(Looney Tunes (preproduction title))
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 96 min
Henk Van der Kolk,
Film Consortium of Canada Inc.
This low-budget first feature by director Richard Benner and producers William Marshall and Henk J. Van der Kolk has become a gay cinema classic. Though it relies heavily on Craig Russell's remarkable performances as a female impersonator, its strength and appeal stem equally from its witty dialogue, its scrupulous respect for the integrity of subcultures and, not least, its depiction of the mutual dependency between Liza and Robin.
Liza Connors (McLaren), who suffers from schizophrenia, turns up at the apartment of an old school friend, Robin Turner (Russell), who is gay and works as a hairdresser. Although he only agrees to let her stay for a few days, they are soon sharing the apartment. They develop a strong, supportive relationship, and Robin helps her come through her fits of delusion.
At Liza's urging, Robin takes part in an amateur drag contest and wins first prize. Further encouraged by Liza and his friend Perry (Easley), he develops a career as a drag artist, impersonating many of his favourite stars (including Tallulah Bankhead, Peggy Lee, Bette Davis, Carol Channing, Mae West and Judy Garland).
Liza discovers she is pregnant and decides to keep the baby. Robin goes to New York to become a star. When Liza loses the baby and begins hallucinating again, Robin rushes to Toronto, then takes Liza back to New York with him.
Outrageous! received wide thatrical release to critical raves. Russell attempted to revive the role 10 years later in 1987 with Too Outrageous!, but the attempt was a commercial and critical failure.