Eating Out 4: Drama Camp
Contrary to what one may think, the "Eating Out" film series has actually improved over time. The films are hardly high art, but each provided a raucous and titillating experience loaded with razor sharp one-liners and pop culture references. The films also featured a comic fireball in the form of Rebecca Kochan, who became the consistent thread that tied all of it together.
Sadly the buck stops with "Eating Out: Drama Camp," easily the worst of the bunch, even though it’s also the most cohesive, competently directed film since the first. The erotic energy is still there, but the comedy is highly inconsistent this time around.
The film keeps continuity going in the series by continuing to follow Zach (Chris Salvatore) and Casey (Daniel Skelton) as they enter a new stage of their relationship. Having been together at least a year, the spice in their sex life starts to seriously dwindle. Things deteriorate when they are invited to Dick Dickie’s Drama Camp, and Zach catches the eye of the perfectly sculpted Benji (Aaron Milo).
Sadly, it turns out that Benji is also perfectly straight, or at least he tells Zach so. That’s because he bears an intense attraction to him, and, knowing that he’s in a relationship, uses the front to control his insatiable urges.
This still sends Casey off into a jealous frenzy, forcing him to re-evaluate their relationship in general due to the smitten Zach. All of this goes down while the camp prepares for a modern version of "Taming of the Shrew."
There’s plenty of drama for the rest of cast too. The director of the drama camp play, Jason (Garikayi Mutambirwa), tries to fight off his attraction to an outspoken transsexual named Lilly (Harmon Santana), who clearly raptures his heart. Conor (Steven Daigl), the camp slut, tries to keep his dick out of just about everyone, and of course Beau (Ronnie Kroell, "Make me a Supermodel") attempts to seduce his wounded roommate Casey by sleeping naked every night. For those who want to see a full frontal shot of Ronnie, this is your chance.
"Eating Out" was founded on something with a tiny bit (very tiny) of gravitas, and that was all because of Q. Allan Brocka, who helmed the original. He returns to direct this sequel, but the levity he brings truly sucks energy from the film. The screenplay also reflects his more serious approach, pushing screenwriter Phillip Bartell’s outrageous antics and hard hitting comedy to the edges of the frame. Bartell became a more dominant force in the second and third films, and those are undoubtedly the more superior entries because they push the comedy to the forefront.
In the end, "Eating Out: Drama Camp" is not an awful experience, but it should have been funnier and shorter. Occasionally, the film hits the right note: After getting poison oak, one character exclaims she feels like "Lindsey Lohan’s pussy." Still there’s too much of the heavy, and not enough of the over-the-top and clever comedy for which this series is known.
And whoever decided to cut the brilliant Rebecca Kochan to a mere cameo should be fired. When she shows up mid film to tastelessly declare a late celebrity as "the cock whisperer," you’ll discover why this movie needs a presence like hers. If the filmmakers want the fifth film to succeed, it would be vital to bring Kochan back. She represents what these movies represent, and without her, "Drama Camp" misses the mark.
This article is part of our "Philadelphia QFest" series. Want to read more?
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