The third installment of the Eating Out series is an engaging affair that is the most accomplished, balanced offering to date.
Anyone who has ever surfed the Internet hiding behind a faux persona (are any personas completely honest?) will enjoy the chat room encounter of Zack (Chris Salvatore—great to watch in or out of his clothes) and Casey (with a beguiling smile and dialogue smarts, Daniel Skelton should be re-engaged for a future episode).
Trouble is, Casey pretends to be Ryan1989 (replete with a purloined yellow-mesh, shorty-shorts pic uploaded into his profile) in order to learn more about his sudden flame without revealing his true identity—research is everything in stalking the next big love!
According to his ex, Tiffani (Rebekah Kochan plays the irreverent, saucy-mouth, perpetually wet-pussy slut with a hilarious sense of the absurd), the real Ryan (Michael Walker) is supposed to be safely out of reach in Phoenix, plying his, er, trade as a stripper. In fact, she’s coaching Casey—her newest employee in the customer-lite Nail It salon—in hopes that he’ll land Zack, live happily ever after and attract the gay community to her place of business.
Poor Zack. In mid blowjob, he dumps his pent-up bf, Lionel (John Stallings), who gets immediate revenge/satisfaction by splattering the door of his instant ex with a generous helping of his personal best …. (The subsequent, er, shots of this ejaculated “fuck you” display are in somewhat questionable taste.)
In the supporting roles, there’s much strength on the bench. Mink Stole is note-perfect as Aunt Helen. The eulogy at her son’s funeral (sandwiched between Tiffani’s unbridled attempts to do the vicar, Maximiliano Torandell, in a lasciviously red coffin—Dracula never had it so good—yet the accompanying “Hallelujah Chorus” needlessly cheapens the music and the moment: hopefully it didn’t make it past the final edit), boldly outlining her progeny’s demise while inhaling his partner’s member before their speeding vehicle collided into a wayward tour bus just as the two men came and went is destined for classic-cult status.
Playing the senior queer whose life work now revolves around an LA, LGBT centre, nursing lost young souls like Casey’s through the often difficult task of self-acceptance and feeling part of the community (but most especially not always that part), is veteran Leslie Jordan as Harry. It’s hard to imagine a better choice.
Julia Cho as Zach’s personal fag hag, Tandy, is fittingly campy—if only her cat fight with Tiffani had moved the jointly observed male ménage à trois into a full-service “cinq.”
The camera (Tom Camarda) and editing (Phillip J. Bartell) are consistently sharp and just titillating enough to keep all sexes, ah, on their toes (a couple of full-disclosure portraits add hot spice—like a ripened jalapeño—to the fast-paced proceedings).
Glenn Gaylord’s first-rate direction of Bartell’s and Q. Allan Brocka’s gaily predictable, happy-ending script are largely responsible for this enjoyable outing. Still, having Casey finally admit that he does belong to something much larger than himself (metaphorically stripped to his briefs during the epiphany) adds just the right amount of message to lift this production beyond just another skin-sex-and-situation romp (not that there’s anything wrong with that …) into the special realm of entertainment that also packs a punch for the legion’s of Caseys who can say they are gay but don’t yet understand where they belong. JWR