Less than a year after seeing and savouring the ghoulish blood and guts of Otto: Or Up With People (cross-reference below), it’s difficult to find much good to say about writer/director Jaymes Thompson’s foray into the realm of gay terror.
The best part comes right off the top as Juliet Wright sings and dances up a storm during the opening credits. “Watch out for the Straights” is a campy little tune that sets the stage for a battle of ideology, orientation and fashion acumen, but that intriguing promise was seldom realized again.
By now, the Bush jokes (complete with a Republican shrine where the allegedly straight seek comfort and renewal) are already tired; much more fun was Helen’s (Mari Marks)—the inn’s proprietor—recounting of being gang-banged by one hundred devotees of the Grand Old Party during the convention that chose Regan, only to conceive, deliver and raise a sharp-fanged, fag killer, Manfred (played with vigour by Noah Taylor) that brought gruesome extra meaning to the usual delights of being eaten.
Arriving at the conveniently out-of-cellphone-range hostel were a gaggle of lesbians, gays, a fag hag and the requisite drag queen. They’re all bent on attending the holiday weekend’s Blue Party. Helen’s on the prowl for a husband for her Luella (Georgia Jean valiantly trying to be just crazed enough), figuring it won’t take much to convert one of the men, and the rest can be disposed of—both activities having God’s blessing.
But before you can say “Just this once” the guys are boffing each other’s boyfriends in the pool house, providing some of the film’s limited eye candy (Eric—Robert Borzych—for the prep set, Dom—Vinny Markus—for the leather crowd). Unfortunately once the long-term relationships collapse into a bed of lust, no one really cares what happens to the faithless after that.
Uncertain which tone to adopt: crazily campy, heavy on stylization or politically motivated—even with subtext—the film never finds its skin much less gets into it. Still, those who love nothing better than a bathtub full of blood and decapitation will want to make a reservation at the Sahara Salvation Resort and enjoy the generous helping of carnage-with-swish that lurks in every room. JWR