval Office, to dump useless humans into the White House's basement oven. It gets triggered whenever the Prez signs legislation that says "HIV POZ PEOPLE CANNOT ENTER THE USA!" Just as he dots his "i"... **SCHLUMP**
Hemo: I like that. Let's rally the AIDS community and have that chair waiting in January 2009 for the next president. And no more long hiatuses for us, Homo.
Homo: Indeed, thinblood.
Hemo: As for Sweeney Todd, I give it my highest rating: an Undetectable Viral Load. It really got my juices flowing! What about you, Homo?
Homo: Let's see: blood, revenge, disgusting meat pies, Sondheim music, and great art design? Sweeney Todd deserves two bloody stumps up. Well done!
Hemo: So I guess I'll see you next time at the movies...
Homo: And the pie shop!
Hemo: Or at the hospital?
Homo: ...just not at the shoeshiners.
Hemo: Definitely not.
ON THE NEXT Hemo2Homo Connection Review: THERE WILL BE BLOOD... stay tuned!!!