Out of the Celluloid Closet

Muscle gays face the end of the world in this bombastic 80s thriller

Recently I had the good fortune to be recommended a film I’d never otherwise have watched in a million years. This is one of the benefits of being on FilmTok: old classics get rediscovered, films that didn’t make a huge splash on first release can experience a renaissance, and best of all, you can find likeminded weirdos who love watching the kind of twisted cinema that never had a chance in theaters.

So when someone on FilmTok recommended the 1988 B-thriller Miracle Mile this week, I made a beeline. The film was described as one of the most disturbing things the recommender had ever seen—not because of any gore or jump scares, but because of its premise. I mean—if I told you that this movie starts and ends with the La Brea Tar Pits, would you be disturbed? You should be.

The first thing to know about Miracle Mile—other than that it takes place in a wonderfully neon, cartoonish version of the famous LA strip and costars character actress Mare Winningham—is that it’s an end-of-the-world movie.

And there are gays. That’s right: gays at the end of the world. Basically, if you’re a fan of Night of the Comet and The Doom Generation, Miracle Mile might just be your jam. Your terrifying, gay jam.

What’s it about besides the end of the world? Well, it’s a love story. When full-time white jazz trombone player (yup) Harry meets waitress Julie (at the La Brea Tar Pits), sparks fly. They make a date to meet at midnight, when Julie gets off her shift. But when Harry sleeps through his alarm and shows up at the all-night diner 3 hours late, he hears a conversation he shouldn’t have. When the payphone outside the diner starts ringing, Harry picks up only to be told that America has finally decided to use those nuclear codes, leading to a complete Chernobyl effect for everyone on the planet.

At first Harry doesn’t believe what he’s hearing—who would?—but after he tells people in the diner, this one lady (who you know is important because she’s paying attention to stocks and has a gigantic cellphone) tells him that he’s probably right. So they formulate a plan to get the hell out of there—business lady says she can get a helicopter to chopper them out to the airport before all hell breaks loose, and from there they’ll go to Antarctica, the one place on the planet where nuclear winter somehow won’t be an issue because it’s real winter out there.

There’s just one problem: Harry won’t leave Julie behind. So he stays behind trying to find her, shenanigans occur, and they miss the first chopper because when they get to the loading zone, the pilot is MIA.

This leads us to the gay scene. At some point, Harry and Julie just start running around town asking anybody and everybody if they can fly a plane. And they find a guy: rather, Harry finds a guy. He busts into a very 80s looking gym…

Interrupts a jazzercise class…

Disturbs some dude who’s just lifting weights…

And then finds out friend the muscle gay, who magically can fly a helicopter. He says he might be a little rusty, but he can do it.

The funny thing about Miracle Mile is that whenever Harry tells someone that nuclear winter is coming, they 100% believe him. Like with zero hesitation. It’s probably for logistical reasons—gotta keep that B movie at a tight 87 minutes—but it makes for a few very silly scenes. Oh the world is ending you say? Okay cool let me just start running into the street and yelling! To be fair, that would probably be my response, too.

Basically, our pilot is down for the cause, but he says to Harry “wait, I need to get someone.” He returns holding the hand of his very cute boyfriend. He says they’re a unit and they’re going together. “Got a problem with that?”

No, Harry doesn’t have a problem! We love a woke queen! Everyone heads to the helicopter and our muscle gays take the wheel. But sadly, it’s too late for heroes. I won’t tell you what happens at the end, but it’s not pretty. This movie has made it to the disturbing TikTok recs pile with good reason.

Essentially, it’s a wild ride and not the best pick for anyone who lays awake at night worrying about a Chernobyl-level event befalling the US. But do I recommend it anyway? Of course. There are muscle gays in it! What more do you want!

Basically there’s a very important, if hidden, message at the end of Miracle Mile: when the world ends, we’re taking our cute, spandex-clad boyfriends with us. Period!

Don't forget to share:

Tags: TikTok
Read More in Entertainment
The Latest on INTO