Reviewed by Serena Whitney
Starring Mari Marks, Hilary Schwartz, Georgia Jean, Robert Borzych, Vinny Markus, Jim Polivka, Denise Heller, Allie Rivenbark
Directed by Jaymes Thompson
If you’re reading this right now then you were drawn to this review for the exact reason as to why I was: its title. In the world of horror, it’s a known yet unspoken fact that the crazier the title, the more morbid curiosity is piqued. It’s one of those rare occasions when aficionados will intentionally watch an appalling film and still be able to bear a smile on their faces after the atrocity is done. Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror is one of those films.
In Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror, five stereotypical gay and lesbian couples (plus the obligatory “fag hag”) all settle at the Sahara Salvation Inn, a supposedly “gay-friendly” Bed and Breakfast for the evening. Unfortunately for them, they have stumbled upon a B&B owned by a bible-thumping, gay-hating, serial killing woman named Helen (Marks) who is intent on converting her strange lesbian daughter Luella (Jean) with another gay man to “cure” their homosexual tendencies. Does that make any sense? To achieve this, Helen must also kill all those that will tempt Luella (i.e. any woman) and kill all the homosexual men that are not willing to “change.” Oh, and I should also mention that Helen’s demon son, Manfred is also adding to the body count by eating the other guests. Republican gangbangs, gore, bathhouse frockling and hilarity ensue.
If the title didn’t tell me what was in store, the opening sequence sure did. In it, there’s a woman dressed as a Go-Go dancer singing “Watch out for the Straights!” whose performance makes Britney Spear’s atrocious rendition of “Gimme More” at last year’s MTV Music Awards seem breathtaking and full of life. It was after these hilarious opening credits I realized that I would not be reviewing this movie based on the same criteria as other horror films. This is an offensive, exploitative, and non-frightening horror film, but a damn entertaining one if I say so.
First time writer/director Jaymes Thompson pays homage to infamous cult directors John Waters, Russ Meyers, and Lloyd Kaufmann with the trashy yet humorous antics displayed onscreen. This movie is accessible to everybody and not just a particular audience; I would not label it as being a “gay horror” film as for the fact that there’s a fair bit of exploitative heterosexual sex scenes as well, and in fact those are the most laughable parts in the film. Describing the situations would not do the experience of actually viewing them any justice although I must mention that one of these scenes includes an older woman having an orgy with 100 Republican men in a washroom. You have to see it to believe it!
Although the low budget did show in regards to special effects and makeup (the ‘Manfred’ monster looks like he’s covered in a garbage bag), the blood and gore were acceptable for of a movie of this calibre. You get severed heads, flesh and mincemeat muffins, stabbings and more that make up for its many shortcomings.
Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror follows the formulaic slasher rules down to a tee, and that is one of its biggest problems. Many of the characters act like the horny heterosexual teenagers that got butchered at Camp Crystal Lake on an annual basis in the eighties and the only thing that differentiates them from those teenagers are their clichéd homosexual personalities. According to this film, gay men like to screw anything that moves, wear assless leather chaps, and dress up in drag. Lesbians like to wear combat boots with floral dresses and roll around naked in edible body paint. It was enough to make me think the filmmaker was a horny Frat Boy in college. The stereotypes don’t stop there, either; Apparently heterosexuals are nothing but Bush-loving (George Bush that is), Bible thumping bigots. Although considering the passage of Proposition 8 in California, this stereotype might not be that off base in certain areas…
The movie also has an excruciating long runtime of 108 minutes. There was no reason for a movie called Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror to run longer than 90 minutes let alone two hours. It really took its precious time on all the one-note couples and yet surprisingly had little to no development of any of them. Besides that, the lengthy runtime also made for some very unintentionally funny moments when characters would stop running for their lives to listen to the villains’ needless and confusing back stories with plenty of plot holes. Exposition was NOT this film’s strong point.
Although Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror relies heavily on its attention-grabbing title and also pales in comparison to fun yet exploitative ‘Bed and Breakfast’ horror films like Dead and Breakfast, it’s still able to be a surprisingly entertaining watch despite its many flaws. Like passing by the aftermath of a horrible car accident or watching an episode of “Flava of Love”, Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror is something you can’t turn your eyes away from …whether you like it or not.
2 1/2 out of 5
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