All kidding aside, there has never been a movie like the 1986 Tom Cruise flick Top Gun. In fact, its unparalleled popularity is why the film has recently been re-released in an IMAX 3-D Experience, and a limited edition 3-D Blu-ray is available Feb. 19.
Top Gun has an attractive cast of A-List actors playing a cocky, competitive bunch of pilots shredding the skies. Its soundtrack is still famous and so is its homoerotic interpretation, where a "boys only" gang of pilots tries to divert Cruise's affections from a comely lass.
In honor of Top Gun's gay glory, we decided to dig up a handful of other military movies that set off our gaydar — not that it was too difficult.
After all, long before the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" we gays were entertaining fantasies of servicing servicemen and enduring long, hot, killer boot camp classes at the gym. Who else but the gays could take an army uniform and create a couture fashion show?
Yes ma'am, gays and the military go together like Green Berets and grenades.
So here are 10 films that make the military seem even more fabulously gay than it already is.
According to the The Advocate, entire dissertations have been written on why Platoon is a gay film. “Charlie Sheen is Army private who volunteers for combat during the height of Vietnam in part because he’s an idealist. He soldiers through bullying and atrocities and along the way is torn between two camps of men — one hyper masculinized, the other more modern, and thus, more feminized men. The latter camp, led by Willem Defoe as Sgt. Elias is full of smoking, dancing and half-naked men.” Whether the soldiers are passing marihuana smoke through the phallic barrel of a gun or sensually eating a banana, Platoon is rife with homo undertones and easily lends itself to a queer reading.
Yossi and Jagger
Okay, so this movie isn't homoerotic so much as full-on gay. But still the scenes of shirtless Israeli servicemen occasionally necking in the snow-covered mountains of Lebanon leaves us quite hot despite their icy surroundings.
Seriously, check out the scene of Yossi and Jagger playing and kissing in the snow and see if it doesn't warm your icy, jaded loins, err, we mean heart.
Sure, this sci-fi adventure is a campfest on par with a Dynasty catfight, but that’s not why it’s a futuristic military movie we love. Starship Troopers' shower scene and Casper Van Dien’s best assets (you can totally see his penis if you pause the film just right) have reached legendary status among gay geeks.
Plus Neil Patrick Harris stars as the brainiac BFF with mind-bending psychic powers — and who hasn’t wished for a night with a super-powered NPH? (Okay, so when we imagine it we’re the ones with the power to implant suggestions in his mind, but you know what we mean.)
Leave it to a movie named Commando (a term that refers to not wearing underwear) to have the most symbolically homoerotic fight scene of any war movie ever.
The entire movie is about a rogue mercenary who singlehandedly fights a shadowy military junta with the hopes of saving a small girl — awww!
In the final fight scene (which you can watch below) former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger goes hand-to-hand with the movie's villain, a bearish guy dressed like an '80s-era hair rocker. Schwarzenegger fights shirtless while the two men try to stab one another. At one point they dry hump one another for the top position.
But the death scene is really where the full-blown homo-imagery comes into force. That's when the aforementioned hair rocker ends up impaled on a big pipe that starts shooting out hot white steam as he gasps his last breaths. It's so campy that it makes sense why they call this film an action-comedy.
At a time when the military’s DADT policy was in full effect, out director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) took on another of Uncle Sam’s unpopular practices in Stop-Loss. The story of soldiers and their loved ones challenging the military’s stop-loss policy — one that allows the military to retain and redeploy servicemen after they’ve completed their tour of duty — would tug on anyone’s heartstrings. However, the film’s message carried even greater weight for anyone whose life was impacted by DADT.
On a brighter note, Stop-Loss is jam-packed with Hollywood hotness. Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Timothy Olyphant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Victor Rasuk are so hunky they even manage to make PTSD attractive.
Get down on your knees right now and thank Jean-Claude Van Damme for appearing in this schlocky sci-fi film that has more unintentional gayness than a Republican National Convention.
In the film, a mostly shirtless Van Damme fights a gang of men who wear furs, sleeveless clothes and fishnets — they call themselves "pirates." Uh-huh. Plunder that booty, y'all!
But as with Commando, the height of this film's homoeroticism comes in the final fight scene (below). We'll let Matt Cale from RuthlessReviews.com narrate the action:
"There might be gayer 80s Action films as a whole, but these ten minutes may never be topped. First of all, it’s raining and our warriors are shirtless. Second, they scream and groan with a force not heard in nature. The two sound like they’re in a Frisco bathhouse, not some post-apocalyptic wasteland. They punch, kick, stab, smack, and bludgeon over and over and over again; I’ve never witnessed such madness before. And when J.C. finally moves in for the kill, he plunges his knife deeply into the Pirate, clutching him tightly while remaining a soft and gentle lover. The villain even comes back to life for a few moments; just long enough for Van Damme to slam him — ASS FIRST — on a grappling hook."
You gotta love the early '90s.
The other films in this list straddle a line of homoeroticism that leaves us wondering whether their directors made them intentionally gay or inadvertently so. But that's not the case with Tigerland.
Tigerland focuses on the friendship between adorkable writer Jim Paxton (played by Matthew Davis) and the scrappy anti-war draftee Roland Bozz (played by Colin Farrell). The two men basically spend the film staving off a psychopathic bigot named Private Wilson, a guy who bullies the weak and resents Bozz for his uncanny ability to get people honorably discharged via loopholes.
Throughout the film, Bozz radiates a strong homo-vibe as his compassion for his fellow soldiers reveals an underlying tenderness and charisma that is both subversive and titillating.
Sadly the movie doesn't go much past hinting at his possible same-sex attraction, but it is nice to watch Farrell as he charms and muscles his way through the brood of desperate men into destruction's arms.
They don’t get any gayer than this. Top Gun — the story of a group of men training to become elite fighter pilots — strikes a homo chord like no other military movie in history. As if the beefcake volleyball scene, perfectly framed by Kenny Loggin’s “Playing with the Boys,” wasn’t enough to place this film on a list of gay favorites, the bromance between the men in this movie sets a new standard for homoeroticism in film. (Check out the hilarious recut below to bring the subtext way up to the surface.)
The golfing scene in the otherwise unremarkable movie Navy Seals has been compared to the volleyball scene in Top Gun in that both are gayer than Christmas. You can watch below and decide for yourself.
Yet again, we turn to Ruthless Reviews for an assessment of the gayest game of cinematic bro-golf ever:
"One SEAL leaves his shirt at home. Another wears a small pair of purple and green shorts. Another opts for a tank top. A forth goes with an even smaller pair of shorts. Pink ones. All of this is set to Bon Jovi singing 'he Boys Are Back in Town.' It reminds me of that SNL skit: the commercial for “Schlitt’s Gay” brand beer. Especially the part where one of Sheen’s buddies pokes his pooper with the head of a golf club."
GI Joe: The Movie
Filled with so much campy goodness it should be labeled one of the gayest animated films of all time, 1987’s GI Joe: The Movie is a complete riot. From Cobra Commander’s over-the-top performance (seriously, he makes Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest look like the picture of tranquility), to the homoerotic undertones of Sgt. Slaughter’s battlefield training (“I’m here to whip you into shape — and I’m talking ‘whip’”) this is one military movie that’s definitely over the rainbow. Still not convinced? Take one look at Pythona (pictured above) and tell us she doesn’t look like she could give Sharon Needles a run for her money on RuPaul’s Drag Race. (Thought so.)