A few years ago, the idea that a gay film series could prove so popular that it would have reached a fourth entry, with a fifth on the way, would have seemed impossible, but Q. Allan Brocka’s Eating Out has. While the first film in 2004 was a rather sweet rom com, things have increasingly headed in the direction of farce ever since, particularly since the third entry, which featured a mostly new cast and a more gross-out attitude (only Rebekah Kochan as the very loud Tiffani has appeared in all the Eating Out movies, although her role in Drama Camp is tiny).
The main characters from 2009’s Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat are back, and this time they want to go to Drama Camp for the summer. After spending all of the last movie getting together, the fire of first love has died down for Casey (Daniel Skelton) and Zack (Chris Salvatore). It becomes apparent from the moment Zack sees hunky fellow drama camper Benji (Aaron Milo) that he has the hots for him, but Benji soon announces that he’s straight (although that’s a lie). Casey is understandably jealous of Zack’s feeling for this new man, and they may have to re-evaluate their relationship.
Around this are a bunch of new, rather eccentric characters, from the stereotypical drama camp queen bee to Lilly, who is a transitioning transsexual and just wants someone who likes her for herself. To up the stakes, camp leader Dick Dickey has decided that sex is a bad thing, and so he’s insisting everyone be chaste for the whole summer!
While the film ambles along in a jolly, silly, sexy way, it has a few annoyances. The first is that most of the plot of this film undermines what we saw in the last instalment. Eating Out 3 was largely about Zack learning to see beyond looks and fall in love with Casey. In this film though, it seems it’s fine for Zack to go back to being shallow and for his and Casey’s relationship to fizzle out. While you wouldn’t expect the course of love to run smooth through a sequel, it seems a bit cheeky to expect us to root for a couple to get together in one film and then root for them to split up in the next.
There are also a few times when it goes from gross-out farce into downright ridiculousness, which is a shame, as it make the movie feel lazier than it actually is. Having somebody pull someone’s pants down and then ‘accidentally’ grope someone else’s dick to see if they have a boner (to see whether they’re gay), might sound funny on paper, but just comes across as dumb on screen. Too many of the film’s comic situations rely on all the characters conspiring to act in ways that don’t make a huge amount of sense. Thankfully though, it’s good natured enough that it manages to be fun despite the fact it could have done with a slightly smarter script.
The film also features a few semi-celebs, such as US Big Brother contestant turned porn star Steven Daigle, and ‘Make Me A Supermodel’ participant turned Playgirl centrefold Ronnie Kroell. Their presence does ensure the appearance of some random penises, although to be honest the film is sexier when the cocks aren’t on show. New cast member Aaron Milo as Benji is sex on a stick (I was far more smitten than I’d like to admit), so the real fireworks happen when he and Zack are getting frisky.
Overall Verdict: While it’s silly fun and undoubtedly entertaining, Eating Out: Drama Camp does rather undermine the movie that came before. Let’s hope they sort it out for the upcoming Eating Out: The Open Weekend.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac