Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"gummo"(1997)d/Harmony Korine

Before I get started,I know gummo isn't a great movie.I often think about why I love the wretched thing.Maybe it's the fact I was zooted off my fucking loaf the first time I saw it,and scored a choice piece of strange pussy directly afterwards,though I seriously doubt anything we'd just seen helped develop any sexiness that was about to go down that night.Moreso,I think the reason ANYBODY digs this thing is no matter how much of a bummer your life might be going into tonight's entry,afterwards,you GOTTA feel pretty good about yourself.I can see impoverished quadrupalegics with terminal cancer proudly exclaiming,"At least I wasn't in gummo!" and they'd be right.There's a certain depressing vibe throughout this movie that just screams for attention.It was panned upon release by nearly everyone,but has gone on to attain a certain cult classic status,even given the thumbs up from legendary directors Werner Herzog and Gus Van Sant.Director Korine,who didn't work entirely from a script,used mostly non-actors,several different stocks of film,and shot it mostly in and around the skeeviest dumps Nashville,Tennessee(sorry in advance to you folks who're planning a gummo-based roadtrip to Xenia,Ohio),so most of the jaw-dropping poverty-injected nastiness you see on the screen is real.If you're anything like I am(God help you),you'll enjoy this dirty and horrible slice of poor white life the same way I do.
After finishing his spaghetti dinner in filthy bathwater,Solomon(Jacob Reynolds) enjoys a chocolate bar.
Xenia,a small town in Ohio,was devastated by a tornado in 1974,and never really recovered from it.The local populace doesn't seem to be doing too well,either.Solomon(Reynolds)is a dirty little kid with a Macy's Thanksgiving Parade float sized head,who,with his equally filthy partner,Tummler(Nick Sutton),ride around on their bikes looking for feral cats to snuff with their air rifles,so they can take the corpses to a butcher(who,in turn,sells the meat to restaurants)who pays them by the pound for the dead animals.The young entrepreneurs spend their money on glue for huffing,milkshakes,and sometimes a roll in the sack with a local guy's severely retarded sister,who fancies herself a palm reader when she isn't giving up the handicapped pussy for cash.Solomon's mom(Linda Manz,who,some of you will remember as Terror's squeeze,Pee Wee,in "The Wanderers"(1979))still bathes him(!) in brown,dirty bathwater.He eats his dinner in the tub while she scrubs him,and afterwards,he "lifts weights"(a handful of spoons and forks taped together) in the cluttered basement mess while she tapdances in shoes about six sizes too big.We also focus on Bunny Boy(Sewell)who skateboards around the depressed area wearing only shorts,sneakers, and pink bunny ears,who plays dead for a couple of dirty little foul mouthed bastards who play cowboy in a local dump,when he's not incessantly playing a toy accordion or french-kissing two young sisters in an above ground pool in the rain.The sisters live in squalor(big surprise there) with their little sister and housecat Foot-Foot,who's gone missing(but apparently safe from the boys because they only kill strays),and put electrical tape strips over their nipples to make their boobs bigger when they aren't visiting a tennis-playing boy with a hideous mullet with huge divots shaved into it(eyebrows and moustache,too),who has ADD or being groped in a local child molester's car.You with me,so far?
Dot(Chloe Sevigny)channels Wendy O. to disturbing effect.
Tummler's dad takes him to a party full of mulletted white trash drunks(and one gay black midget)who armwrestle(and he gets beat,he gets beat,he gets beat by his ownnn son!) then angrily beat up tables and chairs as if they were people.These people know how how to have a good time.Solomon and Tummler(whose name is a Vaudevillian word for lowest rated comic,by the way)find out that another sleazy neighborhood kid has been competing with them in the cat-extermination/meat business.They break into his house,masked,to find polaroids of him in drag,then shoot his catatonic grandmother(who's in a hopsital bed on life supports)in the foot with their air rifles,and when she doesn't respond,they pull the plug on her.There's also an albino woman with no toes on her feet,two bald meathead brothers who beat on each other in the kitchen,a girl that Tummler makes out with in an abandoned car in a junkyard,only to find a tumor on one of her bobblers when he hits second base,and another severely retarded woman who plays with dolls,shaves her eyebrows off with a razor,and sings religious songs.The boys stand in a field during a downpour,pumping their rifles up and emptying them into a dead cat,until Bunny Boy shows up to display that it's the sisters' cat,Foot-Foot,they've killed afterall.Cock a-doodle doo,doodle DOO,doodle doo.
Eyebrows are boring,take 'em all off,baby.
Chloe Sevigny,who went on to suck Vince Gallo's dick on camera in his "The Brown Bunny",scored herself roles in American Psycho and a gig on cable's Big Love.Director Korine,who was dating Sevigny when he made this,also plays a drunk who tries putting the moves on the gay black armwrestling midget at the furniture-wrasslin' party(He doesn't go for it,for the record,and I can't say I blame him).He's acted in Good Will Hunting(1997),written Kids(1995) and Ken Park(2002),where lots of people have onscreen sex,and directed a few other movies I don't plan on seeing anytime soon,really.The drunken white trash furniture-wrestler,interestingly enough,was played by professional street skateboarder Mark "Gonz" Gonzalez.It stands to mention that the fantastic soundtrack for tonight's film is made up of mostly superb metal tracks by bands like Absu,Burzum,Bathory,Bethlehem,and Brujeria,as well as some Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison(!).This is one weird fucking trip,droogies,and I suggest you take it at least once in your lives.You might even find yourselves repeating it every once in awhile.On the scale,gummo removes a painting from the wall,revealing four hundred cockroaches,and three Wops.
Bunny Boy(Jacob Sewell) and Foot-Foot(R.I.P.).


Mud said...

They buy milkshakes, not sodas... Solomon gets strawberry. But I, um, wouldn't know because I've only watched it once or so.

GREAT quotes throughout the flick:

"Tummler sees everything. Some say he's downright evil. He's got what it takes to be a legend. He's got a marvelous persona"

beedubelhue said...

You're absolutely correct.I need to lay off the cough syrup in the wee hours.


beedubelhue said...

If only Robitussin wasn't so damned tasty!


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