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D.E.B.S. (2004) is indisputably a film by Angela Robinson. Not only did Robinson write and direct D.E.B.S., but she also edited the film. The basic idea for D.E.B.S. is to take the queer subtext of Charlie’s Angels (2000) and make it text while also ramping up the camp and importing the basic plot of Lost & Delirious (2001). In spite of Robinson’s intention to make a film in the blockbuster spy movie idiom that empowers queer women D.E.B.S. was marketed as a low budget, sexier iteration of Charlie’s Angels. Audiences and critics went to the film to ogle women is school girl uniforms only to be confronted by Robinson’s gleeful subversions.

However, in the years since D.E.B.S. was first released the film has garnered a devoted cult following. Today, when marginalized communities cry out for better representation in the Hollywood mainstream what they want is something that is as fun and wryly clever as D.E.B.S. What D.E.B.S. possesses that most contemporary Hollywood attempts at inclusivity lack is an aversion to irony. Nothing in D.E.B.S. is done with a wink or a nod. Robinson tells her story with camp but, in the tradition of James Bond, with a total devotion to her characters and their ludicrous world.

The story in D.E.B.S. revolves around an organization that, through the SATS selects high school girls to join a covert operation to ensure America’s national security. One of these girls, Amy Bradshaw (Sara Foster), begins a verboten liaison with public enemy number one Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster). It’s the classic queer girl’s school narrative gone post-modern spy epic. If Robinson’s formula has one failing it’s that D.E.B.S. should have had a bigger budget.

Does Hollywood need to pour another hundred million into the James Bond franchise when there are already more than thirty films in the franchise when it could be financing the uniquely queer fever dreams of a Black woman director? No surprise here, Hollywood has opted not to make D.E.B.S. a prestige blockbuster. The reality where Angela Robinson is the next Albert R. Broccoli is clearly the reality we need. Now how do we make that happen?