Mar 31, 2009

Highway of Heartache

At long last have I've finally watched Highway of Heartache; one of the most absolutely batshit films I've seen in recent memory. After viewing Gary's Touch, I came to the realization that Canada has some of the greatest avant-garde psychosexual films that refuse to see distribution (for obvious reasons). Highway of Heartache is what you would expect between the 50s clashing with The Anal Birth of Bert. The film's unusual level of camp is derived from the Day-Glo sets that are constantly used and the cartoon-like props and surreal intermissions of animation. Point is, my mindset is as scattered as the surreal jurisdiction of this very clever film. Withering, chain-smoking female Wynona-Sue is the crash dummy of this story. She does nothing but continuously sink into worse and worse proceedings that bring life to her tale. It's such a fate that her downfall leads to our high spirits.

A southern gal named Wynona-Sue Turnpike has dreams of becoming a Nashville country star and her only output for her emotional distress is in her lovely songs. After murdering her husband, she hits the road only to get venereal disease diagnosed by an Elvis Presley impersonating gynecologist and expresses her inner woes with very catchy tunes detailed with raunchy lyrics perfectly radiant of the overall theme of the film - "Itch in my ditch | Germ in his sperm." After this and more, Wynona-Sue regroups with her orphaned "nigger" child and evokes many bad memories of her promiscuous past. Highway of Heartache is best described as an trashy country musical of abstract integrity. Regrettably the best and only of it's kind. It's film making like this that inspires the underground to aim for originality and quality rather than blind entertainment.

It's no secret that this film never got proper distribution but in an event of counter-productivity, this film is an obscure secret shying away from a cult community that would be embracing its many perks as well as flaws. Perhaps the greatest moments of Highway of Heartache is its approach of racial acceptance or lack thereof. It really gives the film color, to see Wynona-Sue approach a Negro calling her special and dark-skinned - monotonously dismissing prejudice all the while calling them "niggers." White people who believe they must apologize to every Negro they meet because of their ancestors absolutely disgust me. As "parodied" in Fritz the Cat, it's this kind of impassioned racial ass-kissing that puts the "brothas" and the white race down. Just live and let live. Also, kill whitey.

Big hair is a thing of the past. Cry-Baby tried to reintroduce this dead fashion but I find that film to be as filling as cafeteria food, in other words, I abhor that film's being. Highway of Heartache reinvents a retro schematic for a contemporary musical sans the contrived song writing and uninspired events that unfold. To call this film interesting would be underwhelming and to call this film underwhelming would be a damn lie. While the events and absurdity seem to die down 3/4's through, the finished product is still one of the most original products of discourse I've seen on terms of sheer inspired mania. Highway of Heartache might also be the most offensive musical ever produced. Any film brave enough to introduce Blackface, let alone drag-queen Blackface, is an absolute treasure in my book. If you can locate this film, don't let anything stop you from viewing this ridiculous title of surreal trash that follows a doctrine of misanthropy. This film speaks with its own language, with its own culture, and is glorified within the reality present, veiling a lucid adventure of country music stardom with an aesthetic comparable to watching Nickelodeon on acid.


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