If "Leave It to Beaver" was transformed into a politically incorrect sitcom featuring lots of dirty talk, a bit of male full-frontal nudity, and plentiful pop culture references it would most likely resemble The Gays. This second effort from writer-director T.S. Slaughter (Skull & Bones) plays to all the homosexual stereotypes that are out there using a droll sense of humour and it does have some scattered chuckles to offer (I love the credits sequence with its goofy theme song and when they describe anal pregnancy) but I did find it to get a little bit tiresome and just the fact alone that it's not only a gay-themed flick but also tries really hard to offend is likely to limit its audience.
After opening with a scene where cross-dressing mom Bob Gay-Paris (Chris Tanner) is talking into a crib surrounded by many penis-themed toys (and even a mobile!) while proclaiming he's going to make their baby into the gayest of the gays, we're transported into a bar in 1997 Los Angeles and meet Alex (Mike Russnak). As one of the two children of Bob and hubby Rod (Frank Holliday), Alex and his brother Tommy (Flip Jorgensen) were raised to be gay from the get-go. Told in flashbacks, we're given multiple set pieces involving Alex's upbringing that delivers such bizarre moments as one of his straight-friends feeling obligated to fellate Rod, a "Truth or Dare" type board game night involving vaginas, an Exorcist inspired birthing scene that goes completely over-the-top in its tastelessness, and it even ends on a Christmas note (fake, gay themed, carols and all!) which I found amusing considering the holiday is less than a week away as I write this.
Amongst all the jokes about dicks, anal sex, and how silly the hetros are; The Gays does have some really fun performances. Doing his best to channel the spirit of the late, great Divine (Pink Flamingos), Tanner is like June Cleaver with male parts. Wearing a 50s dress and blonde wig he just steals most of his scenes with a big toothy grin and completely exaggerated actions. As Ward to Tanner's June, Holliday plays it mostly straight (ha!) as the serious dad not afraid to spout wisdom such as "Just because you've eaten a man's ass doesn't mean that you owe him dinner!" As for the kids, both Russnak and Jorgensen are making their debuts here and aren't too bad even though Russnak's constant chortling when relaying his stories becomes quite distracting.
You just have to take The Gays for what it is: a tiny budgeted, off-colour indie flick that isn't concerned much with plot and would rather go against the P.C. mainstream by tossing out as much flagrant sexual terminology as possible and enough man-on-man moments to make a homophobic blush. It's a pretty different effort from Slaughter's debut opting for whimsy over horror torture but I can't say it feels like a step forward for him. Like I said, even at a mere 67 minutes, I found it to get a little bit long in the tooth and though I didn't mind my visit with the Gay family, I don't think I'd ever invite them over for dinner.
Visit the OFFICIAL SITE to rent online or buy the DVD. (Chris Hartley, 12/19/14)
Directed By: T.S Slaughter.
Written By: T.S Slaughter.
Starring: Chris Tanner, Mike Russnak, Flip Jorgensen, Frank Holliday.