Any film that opens with a comical beheading and electrocution deserves at least some praise, however faint it may be. A follow-up to the unleashed lunacy of 2006's "Another Gay Movie," "Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild" takes this improbable franchise even further into comedic dementia, eager to top the original picture in pure knockout vulgarity. I'd say it's a photo finish.
Off to Ft. Lauderdale for a Spring Break blowout vacation, Andy (Jake Mosser), Nico (Jonah Blechman), Jarod (Jimmy Clabots), and Griff (Aaron Michael Davies) are at a loss for words when they arrive at their resort. Confronted with available men as far as the eye can see, the boys are tickled when the "Gays Gone Wild" contest commences, awarding points for sexual encounters and assorted mischief. Pushed into the madness of the week's festivities, the men are forced to consider matters of the heart before indulging their carnal desires, leading to serious questions of self-acceptance in the middle of a sun-kissed orgy of sexual possibilities.
"Another Gay Movie" was a fearless production, allowing director Todd Stephens ("Edge of Seventeen") to unleash his pent-up frustrations with Hollywood and gay cinema, crafting a farce that rarely paused for a breath and absolutely relished audience discomfort. It certainly was an experience to behold, even when the jokes were sprayed over the audience with runaway firehose-like subtlety.
"Gays Gone Wild" inches further across the already entirely smudged line of taste. Confronted with new cast members (the transition is handled well via an opening dream sequence) and assuming new confidence after his original creation scored big with the intended demographic, Stephens heads right back to the deafening pitch of comedy that has come to define this newly-minted franchise. In short: "Gays Gone Wild" is a berserk, wince-inducing, carefree spit-take on the mating rituals of our heroes, who would like nothing more than to explore the boundaries of their appetites with the miraculously-muscled galaxy of partners surrounding them.
Opening with an eventful trip aboard the "TransAmerica" airlines, "Gays Gone Wild" takes off like a rocket through a twisted series of set pieces that concern pranks with lube, games of human shuffleboard, fountains of vomit, blue-balled mishaps, misplaced lust, and musical numbers serenading the joy of golden showers, and second one performed by animated pubic lice. Yes, Stephens is going for broke here, bejeweling the production further with cameos from Scott Thompson, Amanda Lepore, RuPaul, Lady Bunny, and a few porn stars, one of whom looks litigiously like Zac Efron (Brent Corrigan), here playing a bare-assed Merman.
Oh, and there's a supporting role saved for Perez Hilton.
The Perez idea is indicative of Stephen's inability to judge material for true comic potential. Sure, there's some wit laid out with nods toward "Heathers," "Showgirls," "10," "Dawn of the Dead," and the Hawaiian "Brady Bunch" episode arc. However, Stephens also makes time to showcase Perez, piggybacking on his questionable pop culture visibility, only to find himself stuck with the noxious celebrity blogger's atrocious acting skills and his gift to ruin any scene he pops into. Portraying a religious zealot (a personality alteration instigated during a rocky bathroom oral sex session with a priest - the film shows little shame), Perez is so awful he can't even manage to convincingly play himself. I give the performance one MS Paint semen dribble trickling down from a slack-jawed celebrity mouth out of five.
Presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1 aspect ratio), "Gays Gone Wild" was shot on HD, letting loose a spectacle of Floridian colors to swarm the image. The DVD fails to separate the visual blossom effectively, with fleshtones and locations blending into a blown-out pink mush, diluting the spirit of this vivid picture.
The 5.1 audio track on the DVD matches the film for flamboyance, with standard soundtrack offerings and bawdy musical numbers adding a nice punch to the already hectic mix. Dialogue is crisply maintained, though it's not always a gift to hear what's being said during this caper. A 2.0 mix is also available.
A feature-length audio track with director Todd Stephens and producer Derek Curl is an unexpectedly informative feature on the "Gays Gone Wild" DVD. Judging from the film, I was expecting Stephens to be complete goof, but he's a funny, concentrated guide to the picture, carefully exploring production history and the Ft. Lauderdale shoot. It's also nice to hear the director divulge why 75% of the original cast failed to return for the sequel. Granted, I was stunned to hear the kudos launched toward Perez Hilton (perhaps Stephens has poor eyesight?), but the rest of the talk goes a long way to explaining just what sort of mindset this film was born from.
"'Becoming Stan the Merman' with Brent Corrigan" (5:19) showcases the young actor as he's tirelessly run through the special effects department to become a fishy object of desire. The finished look is actually quite convincing.
"Greetings from Sunny Fort Lauderdale!" (5:03) is a travel guide/commercial for the Florida spring break hotspot, narrated by Stephens in an uncomfortable way that suggests contractual obligation.
"It's a Pukefest" (6:55) breaks down the rehearsal and shooting of just one of the picture's many bodily function highlights. The secret formula of fake vomit? Apple cinnamon oatmeal!
"Under the Golden Sea" (7:19) details the poolside choreography efforts of another smutty set-piece, this time dealing with the magic of urine. The secret formula of fake pee? Red Bull!
"The Clap" (4:21) is a music video of sorts from Perez Hilton, and the clap he's singing about isn't the celebratory kind.
"Deleted Scenes" (6:54) offer only minor additions, showcasing more carnage, sex, and slapstick wisely cut out of the finished film.
And a Theatrical Trailer has been included on this DVD.
"Gays Gone Wild" can dash from a nightmare to a hoot in a nanosecond, but extending this picture over 90 minutes was a cruel mistake on Stephens's part. In shorter, controlled form, this smothering experience would be easily tolerable, or at least digestible. Instead, the sequel only clicks when it serves a basic function to provoke and comedically spasm, and any extended exposure to these elements is bound to irritate in a hurry. There's a promise made at the conclusion of "Gays Gone Wild" to send the boys into space. Let's hope Stephens can snatch a more judicious editor for the next round.