top of page

Provincetown Sadness: A Spoiler-Free ‘Saint Drogo’ Review

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Robed figure of Saint Drogo stalks the Province Town Beach

The beautiful minds at Monster Makeup Productions, responsible for your favorite Giallo drag queen slasher, Death Drop Gorgeous, debut their sophomore feature with another queer take on the horror genre. Co-written by Michael J. Ahern and Brandon Perras and directed by the pair along with Ryan Miller, Saint Drogo is a surrealist fable that pulls no punches regarding its criticisms of homogenized queer culture. It’s the logical next step in their burgeoning oeuvre, showcasing a signature blend of quiet rage and grotesque practical effects that would make any gorehound flinch. The boys are back in P-Town, and this time it feels personal.

Ahern and Perras take the lead as Adrian and Caleb, a couple whose strained relationship battles the everyday expectations society throws at us as we mature. As if by fate, Caleb receives a mysterious photo from his recently estranged ex, who has taken up year-round residence in Provincetown, Massachusetts, after a seemingly iconic summer by the sea. Since the couple desperately needs a getaway to reframe and reignite their relationship – and primarily due to Caleb’s curiosity about said ex – the two venture off to spend a weekend in the famous gay hotspot during its infamously dour off-season. What follows is a melancholic descent into paranoia and group sex as we discover what happens when the boys are away, and the locals are left to play.

Whereas Death Drop Gorgeous was a campy and slashery take on Showgirls that centered around the drag scene, Saint Drogo is a sultry mix of Eyes Wide Shut and 2018’s Suspiria. It takes DDG’s introspection on the darker side of queer culture and maximizes the scope, holding a mirror to ourselves and questioning if our journey into the mainstream has neutered the creative and artistic expression we hold dearly. Throughout the 1900s, Provincetown became a haven for the arts and its LGBTQ+ patrons. Today, the focus has shifted, and a white-robed figure meant to symbolize the real-life Saint Drogo – patron saint of shepherds and (iced) coffee – leads P-Town’s flock astray from its creative roots. These compelling themes are where the film shines, and its grounded characters add a well of depth.

Saint Drogo man collapsed on beach

Ahern, especially, embodies the internal struggle of being caught between the tides of queer culture with a deep sadness and returning MVP Payton St. James knocks it out of the park in a supporting role that unravels into the film’s deeper meanings. The plot, however, doesn’t go to as many unexpected places, and while a more intricate journey may have pushed Saint Drogo to further heights, the glow-up is real for Monster Makeup Productions. DDG’s Giallo hues trade themselves in for sweeping drone shots of Provincetown’s coastline, and the film’s striking imagery will leave you caught in its fever dream.

And it wouldn’t be a Monster Makeup feature without buckets of nausea-inducing gore. The practical effects on display are next-level, maintaining realism while simultaneously becoming more and more outrageous. One gory edit, in particular, comes off without a hitch, and another monstrous feat of prosthetics gives Universal Studios a run for its money. Without getting into spoilers, all this gore elevates Saint Drogo beyond the initial gross-out factor we seek from horror. They manage to evoke actual emotion from the ooey-gooey when it counts the most, and if this is what Monster Makeup is to be known for, they are surely only just getting started.

A poignant, if not heavy-handed, epilogue closes out the film and further highlights the dilution of a group rich in individualism and agency. While queer culture operates by its own set of standards and practices outside of heteronormative society, there are specific rules and assumptions it just as strictly follows. Unconditional love has a few conditions, it seems. So while Saint Drogo may not astound you with its plot, its gutting evaluation of modern queer culture will undoubtedly shock you with its boldness. When you’re a tourist in your own community, it’s lonely on the outside looking in, but so rewarding if you find the right people to do it with. It appears that the ghouls at Monster Makeup Productions have.

1 view0 comments


bottom of page