When HBO’s “True Blood” began its run on prime time television, I was surprised at how many people took it as it was and not as an allegory/satire on the way the LGBT community was treated in this country. In fact, I still know people who refuse to see that aspect of the series. Now along comes Marley Yaeger’s 22 minute “Simon’s Quest” that uses the same idea but so much better.
Simon is a gay werewolf who must come to terms with his condition in order to start dating again or condemn himself to a life alone (While I am not [yet] a werewolf, I have been there and done that.) The short film is set in a world in which monsters are just beginning to “come out” and become publicly known and it is hard to miss seeing that the way they are treated is much the same as the way the LGBTQ+ community was treated not so long ago. Token acceptance and tolerance were not acceptable to those who were regarded as different and sinners in some places while in other places there were no problems.
In the alternate universe of the film, vampires, werewolves and demons are real and live in society along with everyone else. Of course, we understand that their interactions and relations with non-monsters are not always good. “Simon’s Quest” begins with an infomercial of a fire and brimstone televangelist selling weapons designed to kill “monsters” as they are collectively called. But not everyone is antagonistic and violent. We hear of support groups to help “monsters” accept themselves for who they are.
We meet Simon (Johnny Pozzi), the subject of a documentary and see right away that he has problems with self-esteem. But then his case is quite special since he had just begun to deal with coming out as gay when he discovers that he is also a werewolf. We can imagine his fear in trying to maintain contact with others. By and large, society disapproves of both of these aspects of Simon.
His support group activities are both sad and funny and he wins us over immediately. I saw something of myself in Simon and wanted to yell at him that it does get better. However Gwen (Talley Gale), the photographer making the documentary serves that purpose and is determined to help Simon. However, her assistant, Robert (Lucas Brahme) is not sure that this is the best thing to do. Writer/director Jaeger brings us a wonderful little film that has a great deal to say. Try to find this one— you won’t regret it. (And yes, that is Tim Cox in the picture below.