Review: Jump Cut Episode 3, Austin Young/Animals of Distinction
3.0Overall Score

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We begin with Laganja Estranja, out of drag, who treks through the woods, lugging along a shovel which is almost as tall as herself. With pulsing music by Peaches, Austin Young’s Jumpcut Episode 3 follows an intoxicating encounter between three of our favourite drag queens and what I can only describe as a 2021 sequence of nightmares.

The soundscape fizzes with a rising beat and the overlapped frames are nauseating as we follow Estranja uphill. The overarching monologue is creepy, almost poetic. Then the forest turns a sickening blood red and we know we’re in for a treat. She scrambles through the dusty ground, unearthing Willam Belli and Alaska Thunderfuck. Her fellow queens are wrapped in mesh body bags and entangled in rope, absolutely gorgeous with nothing but concealer on. Over a fast high-hat a voiceover says, “WE ARE THE NOISE.” The only hint of the upcoming camp nonsense is the globules of pale pink glitter slime which drip down the overhanging tree branches. 

Laganja cuts their cords and sets them free to rise into drag. The opening is a perfect intersection between morbid and fabulous as Alaska staples a white blonde wig to her scalp. Young’s decision to show the audience the full process of a tuck is a bold artistic move and I commend the inclusion of such visceral nudity. It’s thrilling to watch something as uncomfortable as taping a tuck — but this is what makes the work stand out artistically!

Expect lots of slow motion as the queens hold hands and spin in circles in a ritualistic witch spell amidst a windstorm. It gets a little repetitive after a while and I wish there was more to the coordination of their outfits than just the colour schemes (though they all look lovely in white). As our trio spin, none of them wear breasts and the white fabric streaming over their chests engulfs us in high fashion aesthetics. This dramatically shifts later on as we watch them violently jiggling massive silicone boobies at half speed.

Stemming from a distinctly twisted opening is a sickeningly chaotic number centering around what can only be described as, ‘Magic Pussy Juice.’ It’s just the level of humour one would expect from such a seasoned cast of queens, and it is undoubtedly entertaining. With an opening so stylistically separate from the rest of the film, I wish there was more boldness entwined in the latter half of the piece. This disjoint does work to make the beginning far more jarring, yet I would love to see more continuity.

If you want something fabulously daring from the mid-pandemic drag scene, this is a stirring watch. Though it’s only half an hour long, it’s filled with enough pandemonium to fill your brain for the evening.

Jump Cut Episode 3 played online on the 22 May 2021. For more information see Take Me Somewhere Festival online.