This post is part of my movie-a-day challenge in which I will watch a film every day for 365 days. Today is Day 102! You can see all the posts for this challenge HERE. To see the original Movie-a-Day Challenge post, click HERE.
Hey there, fellow film lovers!
Guess what I stumbled upon during my latest deep dive into the streaming abyss? A little indie gem called “Alaska is a Drag,” and folks, it’s a breath of fresh Alaskan air that’s as cold as it is refreshing.
Now, before you go thinking it’s just about chilly landscapes and moose – hold up. This film is a unique concoction of gritty workaday life, punchy drag queen dreams, and some straight-up boxing. It’s like if “Rocky” had a baby with “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and they decided to raise it in the most remote fish cannery possible.
The story orbits Leo (a stellar performance by Martin L. Washington Jr.), a fabulously fierce soul stuck in the mundane grind of gutting fish in The Last Frontier. Leo’s got more dreams than the night sky’s got stars – dreams of becoming a drag superstar. But it’s not all sequins and lip-sync battles; there’s some real punch here, as Leo literally knows how to throw one. Side note: Who knew boxing could be so darn poetic?
What really gets you is how Leo and his twin sister, Tristen (played by the magnetic Maya Washington), take on the world together. They’re each other’s anchors in the choppy seas of small-town life and big-time aspirations. Their relationship is the warm, beating heart in the midst of the cold, hard reality they face.
The film doesn’t have the glossy sheen of a Hollywood blockbuster – and that’s the beauty of it. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s got rough edges that’ll snag your attention (and maybe a little bit of your heart, too). Writer and director Shaz Bennett spins a yarn that’s at times a bit quirky, other times poignant, but always compelling.
Don’t expect high-octane drag numbers every other scene – the film is more grounded than that, saving its moments of glitter for when it counts. The drag scenes are like finding a diamond in a gravel pit: unexpected and oh-so-satisfying. And the boxing? It’s not just about the sport, but about fighting for who you are and what you want – a universal struggle that’s got some extra oomph in Leo’s glittery gloves.
Now, it’s not all perfect. There are moments that feel a bit undercooked, and you might find yourself wishing for a deeper dive into some of the side characters. But honestly, that’s just because you start caring about them pretty darn quickly.
“Alaska is a Drag” is a solid choice for those nights when you’re looking for something a little different, a little inspiring, and a little off the beaten path. It’s a story about finding your own stage in life, no matter how far-flung and frosty that place might be.
So grab a cozy blanket, maybe some thematic Alaskan salmon snacks (too on-the-nose?), and give this film a whirl. You’ll be rooting for Leo from the first jab, and trust me, by the end, you’ll wanna throw on a boa and take on the world too.