After watching The Gays I had visions of extreme right wing nutcases handing copies of the movie around and using it as evidence that everything they’ve always said about gays being deviant, sex obsessed, demon-possessed and keen to turn kids homo was all true. The film will certainly not win awards for political correctness, but it does have its moments.
The movie follows the Gay family – father Rob, transvestite mother Bob, and their sons (born through an anal pregnancy) Alex and Tommy. As you might expect, they are the absolute extreme of homosexuality, with the parents teaching their kids how to seduce their teenage friends, giving them rim job GI Joes for Christmas and causing general same sex debauchery.
The Gays is crude, rude, sometimes quite gross and takes everything homosexual to the absolute extreme, with this being a family obsessed with being as stereotypically gay and sexually fixated as they possibly can be. It is a bit bizarre, extremely crass and really doesn’t care that some people will find it offensive (oddly it will mainly be uptight gay people who’ll cringe at its hypersexual, amoral and crude central characters).
It’s also incredibly episodic as the way it’s structured is essentially as a series of skits showing moments in the family’s life. While this is a slightly cheap way of telling the story, it does have the effect of ensuring that if one section doesn’t work – and quite a few don’t – it’s soon moved on to something different and more entertaining. The film is at its best when it’s just being silly. When it goes full-on gross it has a tendency to be more unpleasant than funny – but when it is just sticking its tongue in its cheek about gay life it’s a lot of fun. I presume the film is supposed to be a satire on the worst of modern gay life, but it’s not always clear whether it’s condemning or celebrating it, or somewhere in between.
I’d be willing to bet that writer/director T.R. Slaughter is a John Waters fan, but while The Gays certainly descends into arenas close to Water’s early trash features, it never quite reaches their inspired madness. Indeed The Gays could have done with getting closer to the edge of surreal hysteria that Waters does so well.
I’d also wager that even those who don’t like the film’s depiction of a family who adore everything that’s worst about the gay world (or at least stereotypes of it), will find the movie quite sexy at times. There’s a decent sprinkling of full frontal male nudity involving some very hot guys (although you may feel dirty watching one scene where while the naked guys are both obviously a lot older in real life, they’re supposed to be teens who’ve just had a sleepover).
Overall Verdict: There are no sacred cows here. The Gays is a trip to the very edge of rude, crude gayness, with an episodic structure that ensures that while a fair amount of it doesn’t work, the stuff that does is a lot of fun (and is often quite sexy).
The Gays is available to buy and rent from the film’s websites.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac