Directed by Q. Allan Brocka, Eating Out 4: Drama Camp is the fourth instalment in the overtly gay comedy film series. This time, couple Zack (Chris Salvatore) and Casey (Daniel Skelton) – who starred in the 2009 predecessor Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat – and their straight friend Jason (Garikayi Mutambirwa) get accepted into Dick Dickie’s summer camp for aspiring drama queens. However, Zack and Casey’s relationship already hits the rocks before they even set off when tall, dark and handsome Zack catches the eye of the undeniably gorgeous Benji (Aaron Milo), which sends jealousy sparks flying from Casey, especially when Zack openly flirts back.
As well as Benji, other happy campers include tough cookie Lilly, a transitional woman (Harmony Santana); quirky Penny (Lilach Mendelovich); snooty Genevieve (Marikah Cunningham) and of course the eccentric and loud Dick Dickie (Drew Droege) himself, who has been celibate for seven-and-a-half-years and controversially bans any sexual contact between anybody. Benji decides to pretend to be straight for the duration of camp to ‘test’ his acting skills as well as to not ruin Zack and Casey’s relationship, but finds it a challenge, and Zack battles his temptation not to cheat on Casey. Luckily for Casey, though, he attracts the attention of the beautiful Beau (Ronnie Kroell), so even if it does all go balls up, at least he has a comforter available.
The main plot involves the jealous and suspicious (but incredibly cute) Casey, who does not like the sizzling chemistry between Zack and Benji and does not believe Benji is really straight, trying to make sure his boyfriend doesn’t cheat and attempting to catch Benji out as a flaming homo. With the help of the crazy and bubbly Penny, they devise ways to find out Benji’s real sexuality, hoping Zack will be put off by his lies but also risking the chance that he would try it on with Benji. While Zack and Casey’s strange relationship – and the perplexing twists it takes throughout the film – is hard to get one’s head around, the more touching and sincere sub-plot sees Jason trying to figure out his own feelings for Lilly. All she wants is a guy who doesn’t play games and just wants relationships to be simple and straightforward like the olden days. Don’t we all?
Despite the fact none of these guys and girls are going to be winning Oscars for their less than stellar acting any time soon, and although the script constantly flits between cringe-worthy, outrageous, crudely funny, and even completely baffling, Eating Out 4: Drama Camp does not take itself too seriously and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, either. This film is like an even camper, far more overly dramatic and highly sexualised version of Glee, which it references on occasion, and it’s not afraid to be very in-your-face and openly gay about it. It’s brash, over-the-top and cliché-ridden, but Eating Out 4 also has snippets of hilarity, heaps of sexiness and even some quite emotional scenes to balance itself out.