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Film / Zorro, the Gay Blade

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Los Angeles, California. The birthplace of... me.
My Dear Son,
I do not call you by name because I do not know which of you two brothers will be the one to read this, but whoever does inherits the greatest gifts I possess. This sword with which to fight injustice; this mask with which to deceive tyranny; and this hat which needs reblocking. Wear them with honor, for in time of need it is the destiny of the Vega men to become Zorro.

Zorro, the Gay Blade is a parody of the Zorro franchise, directed by Peter Medak and starring George Hamilton as both of the original Zorro's twin sons — the flirtatious playboy Don Diego de la Vega and the Camp Gay Bunny Wigglesworth, né Ramón de la Vega.

Don Diego returns home upon the request of his father, who has tragically died. There he learns of his father's secret and takes up the mantle to be a Fighter of Tyranny and Injustice... but then he falls and injures his leg. Luckily, Ramón returns home, too, and just in time to cover.

This movie contains the following tropes:

  • A-Cup Angst: Inverted when Florinda just misses getting skewered.
    "Thank goodness for small favors!"
  • Beta Outfit: What Bunny thinks of the original Zorro costume, much to Diego's chagrin.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The rescue of his brother: it's as melodramatic as it gets... until the actual rescue when Bunny just gives a silly comment, that nonetheless inspires the people to rise up.
    Bunny: "Two bits, four bits, six bits a peso! All for Zorro, stand up and say so!" <crowd goes wild>
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Esteban is instantly smitten by Margarita Wigglesworth (Bunny in drag). While Bunny's broad frame doesn't seem to make for a convincing woman, Esteban is nonetheless enthralled at once.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor, poor Velasquez. Sure he's a bit of a jerk performing his duties, but he works for Esteban, who routinely mistreats him.
  • Camp Gay: Ramón, who became even more so after joining the British Navy and changing his name to Bunny.
  • Casual Kink: Implied by Bunny's preference for the lash. Possibly also a reference to his time in the Royal Navy (see the page quote at the previous link).
  • Catchphrase: "Sink me!"
  • Chekhov's Whip: There's one hanging inside the fencing dummy when Diego first opens it.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Bunny decides that the black Zorro outfits are too dull, so he decides to wear colors instead. Including plum and banana. This leads to a scene where the villains are convinced the changing colors are supposed to be a secret message. They never figure it out, but to the audience it's obvious: all of the colors are fruits.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Florinda wants to throw a party to show off some jewelry she bought.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: Diego slashes at a candle, apparently missing, but as soon as the Aldante turns his back Diego picks up the severed candle and uses it to light his cigarette before discreetly putting it back.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Bunny trades in his usual swishiness to become this when he is masquerading as a monk to fool Esteban.
    • Esteban gets in a few good ones from time to time also, as when he and Zorro begin their swordfight at the first masked ball. Zorro unsheathes his sword and asks Florinda to hold the scabbard. She does so happily. Then Esteban does likewise and tosses his scabbard to Florinda, who side-steps it.
      Esteban: (completely flat) Muchas gracias.
  • Death Glare: Esteban shoots one to his spy when the sap implies he deserves a reward for his services. He presses his luck.
  • Drum Roll, Please: Spoofed when drummers won't stop drumming at an execution and they have to be shut up.
  • Exact Words: Esteban demands that Don Diego speak in an effeminate way, to test if he sounds like Bunny!Zorro:
    Esteban: Say something like a sissy-boy.
    Don Diego: [in his normal voice] "Something like a sissy-boy."
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Both the 50-year-old wanted poster inside the fencing dummy and the new one created by Esteban show Zorro masked from the nose down. Given that Zorro wears an oversized Domino Mask, this qualifies as a sight gag.
    • Neither Zorro nor Velasquez see the tree branch that knocks them off their horses as they are dueling.
  • Flynning: Not as much as you'd expect from a Zorro movie, but every now and then.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Esteban throws a masquerade ball with the intent of drawing out Zorro. Diego outwits him by sending letters to the other Dons, convincing them that they're all supposed to wear Zorro costumes to the party, meaning he can wear the real deal and not stand out at all.
  • Genre Savvy: When Esteban sees Diego!Zorro is seen limping away with an injured foot, he heads to see Diego guessing that he might be Zorro. Fortunately Diego powers through the pain enough to fool him.
