Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide
Director: Tyler Matthew Oyer
Editor: Aleesa Cohene
Colorist: Matthew Hysell
Sound Design and Music: Daniel Eaton
Filmed at PAM Los Angeles
Color correction and titles at OUTPOST, Brooklyn, NY
Made with the permission of The Estate of Charles Ludlam & The Ridiculous Theatrical Company, New York, NY
Funded in part by: Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, Human Resources LA / The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide is the first feature film by Los Angeles-based artist Tyler Matthew Oyer. Premiered in 1967 as a stage production by Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Conquest marks the first adaptation of Ludlam’s plays into moving image.
The narrative, which is based off Christopher Marlowe’s play Tamburlaine the Great, is interwoven with lines of Shakespeare, Bible verses, quotations from other plays such as Oscar Wilde’s Salome, the speeches of dictators, and help wanted ads. The story depicts homoerotics, incestuous lust, nonsensical domination and satirical downfall of a corrupt, confused Trump-like imperialist “President of Earth”.
The film features an eclectic cast of west coast performers including Justin Streichman as Tamberlaine, Gracie DeVito as Alice, Harry Dodge as Gravedigger, Julie Tolentino as the Witch of Ensor, EJ Hill as Bajazeth, Young Joon Kwak as Natolia and Lex Brown as Venus, alongside Kelly Cline, Johanna Breiding, Audra Wist, Marc Bendavid, Anna Rose Hopkins, Mireya Lucio, Sean Grattan, Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Audrey Wollen, and Thibault Lac, with score by Daniel Eaton.