5.1/10
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6 user 5 critic

Heaven's a Drag (1994)

To Die For (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 2 December 1994 (USA)
A twenty-something drag queen dies of A.I.D.S., but when his adoring ghost returns to the side of his surviving lover, he finds his lover doesn't exactly miss him.

Writers:

Johnny Byrne (screenplay), Peter Mackenzie Litten (story) (as Peter Litten) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Williams Ian Williams ... Mark
Thomas Arklie Thomas Arklie ... Simon
Gordon Alexander ... Drop Dead Gorgeous (as Gordon Milne)
Dillie Keane Dillie Keane ... Siobhan
Nicholas Harrison Nicholas Harrison ... Siobhan's First Lover
Ian McKellen ... Quilt Documentary Narrator (voice)
Sinitta ... Quilt Documentary Narrator (voice)
Caroline Munro ... Mrs. Pignon
John Altman ... Dogger
Paul Cottingham Paul Cottingham ... 1st Poxy Shirt Lifter
Lloyd T. Williams Lloyd T. Williams ... Bodybuilder (as Lloyd Williams)
Robert Sturtz Robert Sturtz ... Chris
Benjamin Sterz Benjamin Sterz ... Man in Gym
Tony Slattery ... Terry
Brian Carter Brian Carter ... Leather Man
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Storyline

Simon and Mark live together in London. When Mark dies of A.I.D.S., Simon gets on with his life rather quickly, too quickly to suit Mark, whose ghost reappears to disrupt Simon's cruising, moving back into their flat to prompt Simon to experience and express feelings. Simon is adamant that feelings, especially love, are not for him. Subplots develop as Mark and Simon observe their neighbor Siobhan's love life, and as Simon spends his days as a satellite-television installer partnered with Dogger, a homophobe ignorant that Simon is gay. Is there any key that can unlock Simon's feelings and allow Mark to rest in peace? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Hit British Gay Comedy About Cruising... In The Afterlife!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heaven's a Drag See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$27,455

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,455
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Netflix has it in their list of movies as "To Die For", but when you watch the movie, it has the new title "Heaven's a Drag". See more »

Quotes

Siobhan: I'm a complicated woman, you see. I think like a feminist, feel like a Catholic, but when I drink white wine I dream I'm a lesbian.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film was retitled "Heaven's A Drag." A black box with white letters covers the original title "To Die For." Though this new title was possibly given for the video release, "To Die For" is used in the end credits. See more »

Soundtracks

Star
Performed by Erasure
Written by Vince Clark and Andy Bell
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User Reviews

A bad movie I highly recommend
22 May 2009 | by jm10701See all my reviews

I'm going to do something I've never done before--give a good rating to a movie that's so bad I could hardly watch 95% of it. That's because there are three very peripheral things about this movie that I like so much they go a long way toward compensating for the mess it is in general.

Just about every negative comment about this movie in other reviews is true. It's a muddled mess that doesn't know what it wants to be, trying at various times to be funny, touching, topical, sexy, tragic and transcendent, and succeeding at none of them. It doesn't even know what its title is. In the opening credits, it's called Heaven's a Drag; in the end credits and on the DVD, it's called To Die For. (It was released the year before Gus Van Sant's much more famous and completely unrelated To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman, so the title wasn't stolen; the same title had been used for a Dracula movie several years before either of these movies was made anyway.) Ordinarily this movie wouldn't deserve more than a couple of stars at most. But now for the good stuff, the three things that together move me to praise it despite its very serious flaws.

First of all, this movie has a huge heart. Practically nobody involved seems to have any talent at all. Everything a good movie needs--competent screenplay, direction, cinematography, acting, etc--is lacking. But its good intentions are as pure and true and clear as its execution is muddled. A lot of people cared a lot about this movie, and it shows. I don't know HOW it shows, but it does. I've never before rewarded good intentions alone in reviewing a movie, and I might not in this case either if the other two factors weren't working in its favor too.

Second, there's something very appealing and attractive about Ian Williams, who plays the drag performer Mark. His performance in this movie isn't much better than anything else about it, but the man himself is unusual and unusually interesting. His speaking voice, for one thing, is lovely.

Third (and I've saved the best for last) is Ruth Wallis's fabulous song "Queer Things (are happening to me)." The song plays during the opening credits and carries into the first two scenes, where Mark is preparing for and then doing his drag performance to it. (Another reviewer ridiculed the fact that this evidently is the only song Mark knows, but it's good enough to carry several whole drag careers single-handed, if you ask me).

I'd never heard this song before, and I'd never heard of Ruth Wallis, but it and she are a joy, and Williams's act accompanying it is superb. I must have watched the first two and a half minutes of the movie 20 or 30 times just for the delight of hearing the song and watching his act, and I haven't come close to being tired of it yet.

So for its big heart, for Ian Williams's personal charm, and most of all for "Queer Things," I heartily recommend watching the first two and a half minutes of this movie. That's not much, but it's well worth it.


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