JWR Articles: Film/DVD - 9 Dead Gay Guys (Director: Lab Ky Mo) - May 31, 2003

9 Dead Gay Guys

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3 3
83 min.

Reviewed at the 2003 Palm Springs International Film Festival and the 2003 Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
When Irish size is rising

Sandwiched between the visual and stylistic artistry of Franco Zeffirelli and the taut writing of Chris Nolan (cross-references below), my initial impression of Lab Ky Mo's d├ębut film was not enthusiastic. Nearly six months later, a second helping of this saucy dick-farce (literally, in the case of foreskin stuck Dick Cheese Deepak—played with admirable zest and fun by Abdala Kersawani) now comes across as a welcome breath of fresh air amidst the darkly themed documentaries (Rise Above: The Tribe 8 Documentary) or indescribable tripe (Secondary High: no redeeming value) that surround it at this year's Insideout Festival.

I even got over my previous revulsion at the use of poor Beethoven's mighty Fifth (for the aha! moments) or his poignant Seventh (whenever Golders Green—the orthodox Jew with a throne of riches—approached his huge bed eager to be ravaged by a tool that had successfully measured up to his two-cans-of-Red-Bull length admission test) Symphonies. Curiously, the Verdi bits from Rigoletto seemed entirely appropriate. And the occasional accompaniment of whistling in the background conjured up scenes from Clint Eastwood's early work and could easily be re-titled, For a Few Inches More.

The film's "heroes" are two Irish lads: Byron (Brendan Mackey who delivers his smart lines with just the right mix of denial—"I'm not gay, I don't take it up the bum") and limits ("I couldn't shag my mate, except if absolutely necessary"). His—apparently—inexperienced buddy and poofter-in-training, Kenny (Glenn Mulhern whose charming innocence only fools his roommate), turns out to have a log of significance and so can proceed with, well, gay abandon to the head of the line in the story's quest of relieving Golders of his cash.

Cue the deaths. The device of killing off much of the gay community (using cattle prods, sex that's too hot to handle, fellatio-induced car crash, and the crushing weight of the Iron Lady—hello there Margaret Thatcher, who knew?!—now there's a dyke to die for) seems more like fun than trauma. But when the only sane characters in the script (three West Africans whose spokesperson is as sage about human dignity as his colleagues are long in the, er, tooth) get flattened en masse, the dying shtick seemed to collapse on its own weight, desperately in search of an ending.

The notion of love-and-sex-for-free pops up once in a while, but is more a puzzle than a theme.

With a little person begging for attention with his wee Willy winkie, "The Queen" (Michael Praed, right at home on the adulation throne), managing to stay faithful except on synagogue night and the boys denying themselves to themselves but happy to romp with others, we leave this comedy-by-the-numbers content in the cinematic reinforcement of gay promiscuity and size-driven envy. JWR

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