The Living End (1992)

Thirty years ago today, the American comedy-drama film The Living End premiered. One of the earliest entries into the new film genre called New Queer Cinema, it was described by some critics as the “gay Thelma and Louise”. Other critics that are better at their jobs at least compared it to Warhol and Godard in how their films are also ‘mostly annoying’, while some praised it with “a vicious punch in the guts that leaves you uncomfortably winded and unforgettably moved”. The industrial/post-punk music conveys the characters emotions (and honestly, mine the first time I saw it in the theater). You should watch this movie and remember, it was not commonplace to have these characters portrayed at the time. AIDS was still widely seen as the consequence of an ungodly ‘lifestyle choice’ and actual victims were treated unsympathetically and similar movie characters were nearly nonexistent. I still have the motto of “Fuck Everything” running through my brain from time to time. I hope I always will.

Title: The Living End
Directed by: Gregg Araki
Written by: Gregg Araki
Produced by: Jon Gerrans, Marcus Hu, and Jim Stark
Mike Dytri as Luke
Craig Gilmore as Jon
Mark Finch as Doctor
Mary Woronov as Daisy
Johanna Went as Fern
Darcy Marta as Darcy
Scot Goetz as Peter
Bretton Vail as Ken
Nicole Dillenberg as Barbie
Cinematography: Gregg Araki
Edited by: Gregg Araki
Music by: Cole Coonce and Sascha Konietzko
Production Companies: October Films and Strand Releasing
Distributed by: Cineplex Odeon Films
Release date: August 21, 1992
Running time: 84 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $22,769
Box office: $692,585


Luke is a restless and reckless drifter and Jon is a relatively timid and pessimistic film critic. Both are gay and HIV positive. After an unconventional meeting, and after Luke kills a homophobic police officer, they go on a road trip with the motto “Fuck everything.”

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