Dr. Seuss Goes Homofabulous!

Welcome back to the glamorous world of  flaming film! For all of you with a taste for the absolutely absurd I’d like to proudly present to you…

The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T

You know what they say about people with 5,000 fingers...


“The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T” is definitely a contender for the weirdest children’s film. I mean, maybe the wacky Czech stop-motion “Alice” with dead animals is crazier, but animating taxidermy  is really just cheating your way to the top.

Here, you have a small boy, Bart Collins, who lives with his widowed mother, Heloise. The only thing paining this rather dapper lad is his piano lessons, taught by the evil pink-clad Dr. Terwilliker. One day, Bart falls asleep at the piano, and enters a dreamy sinister world of man-boy slavery that makes “The Wizard of Oz” look as straight as Nixon. (cough)

It is here that Bart must confront his inner demons, and attempt to thwart the sinister Dr. T. Along they way we see some amazing set designs and costumes. Dr. T looks simply stunning in lavender, and never lets us forget that he is a concert master. Most of his ensembles (the clothing type) seem like feminine tributes to Cher or Cruella Deville. I think the three of them should find a fourth and form a coven! Any candidates coming to mind? Lady Gaga is an easy choice. Elizabeth Taylor or Joan Rivers might bring some needed sass though. Dr. T.’s lofty mission is to capture 500 talented boys to play his giant piano. Bart Collins becomes key to his plan, as Bart is boy number one.

There are so many amazing song and dance numbers, and the lyrics are curtesy of Dr. Seuss. The numerous homoerotic sequences (but darling! Sequins are always homoerotic!) aren’t limited to one or two characters, lucky for us.

A boy in a finger hat...

In fact, parts of the film feel more like a drug induced sexual odyssey than a childish trip to the dark side of the moon. Unfortunately, Bart’s mother does not see any girl on girl action. Perhaps, when this spectacle makes it to Broadway, we’ll finally get our turn.

One of the gayest things I can remember from childhood is watching the dungeon scene. Who knew a film from 1953 would have darker content for children than some of my 1980’s favorites?

When I first saw the torturer… or yes, the Dungeon Master on the elevator, my heart leapt. This leathery, bare chested baritone was singing about the various floors of the dungeon, and what they held in store for poor innocent little Bart.


meets a man in a fabulous sweater

Ultimately, the showdown occurs between Mr. Zabladowski, Bart’s ideal father (also Dr. T.’s  plumber), and Dr. T. himself. They display their aggression through dance (just like my friends at C.C. Slaughters) and do this sort of rooster-hypno staring contest thing. You don’t know if they’re going to fight, flee, kiss, or discuss tasteful hemlines!

You can see Heloise watching anxiously in the background. Ultimately, this movie is the visual epitome of the dangers of 1950’s repression. I bet you’re excited to know that The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T was adapted for stage in 2000, and people still have broadway dreams for it. Also interesting, Dr. Seuss… or Mr. Geisal, whichever you prefer to call him, although writing all the lyrics to the songs, walked out after 15 minutes of the screening. Maybe he’d be pleased to know what cult status this movie has earned, and that some of us queers into film history wouldn’t change a thing.

I'm pretty sure I met this guy in New York. His name is Ted, and he owns a deli in the Bronx.

Well… maybe I’d add some make-out scenes. If I ever do launch a Camp Camp for adults needing a kitschy getaway, you can be sure that we’ll be watching this.  I’ll be the one wearing the Snuggie with music clefs.

You can click here to watch the entire movie for free.

You can click hereinstead to go a tribute site for the movie.

Feel free to comment or mail me HERE

1 comment to Dr. Seuss Goes Homofabulous!

  • Nicole

    Oh man, this is a great sentence!: “animating taxidermy is really just cheating your way to the top.” So true… I also loved the costumes in this movie and the creepster dungeon scene… And hilarious aside about the coven, haha!