FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| John Sturges |||
John Sturges

Helming the “Magnificent Seven” should be reason enough, demonstrating that Sturges had the happy talent of taking what was considered strictly “male” oriented stories and making them sexy enough and humorous enough to appeal to female movie-goer as well.

Sturges takes this star-studded gunslinger film based on the Japanese favorite "The Seven Samurai", and makes it a bone fide all-American classic featuring Yul Brynner. At the request of Mexican peasants, Brynner recruits a band of fellow mercenaries, half of whom Sturges introduces as the next generation of action film super-stars including Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and Steve McQueen. Widescreen!

Sturges is responsible for what is renowned as one of the greatest war films ever made, featuring Steve McQueen and his unforgettably daring motorcycle jumps in the face of the enemy. Allied prisoners escape from a German POW camp in this superior effort, noted for a brilliant international cast and Elmer Bernstein's triumphant score. Widescreen!

This day in the life of a stranger in an isolated town has since been done to death, and this is why. In the hands of a lesser director the talents of this exceedingly manly cast (Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan) would otherwise overwhelm this compelling drama with a prejudice theme, but Sturges is able to maintain a firm grasp of the reigns, keeping his actors this side of mellow drama. Widescreen!

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Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!

By BrianOrndorf

August 26th, 2008

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.

Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!

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 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.

“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.

My rating: B-