Friday, December 05, 2014
THE GAYS (Dir.T.S. Slaughter, 2014)
“You’re going to grow up to be a strong...smart...slutty little faggot, oh yes, oh yes you are…” This is how a baby is welcomed to the world by his transsexual mother at the beginning of T.S. Slaughter’s second feature THE GAYS, out now on DVD.
But the baby wasn’t adopted, no, the comic conceit here is that a gay couple with the last name of Gay actually gave ass-birth (that’s right) to two boys. The film is about how they were raised – “The family that gays together stays together” is the movie’s tagline – as told by Mike Russnak as oldest son Alex to a guy he just met in at a gay bar (Nicholas Wilder).
This provides a clothes-line to hang a series of raunchy skits about lessons learned living in the Gay household. A bespectacled always newspaper-reading Frank Holiday and Chris Tanner decked out in vintage drag, play the parents, who have tons of advice to dole out all dealing with the literal ins and outs of gay sex.
Scores of gags about sex toys of every kind imaginable, bathhouse and public restroom hook-ups, gay ageism (gay-geism?), date rape, and even suicide litter the screen, all delivered with the same smarmy “nothing is taboo” mindset. And I’ve never seen this much phallic imagery, in the form of everything from plastic penis pacifiers to Christmas cookies adorned with dicks, well, ever.
I have to say at this point that I am so not in the target audience for this movie. I don’t believe it’s because I’m homophobic as a film full of crude jokes about heterosexual fetishes wouldn’t be my cup of tea either. A lot of the humor just didn't appeal to me especially in an extended Christmas scene full of “pornaments” and gay-themed gifts such as a “G.I. Joe with Rim-Job Butt” that made me cringe so hard that I couldn’t cringe again for days.
I also could’ve done without the disgusting flashback birthing scene that boiled down to yet another done-to-death EXORCIST spoof.
Yet, I still appreciate what T.S. Slaughter was going for in his follow-up to his 2007 debut SKULL & BONES. Often recalling the cheap, sleazy charm of John Waters’ early work, THE GAYS is a dirty joke-book of a movie in which the characters are delivery devices for as many gross-out punch-lines that one could fit into a 68-minute feature. With its catchy theme song and house in suburbia setting, it could very well be a prototype for a gay Married With Children-type series, one that parodies gay panic by pushing the envelope as far as it can go.
The acting is no great shakes, but as the mother, Tanner stands out in a way that recalls Nathan Lane’s turn in THE BIRDCAGE. As the lead/narrator, Russnak could use a bit of training as he has a tendency to laugh in an obnoxious way at his own lines, and Wilder as the only character that resembles an actual human being is a good audience surrogate. His reactions at Russnak’s stories about his flaming family often mirrored mine.
It would be futile to say that THE GAYS is a tasteless trashy exercise because it has no goal of being tasteful or classy at all. It just wants to have fun with its over-the-top stereotypes, by putting them in pornographic scenarios (there’s lots of full frontal male nudity) and riffing on it in the guise of a helpful guide. As I said, it so wasn’t my thing, but folks who dig endlessly rude, crude, and extremely inappropriate scatological comedy may get a rise out of it.
Maybe you can deduce if THE GAYS is your thing by checking out theseYouTube clips of T.S.’s first “3 Gays” of the “12 Gays of Xmas”: Gay 1, Gay 2, & Gay 3.
If that gets you going, then you can order your own copy of THE GAYS at the film's official website.
After that, you’re on your own.