Beefcake is writer-director Thom Fitzgerald's semi-fictional peek at the '50s gay underground printed up in Bob Mizer's Physique Pictorial magazine. Mizer was real, as was his softcore-porn-as-health-expo magazine, and Fitzgerald mixes in vintage Mizer photos, actual interviews with former stars, and other documentary touches to this campy flick. Later in Mizer's life he was charged with leading a prostitution ring, and Beefcake seems unsure about whether to lighten things up with cheerily fake sets and gay (in the Fifties sense) homoeroticism, or to focus on the decidedly less gleeful sex scandals. Unable to straddle the genre divide, Beefcake is too breezy to parade as history, with dramatic elements tacked on too hastily for a serious film.
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