By Jenn Coulter
You may have heard that Kristen Stewart is slated to star in a holiday-themed lesbian rom-com in 2019. Yahoo! Good gay content to be had for all! KStew is a verified gay goddess, so a rom-com starring her will answer the fevered prayers of gay gals everywhere. Truth be told, a lot of our women-loving women’s movie prayers have been answered in the past few years – 2016 gave us the Oscar-nominated Carol, which delivered plenty of steamy romance, and a bunch of Cate Blanchett-in-a-big-fur-coat goodness.
…come to think of it, that was technically a Christmas movie, too…I’m sure Jesus is thankful that he’s finally getting lesbian movies for his birthday.
Now, those movies are definitely exciting, but what if you want your wlw media to be a little more…shroom trippy? Maybe rom-coms and dramas just aren’t your thing…you want something a little more David Lynchian. Maybe you only want to see lady loving in a movie that also features claymation murder sequences, aliens, girls turning into bears, or a fuckton of cocaine?
Well, don’t you worry. We’ve got you covered. We’re connoisseurs of Weird Shit, Gay Shit, and especially Weird Gay Shit. It can be hard to find good things to watch that are of the wlw variety, especially since googling “weird lesbian movies” is only going to give you awkward redirects to PornHub. Let us take you on a journey…
6) Mulholland Drive
This is, perhaps, the most obvious place to start your freaky sapphic film viewing journey. Directed by David Lynch, this mystery/thriller/lesbian romance is about…well, it’s hard to explain. Naomi Watts plays aspiring actress, Betty (or does she???), while Laura Harring plays amnesiac, Rita (or does she???!!). Betty is nice and accommodating to a fault, so she tries to help Rita regain her memory. Meanwhile, director Adam (Justin Theroux) is making a movie that Betty auditions for, but he can’t cast her because some dude called The Cowboy says he has to cast someone else. Betty and Rita go back to trying to discover the truth about Rita’s identity, but instead they end up meeting people who tell them everything is an illusion, and then they have steamy sex, and also there’s a weird blue box, and people keep saying “silencio” and…it’s a whole thing.
Look, all you need to know is that there’s love between the two female leads, and that it’s the dreamy, surreal, lady loving movie that you know you’ve been craving.
Oh, and the movie’s kiiiiinda a big deal and a must-watch for any movie lover – Mulholland Drive was named the greatest film of the 21st century by BBC Culture in 2016.
5) The Handmaiden
While maybe not as trippy as some of the other things on this list, Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden is most certainly a wild ride. This erotic thriller takes place in Korea during Japanese occupation. A con-man hires a Korean woman, Sook-hee, to help him con a Japanese heiress, Lady Hideko. Sook-hee agrees to pretend to be Lady Hideko’s new maid, but she quickly finds out there’s a lot more going on in this mansion than expected.
See, Hideko lives with her bat-shit abusive uncle, who’s a creepy old geezer who forces Hideko to perform erotic readings and bondage performances to groups of men so that he can sell his collection of kinky porn. Oh, and he has a giant octopus in his basement…for sexy, The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife reasons. Sook-hee finds herself quickly empathizing with Lady Hideko, and then falls in love with her, which throws a huge wrench in the whole con plan. As the two grow closer, they need to figure out a way to be together without inciting the wrath of the con-man or Hideko’s uncle.
Despite what the old man sex dungeon thing might make you believe, this movie has one of the best romances ever. The odds against the two women are seemingly insurmountable, but they press on anyways. It’s FULL of twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat. And, perhaps most importantly to this list, it’s full of EXTREMELY explicit sex scenes between the two women. It is a seriously saucy movie. It’s almost three hours long, but you won’t even care – there’s never a dull moment. The ending of the movie is the best ending to any romance, ever. Please, please, please, watch The Handmaiden.
4) Liquid Sky
Aliens. Bisexuals. Cocaine. The 80s. What an amazing combination of nouns. These are the things you’ll find in Slava Tsukerman’s Liquid Sky, a low-budget indie film about a UFO that lands on the penthouse roof of lovers Adrian and Margaret. Slowly, they learn that some of the people they’ve been having casual sex with are mysteriously disappearing. But in the meantime, they have to go to fashion shoots and do a bunch of coke.
