May 6, 2019

Two Boys are "Eaten By Lions" in a New British Comedy

In Eaten by Lions (2018, on DVD in 2019), hunky teenage Omar (Antonio Aakeel) and his half-brother Pete (Jack Carroll) who has cerebral palsy and a penchant for shoplifting, are orphaned when their parents are...well, eaten by lions.

At first they live with their grandmother, and then with Pete's racist aunt and uncle (Kevin Eldon, Vicki Pepperdine).  They treat Pete nicely, but Omar is "eaten by lions," dismissed and ignored, forced to sleep in a a cupboard under the stairs, a la Harry Potter.

  But then the boys discover that they're not entirely orphaned -- Grandmum left them a cryptic note about Omar's biological father, living in Mecca.  So off they go on a road trip to find their new dad.

She didn't mean Mecca, the Muslim holy city.  She meant Mecca-by-the Sea, Blackpool, the sleazy, tacky, tawdry tourist trap.  Americans, think of Atlantic City or Coney Island.  Or Branson, Missouri.

Omar and Pete run into many colorful characters on the way, most played by recognizeable British actors.

Ray (Johnny Vegas) runs a tawdry bed and breakfast.

Jason Redshaw plays a drag queen named Tooty Fruity. Ok, that's homophobic.

Tom Binns plays a crazy fortune teller.

They finally discover that two brothers on holiday had sexy time with Omar's mother, so either could be his father:  the wealthy, conservative Malik (Nitin Ganawa), or Irfan (Asim Chaudry), who runs a tacky seaside souvenir shop.

Now it's Pete's turn to be "eaten by lions," dismissed and ignored by Omar's new family.

Both of the boys find love, or at least sex, with the horny daughters of their various encounters.  But there's still a strong gay subtext coming from their obvious chemistry.

Not a lot of beefcake. Jack Carroll,who is not very impressive in the physique department, gets most of the shirtless and nudity scenes, played for humorous effect.

Of course, Antonio Aasif is so handsome that he has to be careful covered up.  If he took his shirt off, no  one would pay any attention to the plot.  .

Antonio got his start on the teen soap Skins.  He played a gay teenager in Waiting for Garbo, and the best friend of a transitioning boy on Doctors.  He states: "To think we still live in a world where attitudes toward sex, gender, orientation, and identity can be so prejudiced is shocking."

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