Imagine “American Pie,” but with the h***y boys having the hots for other h***y boys. That, in the proverbial nutshell, is the basis of Todd Stephens’ new comedy feature “Another Gay Movie.”
But in fact, “Another Gay Movie” is anything but another gay movie – or for that matter, a gay rehash of “American Pie.” Yes, there is plenty of gross-out crass humor. But the film also has fun lampooning every imaginable gay stereotype under the rainbow flag – butch dykes, nelly queens, meth-fueled party boys, a Joan Crawford-worthy mother (played by the wire hanger-swinging cross-dresser Lypsinka), and even a taboo reference to the pedophiles of NAMBLA.
Film Threat caught up with Stephens at his New York to talk about this new production.
QUESTION: Where did the idea for “Another Gay Movie” come from?
TODD STEPHENS: I was actually frustrated when I came up with that idea. I had a lot of trouble getting distribution for my previous film (“Gypsy 83”) – people liked the movie in festivals, but distributors didn’t know how to sell it. It wasn’t easily definable and marketable: it was like a gay/goth/f*g-hag/Stevie Nicks/road movie. At the time, most gay films had to be so specific – the gay romantic comedy, the coming out movie – and if you did anything outside of that it was more difficult. So I said: “Okay, I’ll give you something gay! I’ll make the gayest f*****g movie of all time!”
QUESTION: Did you intentionally seek to make a gay “American Pie”?
TODD STEPHENS: I specifically did. I wanted to make a point that if straight people can have gross-out teen sex comedies, gay people can, too. I wanted to model it after “American Pie.”
QUESTION: Though, personally, I found the film surprisingly sweeter than “American Pie.”
TODD STEPHENS: Thank you – that meant a lot to me. A lot of people don’t see it like that – they just see all of the crazy stuff. But I wanted it to be sweet, too, and have characters you cared about and kind of evolved. But I also found “American Pie,” too.
QUESTION: You have a lot of gay stereotypes on display in the film. Was anything considered too often limits to put on screen?
TODD STEPHENS: It was pretty much every goes. I didn’t hold back. We have NAMBLA, for example, and that is something I would really laugh at it if I didn’t make the movie. But it’s had a really weird reaction. I think people feel they shouldn’t laugh it – some people say it’s too much, it’s where you cross the line. But I feel that it’s my job to cross the line. My earliest inspiration was the films of John Waters and he wasn’t worried about crossing the line – that was his whole goal.
QUESTION: How have lesbian audiences viewed the bull d**e character who is central to the plot?
TODD STEPHENS: It has been mixed. Some have been put off by the stereotypical nature of it, but some people want to party with her. It’s a movie where you just have to check political correctness at the door.
QUESTION: Do you know how straight people react to the film?
TODD STEPHENS: We did a test screening with a straight audience and they weren’t told what the film was going to be. I think half of the people walked out. Straight women liked the movie and seemed to respond to it. But unless a straight man is pretty enlightened, they seem to be scared by it.
QUESTION: What is next on your agenda?
TODD STEPHENS: I am developing a project called “Flamingos,” which is set in a gay retirement home in Florida. I may want to do as a TV show or a feature, I am not certain.