By Daniel Wible | April 7, 2004

Blacks and Jews and f**s, Oh My! It’s the new British comedy, “9 Dead Gay Guys,” Klansman Daniel Carver’s worst nightmare. And because it’s British and a comedy and directed in the fashionable hyper-realized style, I cannot refrain from dubbing it the “Gay Snatch.” Written and directed by first-time Irish filmmaker Lab Ky Mo, “9DGG” is an amusing, if somewhat confused, odyssey through London’s seedy, mostly homosexual, underworld. It may not shock your knickers off, as it wants to, but it should at least elicit a few naughty laughs.
A game Glenn Mulhern plays Kenny, an Irish lad who travels to London and discovers that his best mate Byron (Brendan Mackey) hasn’t exactly found the “legitimate lucrative work” he has bragged about. You see, Byron, a straight man thank you very much, has created a nice little niche for himself at the local gay pub, trading in certain favors for cash. The equally straight (or is he?) Kenny is, of course, appropriately appalled. But hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, and Kenny himself is soon making nice, so to speak, with the UFO’s, or ugly fat old men. So, you might ask, when do all these gay guys, nine to be exact, start biting it? Well, once one of Byron’s clients, The Queen (Michael Praed) is found dead, electrocuted by cattle prod, a calamitous chain reaction kicks off, leading to eight more very queer (as in strange) fatalities. Kenny and Byron soon find themselves tangled up in this mess and on the trail of a mythical wad of cash supposedly hidden in an Orthodox Jew’s bed. But before the duo can make away with the dough, they must contend with the bevy of unusual characters, including a Desperate Dwarf (Raymond Griffiths), a cab driver with a foreskin problem (yes, you read correctly, a foreskin problem), and the gargantuan Iron Lady (Karen Sharman), that stand in their way. Of course there’s that nagging question of the duo’s sexuality (are they or aren’t they?), as well as the Jew’s near-impossible Really Hard Red Bull Test. Fortunately for the lads, Kenny may just be so inclined, in more ways than one.
Leaving no trick, errr stone unturned in the realm of bad taste, “9DGG” wants in the worst way to shock and offend the viewer. Unfortunately though, the film’s really a big softy (no pun intended, of course) dressed up in the campy drag of an outrageous farce. Homos, heteros (or “breeders”), Jews, dwarves, and Catholic priests are just some of the groups at the… um, butt of the film’s jokes (again, no pun intended). As far as the promotion of offensive stereotyping goes, “9DGG” earns kudos at least for just not giving a good damn who it pisses off. Yet its bite is ultimately tempered by a supremely silly plot and an obvious fear of matching its edgy subject matter with visual equivalents. And Ky Mo, who’s undoubtedly talented behind the camera, shamelessly goes for the easy laughs far too often. I mean, how many times have we heard a little person proclaim, “I’m not a MIDGET! I’m a DWARF!!”? Or that black guys are well endowed? Or that gay people can be such colorful characters? This isn’t to say that nothing in “9DGG” works well. In fact, much of the film succeeds as a breezy romp with some truly inspired characters. The threadbare plot is really just an excuse to showcase promising unknown talent, foremost among it Mulhern and Mackey as the disturbingly opportunistic Irish blokes Kenny and Byron. Then of course, there’s the devilishly funny Michael Praed as The Queen, and the utterly frightening, “breeder”-hating Sharman as the Iron Lady, and well, the list goes on and on. In “9DGG,” Ky Mo has made a noisome, if uneven, splash. If he continues to cultivate the same ballsiness and heartily vicious sense of humor on display here OR in other words, if he can firmly plant both feet out of the closet, so to speak, big things are to come. Again, no pun intended.

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