It’s a bisexual fever dream, honestly, made all the better by the fact that the androgynous leads, Margaret and Jimmy, are actually played by the same actress, Anne Carlisle. Oh, and it also features some really great lines like, “I’m sorry, but duty is more important than shrimps.”
Recommended for anyone who really enjoyed Party Monster, but wished there were some more female leads in it. Also, recommended for anyone who’s really into New Wave club looks – this movie’s got some excellent fashion.
3) Revolutionary Girl Utena
HERE IT IS. THE CLASSIC SURREALIST LESBIAN ANIME. Have you watched Kunihiko Ikuhara’s yuri anime Revolutionary Girl Utena yet? Because you gotta. It has drama. It has incest. It has girls turning into cars. It even has girls turning into COWS! Do I even have to tell you the actual plot?!
Okay, yeah, I guess I do. Utena is about Utena, the most popular girl in school who always wears the boys’ uniforms. All the girls have a crush on her and her effortless coolness. One day, she happens to see Anthy getting slapped around by a pretty green-haired boy, and immediately steps in to defend her. Little does she know, she’s just become part of a crazy school-wide cult/conspiracy/concubine thing, and now she must defend Anthy by defeating the members of the student council in sword fights. And she falls in love with Anthy and makes her her Rose Bride along the way, too.
…and that barely even scratches the surface of the story! Please, watch this beautiful, hugely influential anime.
2) Heavenly Creatures
Did you know that before Peter Jackson did all those Lord of the Rings movies, he was making lesbian murder children movies? Well, believe it! Heavenly Creatures stars Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet as two girls who become friends…and then more than friends…and then DANGEROUSLY more than friends. They become obsessed with each other, and create their own little world where they worship celebrities, classical musicians, and even make elaborate erotic fantasy stories together. Typical cringey teenager stuff. Oh, and also, they kill Melanie Lynskey’s mom because they think she’s trying to destroy their love.
The movie is based on the real life 1954 murder of Honorah Parker. Allegedly, the girls weren’t actually having any sort of erotic relationship with each other, but Peter Jackson knew better than to go for the “gals being pals” approach.
Is Heavenly Creatures positive queer kid representation? PROBABLY NOT! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bask in the glory that is this strangely captivating movie. I mean, it has a claymation fantasy orgy! How can you go wrong?!
1) Yuri Kuma Arashi
This series’ name literally translates to Lesbian Bear Storm. Yes, you read that right. Lesbian. Bear. Storm. Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara (yup, the same guy who did #3!), this yuri anime is about Kureha, a girl who’s determined to exact revenge on all bears after one killed her mother and another one ate her girlfriend. But then, plot-twist! She ends up befriending (and eventually falling in love with) a bear girl. Did I mention that bears are sentient and can also take the form of cute girls?
Not only is the main character out here falling in love with human girls and bear girls alike, ALMOST EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER in the show is a lesbian. Kureha’s mom is a lesbian. The bears are all lesbians. Her teacher is a lesbian. I’m not sure how the population of their world is reproducing, to be honest, but I don’t care! It’s amazing! The only male characters in the whole show are the judges who hold “yuri trials” for characters to prove their lesbian-ness in court. Their names are Life Cool, Life Beauty, and Life Sexy. One of them yells “shabadadoo” a lot.
It’s a really good series, you guys.
Does my description of the show make sense? Probably not. I’ve watched it twice and I still don’t know how to describe it. Listen, just peep the TVTropes page and you’ll see that this shit is WILD!!! If you’re looking for some weird ass content that also contains an allegorical story about how non-heterosexual women have been oppressed and ostracized by Japanese society, please, look no further than YuriKuma Arashi. Why WOULDN’T you want to watch something like that, right?
Hopefully, 2019 will bring us more acid-trip lesbians along with those Christmas rom-com ones! Maybe Kristen Stewart will do a romance as a lesbian alien celebrating Easter next or something? Or maybe bisexual goddess Megan Fox will finally be cast in something again, and she can play a cyborg woman who falls in love with a succubus?
Brb, I gotta go pitch some movies to some studios…
You can find Jenn hanging out on Twitter.