Love ’em or hate ’em, by now you’ll know what to expect from an Eating Out film: a hot young cast, some decidedly off-colour jokes and a flash or two of wang for fans to freeze-frame.
The third instalment in the series, Eating Out: All You Can Eat, ticks all those boxes, with accomplished queer behind-the-scenes man Glenn Gaylord (incredibly, not a pseudonym) coming on board as director.
“I didn’t come into it blind, I’d known [writer] Allan Brocka for years and I helped out a little bit on the first and second films,” Gaylord told the Star during his recent Australian visit to introduce the film at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
He may have known the sort of film he needed to make — in keeping with Eating Out 1 and 2, All You Can Eat is the sort of queer sex romp that could be filed alongside Another Gay Movie and Slutty Summer — but was Gaylord aware of the pressures he’d be working under? The ultra low-budget film was shot in just 11 days.
“The other films were made in 10 days, so we had the luxury of an extra day,” Gaylord joked.
“The first few days of the film were shot in my apartment, which was great for me because I got to roll out of bed and everybody came over. It was like, get out of bed, put the actors in my bed. I didn’t even have time to clean the sheets.”
He’s not joking — Gaylord decided to shoot all the film’s nude and sex scenes first (and there are a few), so the cast wouldn’t have time to get nervous about them.
“And if they chickened out, we could replace them without having to reshoot anything. And they knew that. But it was great. Chris Salvatore, who was first up with the nudity, actually asked for more takes because he was having such fun.”
The impossibly handsome, caterpillar-browed Salvatore is joined in the film by the beefy Michael Walker and petit ginger Daniel Skelton, all making their big screen debuts in the tale of an online gay love triangle. All three are also openly gay in real life, something Gaylord said happened purely by coincidence.
“It can’t be a deliberate thing, because you can’t advertise for a specific sexual orientation. I was really lucky that they were all forthcoming with that information as well. I didn’t ask them. Every man with a speaking part in the film is gay.
“And Rebekah Kochan [who plays fag hag extraordinaire Tiffani in all three films] always says, ‘I’m not gay but I love to suck cock’.
“I couldn’t be prouder of all of them, because it could be a career killer, coming out with your first film. But they all felt they made the right decision.”
Alongside all these newbies are industry veterans Leslie Jordan (famous as the caustic Beverly Leslie in Will & Grace) and longtime John Waters muse Mink Stole, a personal idol of Gaylord’s.
“I grew up loving John Waters films, and loving stuff that’s shocking, that makes you gasp, and that not everyone would say out loud. Mink was in a short film by Allan Brocka called Roberta Loved, and I was the boom operator.
“At one point between takes I said, ‘Excuse me Mink, I just have to say what an honour it is holding this over your head all day’. When I then got to direct her, she was so sweet, just so sweet.”
In keeping with the film’s incredibly short shooting time, a rough cut was shown at Outfest in Los Angeles a mere fortnight after filming finished. Gaylord said gauging the audience’s reaction helped him in the editing process. He’s since travelled around America and the world, fielding questions from audience members after screenings of the film.
“It’s so funny how different places will respond to different things — in Atlanta they booed a line that made fun of Michael Stipe from REM, because he’s from Georgia. I love that, getting audience boos!”
And, while he’s remaining tight-lipped on the details, Gaylord let slip that Eating Out fans can expect another instalment — or two — in the series.
“I don’t know if this is announceable yet, but watch this space for Eating Out 4 and 5. They’ll be filmed back-to-back… just like Lord of the Rings.”
info: Eating Out: All You Can Eat is now available on DVD through Love Films.