Jan 10, 2013

Trash Humpers

Admittedly, I used to regard Harmony Korine’s first feature-length cinematic work Gummo (1997) as one of my personal favorite films and a true masterpiece of American avant-garde cinema, yet while I still rank it relatively quite high, I have gradually lost faith in the filmmaker behind it, not least of all because I feel his patently pretentious and platitude-ridden fourth feature Trash Humpers (2009) is a glaring garbage-garnished sign that the confederate Jewish-American auteur may have lost his arthouse trash touch after a decade or so of soul-destroying heroin addiction. Undoubtedly, in the subversively stylized spirit of the short film Massage the History (2010) directed by Cameron Jamie – a work comprised of internet-found-footage from YouTube of amateur Negro rappers in a ritualistic trance-like state raping bourgeois furniture ever so gently inter-spliced with home-video excerpts of burning Christmas trees and skateboards – which Korine himself described as being one of his favorite films and even going so far as stating, "This shit is fucking mind-blowing." Like jaded Jamie’s strangely soothing and spiritual shit-aesthetic short (gyrating jigaboos and the sounds of Sonic Youth have never been so solacing and well synchronized before), Trash Humpers features a group of seemingly insane individuals humping animate objects, but what makes Korine’s work quite different is that it features a "loser-gang cult-freak collective" aka ghoulish geriatric white Southerners that bare a strikingly resemblance to the incapacitated Grandpa from Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) fornicating with furniture, among countless other seemingly less than erotic objects as opposed to a bunch of puerile pillow-penetrating pickaninnies in a post-Harlem paradise all of their own making (with their parents' affirmative-action-activated career footing the bill for furniture, of course). Shot entirely on the thankfully dead VHS format and assumedly edited in an absurdly archaic linear fashion, Trash Humpers unsurprisingly seems more like a terribly contrived and half-spirited Giuseppe Andrews trailer-park-art video like Touch Me in the Morning (1999) or Trailer Town (2003) than the much anticipated fourth feature from the mischievous little man behind Gummo – a curious collage of positively penetrating rustic renegade redneck refinement – which is quite odd considering I always assumed that Korine influenced the Hollywood-actor-trailer-park-auteur and not the other way around, hence my general dismay regarding the ridiculously recherché trasho-phile flick. Indeed, having first seen Trash Humpers around the time it was initially released, I was less than impressed and hardly inspired by the Korine effort, hence why I was reluctant to review it a couple years ago, but having given it a second viewing recently, I must admit that I found it so banal that I fell asleep more times watching it than I care to mention. Needless to say, I was quite thrilled to learn that Korine is now completely embracing his ancestral roots by exploiting a bunch of famous goy gals (as well as his own kosher wife) – pedomorphic Disney stars no less – for his wigger-fried upcoming film Spring Breakers (2013); a comparatively mainstream movie that will probably remind viewers to what extent the filmmaker’s kosher kinsman in Hollywood have almost singlehandedly contrived what is now consider ‘American kultur’; the true opiate of the American masses, otherwise known as "Trash Humpers."

 Featuring heretical hobos humping trees, elderly elders eroticizing bushes via maniac auto-erotic masturbation, handicapped homo-haters starved for attention, sorry Satanic sods slaughtering Southern cross-dressers, and grotesque old-timers trading in their shriveled members for large and in charge didos, Trash Humpers – not unlike many of Korine’s previous efforts – is a nefarious and mostly improvised neo-vaudevillian act of the rascally and raunchy sort with an assortment of ghastly ghouls who most likely spent their high school years sodomizing their neighbor's sheep. An ostensibly unlucky Judaic who had the seemingly fathomless experience of coming of age in the totally alien sub-Aryan untermensch realm of Nashville, Tennessee, Korine still managed to see a number of eclectic films ranging from Buster Keaton’s hammy silent comedies to classic New German Cinema works by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog during his adolescent years, hence the schizo-Semite filmmaker’s peculiar proclivity towards artistically embracing realist yet absurdist white trash film settings and real-life crackheads/methheads as wacky yet undeniably wonderful film stars (although for Trash Humpers, Korine opted for casting his wife, himself, and some friends in the roles) for his exceedingly eccentric arthouse films. To fully understand where Korine is coming from as an individual and artist, especially in regard to Trash Humpers, I believe it is imperative that one watch the episode of the German-French Arte show Into the Night with... (TV Series 2002–present ) where the feral Israelite filmmaker hangs around Tennessee with Argentinean auteur Gaspar Noé (I Stand Alone, Enter the Void). On top of cynically blaming white people for “ruining everything” and claiming random individuals don’t like him because he is Jewish as if every goy has a built-in Jew-dar system in their brain to positively detect his racial persuasion, Korine also seems severely disappointed when he finds out that Noé is no authentic Hebrew as he long assumed and claimed to have read in a random film magazine. Seeing as his own innate Judaic supremacism and anti-white hate seems to be the topics Korine keeps bringing up randomly during Into the Night with..., one can only assume that he looks through the world through a hysterical Heeb lens of lurid Reform Judaism lunacy, albeit an absolutely aberrant and culturally-mongrelized one as a result of his socialization with Southern Baptist folks in the deep South (Korine once mentioned his childhood Rabbi wore a cowboy hat), which makes his film Trash Humpers – a work featuring raging and murderous wild white trash mutants who erroneously attempt to reproduce with literal trash – an all the more coherent, if only superficially deranged, video art work. In other words, Trash Humpers, much like Gummo, is an exceedingly eccentric expression of the Hebraic collective conscious by a marginalized Hebrew unlucky enough to have grown up in the sunburnt, bloated-beer-belly of decidedly dirty Dixieland. Unfortunately, the film is nowhere as fucked nor fun as the fun-loving, filth-fucking characters in Trash Humpers would lead one to assume as a sort of softcore Semitic nightmare of a Southern dream dreamed up by a tiny post-methadone-entranced mensch who blacked-out on black tar heroin one too many times. 

