West Holly Halloweenies 
A Film by Ernie Potvin
Video Review by Jack Nichols
West Holly Halloweenies is a work of near-genius. Ernie Potvin removes every too-serious veil from Gaydom’s famed realm of inventiveness.
 This documentary rightfully revels in fatuous frivolity, therefore, creating a faaaab foray into what happily comes off as an unassuming, unrehearsed cultural phenomenon.  Its focus is on shameless in-character comedic cavorting erupting with utter ease on turfs of pure camp. Its about Halloween night, kids, and the spooks are flouncing about in force, winding in a seamless stretch along West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard. 

Potvin’s classic was showcased in May on a lazy Simi Valley Sunday afternoon immediately following the celebration of the life of Jim Kepner and of 50 years of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  

A pioneer of the movement himself, one who launched Puerto Rico’s first gay and lesbian activist group, Potvin is a multi-faceted artist working in a variety of venues. After laboring unceasingly to make the historic Kepner celebration a success he told his peer-pioneer guests he was going to treat himself to a much-deserved afternoon nap.  

But before he snoozed, Potvin inserted his 1996 West Hollywood documentary into a VCR, so as to make his guests witnesses to the kind of magical theatrics to which only a town like West Hollywood, on its very gayest night, gives rise. 

There’s a hootiness in this documentary that invites more than mere amusement. Gay and lesbian Halloween costumes are world famous for their flair. A far-out costume is, after all, a tribute to one’s love of show biz and to our nation’s best-loved Homosexual Holiday. But West Holly Halloweenies offers more than tribute. 

Touting the expert camera work of Tony Gomez, Ernie Potvin, both as the documentary’s Santa Monica Boulevard interviewer and as producer of this extraordinary film, has opened new dimensions into Fairydom’s forays that reach beyond the bewitching autumn holiday’s far-flung festivities.  

A feeling of happy-go-lucky community permeates West Holly Halloweenies. Potvin has bequeathed an extraordinary extraterrestrial evening extravaganza, a display of those delicate and delicious dips into gay and lesbian flashiness. His unsparing eye captures each poignant yet insanely silly spectacle, the antics of a folk who’ve embraced not only Halloween’s craziest joys but who, quite obviously, revel in giving onlookers easy peeps into a farcical picture frame that appears to surround the whole of life itself.  

To those who are hip to frivolity’s higher heights and who are appreciative of all shades of camp, including even the blackest sort; to those who delight in quick, slick unrehearsed repartee; to those who’ll sit still enough to consider incontrovertible evidence of how gay imaginations reign supreme in the human community, West Holly Halloweenies downloads the goods. 

There’s the sad-faced Miss Laguna Beach, rich to the hilt, her tiara cocked sideways on her fallen hairdo, a bourgeois damsel saved from one of those interminable hillside fires, looking forlornly for her insurance adjuster. 

There’s Frankenfairy, a fey Frankensteinish fairy fop, waving a wand and flirting with Ernie. “Are you married?  You remind me of my 45th husband.” 

There is Wonder Woman, keeping proper order in the streets. There are hysterically funny nuns running in packs as well as princely warriors chanting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Contingents of dancing, singing groups, all identically dressed, give high-kicking demonstrations of happy gay and lesbian solidarity. 

The street-wide scores of handsomely-shaped male and female bods sometimes inspire while, for an extra treat at the film’s end, there’s a rear-view parade of rear ends. 

This shrewd video should be part of every library. Its quick and lively interviews make perfect fodder for friends and visitors or for any public audience. Thrill to exactly what it is that Halloween evokes in our subculture. Watching outlandish lovelies and lavender loonies is better by far than tee many martoonies. 

To Order: $19.95 each plus $2.50 Shipping/ 10 Day delivery 
Contact:  Feathers Galore Productions: UncErnie@aol.com