REVIEW: Trash Humpers
I have no idea–. I just don’t–. I can’t even–. What did I just–. I can’t–. I can’t! That’s it, I can’t. I don’t get what’s so wrong with me the past few movies, but it seems I’m choosing ones that are exclusively nearly impossible to review. From MacGruber‘s sheer awfulness to Splice‘s sheer awkwardness, there’s been a valid reason why the movie I’ve reviewed has been especially difficult for the last few weeks. No more. Harmony Korine, the demented spirit he is, has found a way to outdo all of them together. He has created something that I doubt exists in any actual space in reality. Wanna know a secret? I really did give Splice a numerical score out of four stars, as Dan will back me up on. Go to the review, I’ll wait. Can’t find it? Highlight the last line of text. Right after the exclamation mark. And tell me what you see. That’s right. TWO AND A HALF STARS. I felt like leaving that review open-ended because it accurately reflected how I felt after seeing that movie. I have no idea what my score for Trash Humpers is going to be. Like Roger Ebert watching The Human Centipede, I’m not sure it merits a star rating whatsoever.
Trash Humpers is the latest
movie film motion picture video project improvised creation thing from Harmony Korine, best known as the guy who wrote Kids. In the years since then, he’s been making inroads into the industry, but has found his creative drive stifled, over and over again, by a studio system unaccustomed or unaccepting of his genius. His genius, by the way, wrote a movie wherein late 20th century McLovin’ had sex with an eleven year old girl and gave her AIDS. You know all those teen dramas that are out now where adults make a series and pretend to know what teens are going through? That are so rife with sex, drugs, alcohol, violence and vandalism that you wonder where those parties were when you were a kid? Korine started all of that. So blame him. He’s an industry outsider, but only seemed to notice that during production of his previous feature, Mister Lonely. That’s why, after a long and arduous process making that movie, he made … this.
It seems as though Korine literally came home from the final day of promotion for Mister Lonely, pointed at the first three people he saw and yelled “YOU! YOU! YOU! WE ARE GOING INTO THE WOODS, WE ARE TAKING THREE WEEKS OFF WORK AND WE ARE MAKING A MOTION PICTURE.” Honestly, watching Trash Humpers, I’m mostly with that can-do, never say die, we don’t know what we don’t know attitude. Korine said that walking home one day, he saw the streetlamps casting light on piles of trash and saw something human, vulnerable and very humpable. This is a man who looks at piles of trash and thinks “DICK IN THAT”. This movie is not normal. It is not usual. It is not anything that can be described. It can only be seen and felt and experienced. It has this great VHS look and feel to it. Most critics point to that as some artistic statement. No, it’s cos this movie was made cheap. It was made small, cheap and fast and dirty. It looks like a VHS tape run through a clothes dryer because it was edited on two VCRs. By two guys who wanted their movie to look like it was edited on two VCRs.
It’s been a few hundred words–yeah, I’ve honestly lost count–and I still haven’t mentioned what this movie is about. Well, I watched 74 minutes of movie, and Harmony Korine never got around to telling me what his movie was about either. I feel like the child in the street, walking behind the emperor in his new clothes. If I mention that Harmony Korine’s film is a collection of footage wherein people wearing old people masks hump trash, eat pancakes with dishsoap, fellate tree branches, hump fences, teach eight year olds how to razorblade an apple, are taught by an eight year old how to suffocate and then shake a baby to death–can anyone say I’m wrong? That is what this movie is, and that’s really all it is, for some value of stuff I’ve forgotten. Oh, yeah, like that hobo poet in the maid outfit they kill. I forgot about that. And the dude who gives a brief monologue on how wonderful it would be if we all lived without heads.
A lot of the reviews I’ve seen quoted when it comes to this movie try to make it into a grand statement on art and the human condition. They call it a profound and disturbing experience. A hellish nightmare from which you may never awake. They try to take this movie and shoehorn it into their aesthetic philosophy. Harmony Korine hasn’t done much in his time as a filmmaker, but what he’s never done is compromise to your crap. He didn’t make this movie with any grand ideas of art or artistry or aestheticism in mind. He made this movie with the idea in mind that those piles of trash lining the sidewalks on his way home from the grocery store look very humpable. This isn’t an artistic statement, but that doesn’t stop it from being art alone. No, this document is one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever witnessed, and that’s the realm of art right there.
Now that I’ve reviewed it, my friends will watch clips out of sequence and out of immersion and tell me I’m a wuss to be afraid of or unsettled by this movie. It’s just silliness, right? It can’t possibly be something that would horrify anyone–I mean, it’s like Jackass with old people masks! They do that to Marble Hornets too, and because of those dicks, I had to stop watching that series. Trash Humpers isn’t a great movie. It may not even be a movie. But it is what it is, and that’s… well, that’s something, I guess. TWO..? STARS? MAYBE? I THINK THAT’S A FAIR RATING