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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Beverly Kills
Beverly Kills
TLA Releasing // Unrated // May 16, 2006
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Raymond So | posted May 16, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
E X T R A S
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Highly Recommended
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Movie:
Aging drag queen Beverly Jackson is unable to land a role in a local gay play, and she is determined to seek revenge against those who rejected her. She starts a cult by gathering together a dimwitted gang of Hollywood newbies to help her, despite the lack of any actual plan for carrying out her scheme. Meanwhile, Shane and Ray, two young and cute employees of a gay playhouse, get caught up in Beverly's diabolical plot while learning to accept each other and overcome their inhibitions.

This uproariously funny gay-themed film expertly blends a classic boy-meets-boy love story with a screwball revenge plot by a spurned drag queen. The result is a sexy comedy that anyone will enjoy, as long as the film is approached for what it is: a cheesy, silly farce that should not be taken too seriously. Director Damion Dietz (Neverland, Fag Hag) concocts a tale that recalls the insane campiness of a John Waters production mixed with the charmingly earnest naivety of Legally Blonde… but with lots of hot naked guys.

DVD Video:
The DVD is presented in 1.85 widescreen format, and the video quality is on par with any theatrical independent feature. The movie's frequent use of bright day-glo colors appears vibrantly on-screen, allowing the viewer to see all the kitschy, comical costuming and décor.

DVD Sound:
The one audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0, which adequately handles the needs of this fun movie. Theme songs and musical numbers sound as good as a CD, and spoken audio is clear and understandable. Optional English subtitles are also available.

Extras:
This DVD features the original trailer for this film and other releases from the releasing studio, two interesting deleted scenes that expand our understanding of the characters but were cut for pacing reasons, a still photo gallery that is cleverly titled 'Beverly Stills', and a full director's commentary. The commentary is the most interesting bonus, as we learn a tremendous amount from the director about the actors, each scene's setup, and background details that really add to our appreciation for both the subtle and not-so-subtle elements of the film. The commentary is told in an informal, relaxed style that is engaging yet informative.

Final Thoughts:
This is an outrageously cheesy comedy that revels in its campy, over-the-top style. Fortunately, it stays on the mainstream side of silliness, so that its twisted humor can be more widely appreciated than, say, a Monty Python film. In the beginning, the viewer may feel uncertain what to make of the film, as it seems hard to decide whether it is trying to be intentionally bad or is taking itself too seriously. As the film progresses though, it becomes obvious the brand of silly fun that the filmmakers are intending. By the end of the film, the characters become real human beings that you are cheering for, and the movie has its share of "aw, shucks" moments that make the viewer feel good about life and love. The actors who play Shane (Rick Sparks) and Ray (Matthew Herrmann) are adorable, looking kind of like younger versions of Chris O'Donnell (Batman & Robin, The Bachelor, Mad Love) and Ivan Sergei ("Jack & Jill", "Crossing Jordan", "Charmed"), respectively. As with many gay films, there are also the rather gratuitous scenes of shirtless or naked hunks to add to the appeal. While many characters are certainly gay stereotypes, no one can be offended as they are just so fun and likeable. Gay audiences in particular will find several self-referential lines that might go over the heads of straight viewers, but the humor in general will be enjoyed by a viewer of any sexual orientation.

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