There are only three movies during the course of my lifetime that I've deemed so wretched I walked out of the theater before they ended. The first was Message from Space, a Japanese Star Wars rip-off from 1978. I was only ten years old, but I knew it was crap. The next was The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking in 1988, which I labeled celluloid child abuse.
I just saw the third movie, as much of it as I could bear anyway, last night at Outfest. It is Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild. I made it through most of the movie but had enough when it reached the climactic "Gays Gone Wild" competition orgy, which is no more than an excuse to show people having sex. My partner had bailed from the screening ten minutes earlier, and a number of other attendees departed prematurely with us.
The film is written and directed by the not-untalented Todd Stephens, who made the very good Edge of Seventeen and Gypsy 83 as well as this disaster's predecessor, Another Gay Movie. While I enjoyed the original, a clever GLBT riff on straight teen comedies like Porky's and American Pie, it hardly demanded a sequel.
It was such a hit, though, that every gay business currently in existence seemingly funded the sequel. An additional orgy of product placement runs throughout the movie, with video companies, lubes, condoms, websites, underwear and travel agencies all prominently displayed.
Stephens was on hand to introduce the Outfest screening. To be fair, he told the packed house up front that the film wasn't yet finished, and the need for additional editing and color-correction was evident while watching it. However, the only way Another Gay Sequel could yet end up a good movie would be to destroy the negative/digital master, re-think and re-write the script, re-cast the movie (Stephens should especially reduce blogger Perez Hilton's supporting role into a one-scene cameo, if he is to participate at all), and create something that doesn't offend the same audience it is pandering to.
It isn't just that the film is outrageously graphic in its depiction of sex, bodily functions and even violence. It's that it isn't really a spoof or good-natured satire like Another Gay Movie was, and instead becomes a derogatory depiction of the GLBT community. The sequel features distorted and either heavy-handed or not-very-funny-to-begin-with takes on reality TV competitions, venereal disease, fetishes, Catholicism, penis size, sexual positions and incest. It also claims to endorse monogamous GLBT relationships while simultaneously indulging in three-ways, bathhouse sex and anonymous encounters.
The funniest moment in the film is actually its smartest: a brief, barbed comment that RuPaul (who looks good and manages to emerge from the wreckage around him unscathed) makes about gay people taking over historically black neighborhoods. Oh, how I wish the script had more such moments tinged with truth rather than dominated by caricature.
I don't offend easily but I was offended, obviously, by Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild. If this represents the current high point of GLBT cinema in terms of artistic response to a predecessor's success, the number of companies endorsing it and the wide theatrical release (relatively speaking, for an GLBT film) it will receive later this summer, then it is a definite setback.
UPDATE: Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild is now available on DVDfrom Amazon.com.
Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.