 As I have mentioned in the past, I'd rather hump trash instead of watching another movie about the holocaust, yet Trash Humpers seems like a horror flick for second and third generation shoah survivors on dope and Prozac and a rather hideous yet equally mundane trip through one rather psychosis-ridden anti-Rabbinic Hebrew’s mismatched maze of a mind than a film that can also be appreciated by good little goy boys and girls. Naturally, I assume something has gone awry in the film artist’s creative mind when he creates a work that seems to be even less creative than the found-footage horror anthology V/H/S (2012); a clearly ambitious nostalgia piece that itself is far from being worthy of being described as a minor masterpiece, even amongst the banal bowels of the ever so slapdash horror genre. Like Korine, I grew up devouring a steady diet of obscure VHS tapes, but more importantly, the anarchic sort put out by subversive and mostly anti-social skateboard companies that had no problem breaking the law using copyrighted music without paying royalties and exposing teens to the esoteric anti-culture and customs of the then-marginal skateboarding world; a place for completely crude carny criminals who see stylishly savaging private and public property as a truly postmodern art form, amongst other mindless yet magical things and Trash Humpers certainly reflects this idiosyncratic influence, if not in a most loony yet longwinded, hopelessly humdrum, and intrinsically hysterical Hebrew sort of way. With his previous feature Mister Lonely (2007) – a work plagued by bureaucracy and a relatively huge budget at $8.2 million (at least for a Korine flick) – being both a commercial and artistic failure of sorts, Korine seemed to have made a rather extreme decision to head in the opposite direction and go back to his humble yet once-honorable roots with Trash Humpers, but as many junkies will tell you if they are not nodding out mid-sentence, it is virtually impossible to go back to normalcy after catching an aimless ride on Cocteau’s kick, thereupon causing the lapsed enfant terrible auteur filmmaker to lose himself as an artist during his more rebellious formative years and arguably the most imperative point of his life as a developing filmmaker. As Rob Nelson of Variety Magazine remarked, one can only wonder if Trash Humpers would have any fans if it were not for Korine’s already developed "hipster celebrity"; which in itself is a bad sign of an artist’s decline to a soulless and superficial status of art fag fandom, thus putting the once-infamous filmmaker in putrid company with fairy Francophiles, pseudo-Semites, and/or Philo-Semites like Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, and Sofia Coppola.  Of course, at least Korine is not one for self-censoring via pathological political correctness like most of his compatriots, thus contributing to why Trash Humpers is not a total waste of time, but a terribly tiresome test in accidental self-parodying by a once ambitious auteur that seems to have fallen from heretical Hebrew grace, which makes it all the more tragic considering the United States of America has never been a place known for an ample abundance of audacious avant-garde auteur filmmakers.  Maybe Korine should take heed of his own antediluvian scum-sucking-and-fucking characters collective chant, "make it, make it, don't fake it," as the seemingly apathetic artistry behind Trash Humpers is a big of a sham as the sentimentalism in Steven Spielberg's shallow cinematic shoah showcase Schindler's List (1993).

-Ty E


LeftFieldFilms said...

I own a copy of this film. Quite the oddity!

josephdriftwood said...