Aug 29, 2013

Beerfest: Gay-Positive Guys Behaving Badly

The first thing you notice about Beerfest (2006) is the lack of emphasis on female breasts.  The DVD cover zeroes in on the breasts of a fraulein serving beer, but in the movie itself, the frauleins are tastefully dressed, and manage to serve the beer without the camera going wild.  In fact, there's minimal girl-ogling, no hetero-romantic plotline, and no fade-out kiss.

The second thing you notice is the lack of homophobic panic and gay slurs, very unusual for a "guys behaving badly" movie.  In fact, one of the protagonists is gay but not a swishy stereotype.

It's about two brothers, Jan and Todd Wolfhouse (Paul Soter and Eric Stolhanske) who must defend their grandfather's honor by winning an underground drinking competition.  They bring their friends, competitive eater Landfill (Kevin Heffernan), scientist Fink (Steve Lemme), and gay prostitute Barry (Jay Chandrasekhar).  Each uses his special talents to defeat the evil German team.  There's also a stolen beer recipe, a spy, an identical twin brother, and a great-grandma who was a prostitute.

Not a great movie, but the lack of homophobia and non-stereotyped gay character are both refreshing.

The main cast belongs to the Broken Lizard Comedy Troupe, formed when they were students at Colgate University.  Their Super Troopers (2001) also lacks homophobia, and has a bisexual character who isn't evil: the cop Ramathorn (Jay Chandrasekhar), who makes a date with a male-female couple, and approaches them both with equal gusto.

Kevin Heffernan bragged that his  nude scenes (including this frontal) got him named Bear of the Month by a gay magazine.  Steve Lemme complained that he hasn't won any gay awards, though he is quite muscular and  often semi-nude.

I don't think any are gay in real life, but they certainly sound like gay allies.

However, Club Dread (2004) contains a homophobic slur, and Slammin' Salmon (2009) contains a panicked reaction to an implication of gayness.

Why do they alternate gay-positive and homophobic?