  • Halfhearted Henchman: Velasquez, Esteban's Tax Collector and right hand man, doesn't seem wild about his job, and the run in he had with Zorro at the beginning of the movie has him noticeably reluctant to seek a rematch.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Esteban at several points, but never more than when he is accusing Diego of being the "sissy-boy" Zorro.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Esteban, again, at several points, again. But probably best exemplified by this line, which immediately follows his declaration that taxes will now be equal to the weight (in gold) of a large peasant he has chosen:
    "My people, you know that I do not make the laws."
  • I Am Very British: Ramón's father shipped him off to the British Navy to become manlier. Epic Fail.
    Bunny: "They say the Navy makes men. I'm living proof: they made me!"
  • Irony: Esteban wears as Henry VIII getup for his costume ball.
  • Large Ham: And how! Between Hamilton's over the top campiness, Vaccaro's ditziness and Liebman's outrageous overacting, this movie is practically a buffet of ham. Even Donovon Scott comes across like this, and his character is mute!
  • The Last Of These Is Not Like The Others: "This sword with which to fight injustice; this mask with which to deceive tyranny; and this hat which needs reblocking."
  • Love Triangle: Averted. Diego and Captain Esteban once battled for the love of Florinda, and Esteban won. Florinda still wants Diego, but he's lost interest.
    Florinda: Why didn't I marry you instead of Esteban?
    Don Diego: Probably because he asked you and I did not.
  • Masquerade Ball: Florinda holds two, the second one is an attempt by Esteban to trap Zorro, but Zorro found a way around it.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Esteban's garrison of guards are not only outrageously incompetent, they are rather cowardly. Several times, men armed with muskets flee in terror from a man with a whip.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: While many soldiers and peasants endure beatings, nobody in this movie is actually killed on screen. This is rather surprising, as the climax involves a peasant revolt against armed guards.
  • Out-Gambitted: Esteban holds a second ball to see if Zorro will try to steal his wife's new necklace. He doesn't count on Zorro dressing up as someone other than Zorro, nor for Zorro to trick most of the men attending to dress as him.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Esteban is particularly outraged at being shown up by, in his words, a swishbuckler.
  • Same Language Dub: The producers thought that the voice and Spanish accent of the famous Canadian Shakespearean actress Helen Burns was not quite right for that of Consuelo, so the role was re-voiced by Eduardo Cansino.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Esteban's soldiers turn on him, a rooster is heard crowing — a reference to Simon Peter's betrayal of Christ.
    • One to a then-current antacid ad campaign that claimed "relief is spelled R-O-L-A-I-D-S" when Bunny makes his debut mission. He goes a little beyond the Zorro Mark.
    • Bunny's mannerisms are an extended Shout-Out to The Scarlet Pimpernel.
  • The Speechless: Paco serves as Diego's mute sidekick
  • Stealth Insult: Possibly by accident. Esteban notes that Zorro would not miss an opportunity to make a fool of him. Velasquez says that he hopes he's right. Bonus points for Esteban's reaction, a look that just says "Really, dude?"
  • Suddenly Shouting: Esteban has no voice control.
  • Super Window Jump: Diego jumps from a second-floor window to escape pursuit ... and injures himself severely enough to force his Zorroing into a siesta.
  • Theme Naming: All the caballeros are California placenames with "Don" instead of "San": Diego, Francisco, Fernando, Jose, Luis Obispo.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Soon after Diego!Zorro is seen limping away with an injured foot, Esteban visits Diego, who manages to power through the pain and walk normally enough to dispel suspicion.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Averted. Esteban and Diego are supposedly best friends, but it's obvious that Diego dislikes Esteban a great deal. Esteban also seems annoyed at Diego's smart aleck comments.
  • Weapon Specialization: The brothers "split" the archetypical weapons of Zorro. Diego uses a rapier to fight. Bunny goes armed with a whip.
  • Zerg Rush: How the Brothers de la Vega distract Esteban to get to Florinda's necklace. Also, by having Bunny masquerade as Margarita. See Big Beautiful Woman.
    Esteban: He's not going to walk right in here and say "Here I am!"
    Don Diego: (dressed as Zorro) Here I am!
  • Zorro Mark:
    • It is Zorro, si?. Although at one point, Bunny does get a little over-enthusiastic and spells out the whole name ... with a whip. See Shout-Out.
    • Also double-subverted on Diego's first outing: First, the brigand (who turns out to be Esteban's tax-collector) does not recognize the sign at all but says in his defense he is not from around there. Then, when Diego delivers the gold back to the old man, after confirming that he has lived in the area all his life and stays current on the news and gossip, the old man doesn't recognize the Z and thinks it's a 2. Upon hearing the name El Zorro, however, the old man is jubilant at the hero's return.
      Don Diego: That is a little more like it!