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This Sunday is Oscar night, and we're willing to bet that the best place to hoot, hiss and cheer the Julianne-Nicole-Meryl smackdown will be Flex in Raleigh. It's not for nothing that Hollywood's annual gala is being billed as the Gay Superbowl.

Raleigh's Trailer Park Pictures will be using the occasion to celebrate the DVD release of Camp, their first feature. Camp has been playing locally for some time now, including last year's N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Durham, but the DVD has some special, special treats, including bloopers featuring a malfunctioning bottle of hand lotion, a mock trailer for a film called Cornophobia and a behind-the-scenes interview with Mary K. Mart, one of the stars and writers of Camp.

Camp is loosely (very loosely) based on Raleigh's efforts in the late 1990s to clamp down on drag entertainment. The resulting film is an uplifting, triumphant epic in which two rival drag gangs--the glamour queens and the trailer trash--join forces to defeat the city's agents of darkness.

This isn't a polished film, but it's very funny and there's enough toilet humor in this flick to make the Farrelly brothers seem like Bible salesmen. Furthermore, some of Camp's humor takes aim at the oppressors--one scene shows guys cruising in a park named for a certain J. Helms, and then there's the censorious Raleigh politico who turns out to be (surprise!) a closet case who wields an odd-looking crucifix.

But fun is what Camp is about. Some of the film's best gags are its fake commercials for products like "Convert Beer" (turns straight men gay) and "Anus of Olay" (don't ask). Join director Brigner, Mary K. Mart and the rest of the film's merry crew Sunday night, and don't forget to pick your Oscar winners. --David Fellerath

Although Flex is a private club, guests may be signed in by members. Or, you can simply join. Call 832-8855 for more information. Camp goes on sale at White Rabbit in Raleigh as well as selected nightclubs. See for more on the film.

  • Camp


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