Nine Dead Gay Guys prompts walkouts at Cannes

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 30 2002 12:00 AM ET

The [London] Guardian reports that Gaspar Noƫ's violent revenge thriller Irreversible isn't the only movie sending patrons to the exits at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The British comedy Nine Dead Gay Guys has had both critics and hardened industry executives bailing in droves. "I am not easily shocked," said Arlene Carter, an American producer. "But I could not believe what I was watching and hearing." The film deals with two Dublin boys who run away to London, only to become rent boys when they can't find other work. The boys build up a clientele of stereotypical oddballs, including a rich Orthodox Jew, a well-endowed black man, and a hygienically challenged Indian taxi driver. Other characters include a dwarf who attracts lovers with his cattle prod. Hannah Rothman of Park Entertainment, the film's backer and promoter, says Nine Dead Gay Guys wasn't meant to disturb. "It is just a lighthearted look at the scrapes these two boys get into," says Rothman. "OK, these may include prostitution and killing people, but it is meant to be silly and not to be taken too seriously." One on-screen death has a character flying through a windshield during an orgasm, and another dies while being violently sodomized. While the film seeks distribution in the United Kingdom and the United States, it may all be just too much for some. "Most people in the cinema left after the first few scenes," said Carter. "I lasted it out as long as I could, and by that point there were only four dead gay guys."