D.E.B.S. (2003 film)
|Directed by||Angela Robinson|
|Produced by||Andrea Sperling
|Written by||Angela Robinson|
Tammy Lynn Michaels
|Narrated by||Phil Terrence|
|Music by||Steven Stern|
|Edited by||Angela Robinson|
|Distributed by||POWER UP|
D.E.B.S. is a 2003 action/comedy independent short film written and directed by Angela Robinson. D.E.B.S. made the film festival circuit including the Sundance Film Festival, L.A. Outfest and New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, receiving a total of seven film festival awards.
D.E.B.S. is both a parody and an emulation of the Charlie's Angels format. It features a lesbian love story between one of the heroes and the villain.
A narrator explains that there is a test hidden in the SATs which measures an applicant's ability to fight, cheat, lie and kill. Female students who score well on this hidden test are selected to become members of the secret paramilitary group D.E.B.S. which stands for Discipline, Energy, Beauty and Strength.
Focusing on one squad of D.E.B.S., composed of the team captain Amy (Alex Breckenridge), the tough Max (Tammy Lynn Michaels), French exchange student Dominique (Shanti Lowry), and the prissy and insecure Janet (Jill Ritchie), all of whom faces off against a ruthless villain named Lucy in the Sky (Clare Kramer).
Spoofing TV prime time shows, a listing of "previous on D.E.B.S." shows the team's boss Mr. Tibbs explaining that Lucy in the Sky was spotted entering the United States again. Max is frustrated knowing that for some reason Lucy keeps capturing Amy and the team has to rescue her. Amy is captured, leading to Max to take over the team to lead them to Lucy's hideout in a dockside warehouse. Max, Janet, and the chain-smoking Dominique make entry into Lucy's hideout and soon are facing off in a gun battle with Lucy's henchmen, led by her right-hand man Billy Skids.
Meanwhile, unknown to either Lucy's henchmen or the D.E.B.S., Lucy and Amy are lovers and Lucy keeps capturing Amy so that the two of them can have sex, with Amy timing them to know when her colleagues will appear to "rescue" her. This time Lucy becomes frustrated over the same routine they have to go though over their secret romance each time. Amy then tells Lucy that she really loves her, and Lucy is happy.
Elsewhere, Max, Janet, and Dominique defeat Lucy's henchmen (with Dominique never dropping the cigarette she's smoking, and Max having an all-too-brief meeting of minds with Skids during their fistfight, while Janet is just determined not to get her favorite sweater ruined). The three D.E.B.S. arrive at a locked door to Lucy's quarters where they hear Amy screaming out, leading them to try to break down the door. But Amy is not screaming in pain, but in passion as she climaxes from the sex. Lucy and Amy quickly dress where Amy tells Lucy that she can capture her again next week during the D.E.B.S. mission to Uganda. On cue from Amy, Lucy punches her out and makes her escape as Max, Janet, and Dominique arrive, none of them aware to Amy's secret tryst with the enemy. Amy thanks them for rescuing her... again. The four D.E.B.S. walk out of the warehouse and into the sunset as Janet asks Amy if that is her sweater that she's wearing and if she got blood or any dirt on it.
The move from a short film to a feature-length film for this lesbian-themed movie is significant not only because of the theme but because several of the persons involved in this short are lesbians (director Angela Robinson, Tammy Lynn Michaels) and the short was sponsored by a grant from Power Up, which promotes gay women in entertainment.
When moving from the short to the feature film version, Robinson told AfterEllen.com that "The relationship between Amy and Lucy is still the heart of the movie... Screen Gems has been outrageously supportive. I was not pressured to tone down the relationship — if anything, we worked together... to make the relationship more complex and intimate". Robinson's interview allayed concerns that the lesbian relationship would be written out or downplayed on the Hollywood big screen as it has in other story-based movies such as Fried Green Tomatoes.
|2003||Bearfest - Big Bear Lake International Film Festival||Jury Award||Best Short Film
|Cleveland International Film Festival||Honorable Mention||Best Women's Short Film
|Dublin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival||Audience Award||Best Short Film
|L.A. Outfest||Audience Award||Outstanding Narrative Short Film
|New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival||Best Short||Angela Robinson|
|Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival||Jury Prize||Best Short Film - Lesbian
|PlanetOut Short Movie Awards||Grand Prize||Angela Robinson|
- Warn, Sarah.D.E.B.S. the Movie: Will the Lesbians Stay in the Picture?. Published June 2003. Accessed 27 February 2007.
- Warn, Sarah. Interview with Angela Robinson of D.E.B.S. Published July 2003. Accessed 27 February 2007.