|“The Gays” cast members from left to right – Mike Russnak (Alex Gay); Frank Holliday (Rod Gay); Flip Jorgensen (Tommy Gay); Chris Tanner (Bob Gay-Paris)|
Just in time for the holiday season comes a stocking stuffer like no other! Words cannot truly express my initial reaction after watching writer/director TS Slaughter’s 2014 gay-themed dark comedy, “The Gays.” For lack of better words to describe the overall movie, it’s really really gay, but that’s the whole theme of the film, I think.
I take that back. You can describe the “The Gays” as incredibly raunchy because of the cinematography, which gives me a budget gay porno flick kind of vibe, especially with all the nudity and minor simulated sex scenes. Penis and Ass everywhere!
It’s also twisted as hell, yet here I was thinking that Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives (2010) took that crown, but no, “The Gays” wins hands down due to a particular seen depicting “gay-birth.”
Apparently, in this universe, us gay folk can get pregnant and have babies, and of course, they make it completely clear where gay babies come from…well, as clear as anyone can get when delivering a baby out of your anus. Yeah, I know. – – – (picture above).
If that image bothers you, then this may not be your kind of movie. Believe me, when I first received an email inviting me to watch and review this film, I had my reservations; however, I do get kicks out of weird and campy gay movies from time to time, e.g., “Girls will be Girls” (2003).
But this film is too much! However, that’s T.S. Slaughter’s aim, to be too much. What better way to stick it to homophobes and bible thumpers everywhere than to “desecrate” the sanctity of marriage and childbirth? “The Gays” complete irreverence for society’s pro-heterosexual attitudes that we’ve become accustomed to seeing is part of what makes this movie stand out in its weird, unique way.
You can really tell what inspired the characters and settings of the film. For me, it gives me a John Waters meets “Leave it to Beaver,” with an extra dose of risque behavior. This is not the first time I’ve seen John Waters name pop up when describing the overall vibe of the film. For Slaughter, “The Gays” is his “satirical take on television sitcoms and cartoons of past decades based on American nuclear families ranging from the normal to the bizarre.”
And if I haven’t driven the point home yet, this film is fucking bizarre in so many ways.
All the music in the film, which is performed by the filmmakers and their associates, is cooky. In fact, the theme song “Come Meet The Gays” was composed specifically for “The Gays.”
The script is is rife with campy and raunchy puns o’plenty. And the characters help deliver those lines in an often disturbing way, but that’s just my opinion.
Honestly, there’s not much to the “The Gays” itself. There’s no real plot of the movie, but there is some sort of story to reel you in just enough to watch it with a premise intact:
Can you purposefully raise your children to be gay?
Well, we get our answer from the eldest Gay family son (a trip), Alex (Mike Russnak), as he regales his upbringing to an unsuspecting bar patron about how his nontraditional family raised him and his brother to be gay. What follows is a series of flashbacks, which include every gay cliche’ you could think of, and some that you wouldn’t even try to imagine – I’m still feeling some kind of way about the gay baby birthing – just go back up to that pic of the baby with a buttplug for an umbilical cord.
No surprise that the matriarch of the Gay family, Bob Gay-Paris (Chris Tanner), is a pervy, but caring drag queen who looks similar to Nathan Lane in drag from the movie “The Birdcage” (1996); I kid you not. Being such a grand character, Chris Tanner steals the majority of the scenes, but maybe that’s a good thing because half the cast really doesn’t deliver the outlandishness you’d expect from an eccentric family of this caliber. However, with a character like Bob Gay-Paris (pronounced “Bob Gay-Paree”), maybe other castmates, like Frank Holliday, who plays Rod Gay, has no choice but to play his character down a bit.
I will say that Frank does a somewhat decent job serving as the “straight man”, i.e., flat character, opposite of his castmate Chris, but I guess that wasn’t too hard. According to sources, both Holliday and Tanner have both been well-known visual artists in New York City since the 70s; moreover, back then they were actually boyfriends. Makes for a crazy reunion, huh?
In my opinion, I believe “The Gays” meets all if not more of the themes featured in my Worst Themes in Gay Movies post. Not to say that this movie is awful, but it is; however, that’s what makes a contender for a cult following, appealing to a wide range of gay men and fans of edgy indie cinema in general. It has some one liners to use, some scenes to recreate, some potential group cosplays, and I even believe that T.S. Slaughter could make a gay porn parody from his own parodical take on gay life. Hey, more money.
Listen, I hear where T.S. Slaughter is coming from. According to an interview he did with a blogger, Slaughter explained his objection to the mainstreaming of LGBTQ people in the US and Canada these recent years. He remarked that we as LGBTQ people are different, and we should celebrate the grittier side of ourselves because we fought hard for the rights to express our differences openly. He concluded his thoughts on the matter by saying the following:
“Gay filmmaking, even indie filmmaking, has come under the same pressures as the rest of LGBTQ culture to be respectable. Well I’m not having it: No sappy coming out stories for me. No sentimental tales of love and tragic loss. I like to push buttons to remind viewers of all stripes that some of us still have an edge.” – T.S. Slaughter (source)
As you know for this blog, my line of posts can be sappy, sentimental, with tragic tales of love and loss, along with my thought-provoking social commentary of gay culture, so I’m deeply offended by this! Nah, I’m not offended. I have my gripes about media depictions of gay men too because I just don’t see a person like myself reflected in any roles, and the same can go for this movie. At least it’s not racially offensive, even though I did side-eye the cross-dressing Asian neighbor, He-Suk, portrayed by Eugene The Poogene…child.
Personally, “The Gays” is a daring gay-themed dark comedy with it’s twisted, raunchy, and irreverent take on all things gay, and I feel T.S. Slaughter achieved what he was looking for: a reaction, whether good, bad, or indifferent. It’ll surely get people talking in some fashion, and maybe it’ll show up on Netflix. If you’re a fan of John Waters films, gay campy films, somewhat sexually explicit gay films, or just films that can be controversial and offensive, I say watch it. As for me, it’s not my kinda film, but I won’t knock it down too hard.
Just to be clear, I wasn’t paid anything to review this film, and all the opinions expressed are that of my own. Special thanks to Paul Serrano for hitting me up to review. He seems like a cool dude, and I was, at first reluctant, but happy to help. Quite different from my usual posts, but the creative break was nice.
I’ll say this, it’ll make a great unusual Holiday gift. Give it to someone you love or someone you hate! Win-Win situation for you! BTW, Christmas-Themed Penis & Titty Cookies!
You can also purchase or rent the video at www.thegaysmovie.com/buy.html.