3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 10 minutes
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Things get out of hand when four good ole boys sitting around a campfire, chugging brews and clutching shotguns, begin telling scary stories. One story proves so scary that it could unravel these lifelong friendships. It is about a man who left the big city, traveled cross-country, and got lost in the very woods our good ole boys are camping in. He’s still there today.

“Well, that’s it?” one of the men asks. “What’s so scary about that?”

“He’s gay.”

That three little word proves a little too frightening for these old school southern men. They’re convinced that gays don’t exist—“they’re made up to scare ya, like the Mexicans”—but, if they do exist, you can go blind by watching two men kiss, or, worse, you can become gay by coming in contact with one.

The direction here is fantastic. Jonathan London manages to hit the right notes without milking the one-liners, and his style shows that there is a legitimate and talented filmmaker at work here. He manages to get top notch performances from his actors, all of whom nail the naïve, arrogant redneck demeanor without playing their typical stereotypes.

“Gay By Dawn” is equal parts “South Park,” Friday the 13th,” and “Mad Magazine.” Its humor is irreverent without being offensive. Its jokes belittle the rednecks, not “gays.” And that, if nothing else, is a testament to London’s skill.

Posted on September 6, 2005 in Reviews by

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