Aug 17, 2015
If assassinated Dutch auteur Theo van Gogh’s 06 (1994) aka 1-900 is the most strangely charming and cultivated phone-sex flick ever made, the quite literally titled work Fingered (1986) directed and co-written by Richard Kern (Nazi, You Killed Me First) and starring and co-written by Lydia Lunch is easily the most overtly sleazy, scummy, and stupidly sinister film on the subject. Booed off stage when it had the honor of premiering at the 1988 Berlin International Film Festival, Kern’s 25-minute (anti)erotic micro-epic is pure and adulterated celluloid trash that one might describe as the hokey heterosexual hick equivalent to the avant-garde serial killer short Pig (1998) co-directed by Nico B. and Rozz Williams, as a gritty black-and-white piece of fiercely fetishistic celluloid road kill set in Death Valley not far from where Manson and his minions engaged in psychedelic orgies, siring various bastard kids, and ostensibly planning an apocalyptic race war. A sort of thematic sequel to Kern’s The Right Side of My Brain (1985) as a work where ‘co-writer’/star Lydia Lunch once again engages in sleazy but hardly steamy unsimulated sex acts with white trash dudes that like sporting sunglasses in dark and shadowy rooms, albeit more ‘hardcore’ (while Lunch sucks cock and feels up East Asian tits in the earlier film, she gets fucked in both her pussy and asshole by her ex-boyfriend Marty Nation in the later film) and slightly more artistically ambitious, the unsavory short was apparently intended to be anti-pornographic, or as the auteur said himself in the documentary Blank City (2010) directed by Celine Danhier, “The title sounds like a porno film, but the whole point was to make people feel bad about sex, so it’s supposed to be anti-pornography.” Indeed, probably the only people that would diddle themselves to Fingered are murderously misogynistic psychopaths like Edmund Kemper and Ted Bundy, and/or misandristic wenches like Lunch herself who regularly describe men as ‘pigs’ and ‘assholes’ yet get hopelessly wet at the prospect of an abusive prick violently bending her over and demonstrating who is truly the dominant sex with his hard dick (indeed, such is the overtly salacious scenario that plays out in Fingered). Admittedly, when I first saw the film about a decade ago or so, I thought it was a worthless pile of celluloid shit that senselessly wallowed in being offensive for offensiveness’s sake, but after re-watching it recently I realized it has some genuine character and charm as a wild and wanton white trash artsploitation piece where real whores portray screen whores and real working-class lowlifes portray screen working-class lowlifes. Featuring perennial dumb cunt Lunch having a revolver violently reamed up her crusty old cuntlet and dirty dimestore diva Lung Leg being violently sexually assaulted in a way that the (non)actress/sometimes filmmaker would later describe as degrading (despite her rather vocal hatred of men, Lunch is apparently no less harsh in her dealings with members of the so-called fairer sex), Fingered ultimately manages to juggle visceral hatred and decidedly dark humor in such a way that is guaranteed to leave most viewers feeling defiled, emotionally schizophrenic, and/or discombobulated.
In Fingered, Lydia Lunch more or less plays herself as a phone-sex slut that moonlights as a gutter prostitute in what is arguably the most fitting role of her entire acting career (notably, Lunch would later state in the doc Blank City regarding the importance of her quasi-pornographic performance(s), “THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY BRAIN and FINGERED were like public psychotherapy because no one else was talking about this attraction to fear. It was about a violent expulsion bred by the riots, by Charles Manson, by the Son of Sam, and instead of turning the trauma inward, I turned it outward. You’re battered…You battered back”). At the beginning of the film, a fiercely foul fat slob (poof poet Emilio Cubeiro whose 1989 spoken word album The Death Of An Asshole was produced by Lunch) calls up Ms. Lunch while sitting pant-less in a chair in his apartment and declares to her while talking like a baby that sounds like it was raised in a 42nd Street gutter, “I want to speak to my mommy” and she replies, “I can only put mommy on, Joey, after you’ve given me the credit card number and the expiration date. You know it takes money to talk to mommy. She taught you that, didn’t she? Now, go ahead, Joey, give me the number.” Of course, the man-baby inevitably gives Lunch his credit card number (though he claims it is his “father’s” because he is “too young” to have a credit card of his own since he is ostensibly a baby) and joyously talks about sucking his mommy’s “big brown nipples.” Of course, since Lydia is a ludicrously lazy phone-sex whore who takes a less than lackluster approach to pretending to be the man’s mommy, the obnoxiously Oedipal urban ogre soon becomes fairly hostile and angrily bitches about how his mother was a “fucking pig cunt” who ignored him as a child so she could fuck an “asshole Irish insurance guy,” “Mexican slime delivery kid,” and “fucking black janitor with a dick bigger than his brain,” among various other eclectic losers. After declaring, “that foul cunt I came out of. It makes me, even me, cringe to even think about it,” the momma’s boy proclaims, “I don’t want to fuck your cunt. No no no no no. I want to fuck your pink republican asshole. Your sweet Avon pink Republican butthole” and soon Lunch hangs up on his sorry infantile ass. Luckily, the next man that Lydia talks to gets her so terribly turned on that she actually gives him her address so he can come by and finger-fuck and sodomize her in person.
Upon subsequently phone-sexing with a longhaired metalhead-looking degenerate played by Marty Nation on the phone, Lydia proudly declares, “I’m the hottest fucking slut in town…you know that” and her patron responds while masturbating, “You were born to worship my fucking cock and to slurp on my knob and tongue my fucking ballsack and just take my load of spew in your fucking face.” After the phone sex gets too hot to handle, Lydia gives Marty her address and tells him to meet her in 20 minutes. When finally Marty arrives, Lydia lies on a table while opening her legs in a spread eagle position while the ostensibly ultra-macho longhaired moron says things like, “I always get what I want because I fucking take it.” To get Lydia’s pussy all warm and wet, Marty whips out a switchblade and carefully cuts off her fishnet stockings with the knife. Despite being fairly overt in her unwavering hatred towards all thing male and masculine, Lydia sure likes her men to be almost maliciously macho and misogynistic as demonstrated by the flagrantly flirtatious fashion in which she asks Marty, “A big fucking man like you must have a lot of whores, right baby?” and is naturally quite sexually thrilled when he replies, “That’s right. I like whores. I know what they want and I give it to them.” Lydia and Marty seem like the perfect match made in hell as far as couples are concerned, as she likes a man with a “big fat cock and a pocket full of cash” and he prefers pussy-peddling sluts, or as she states, “Most fucking bitches are whores. A whore just asks for it right up front. A whore is just a little bit more honest than most bitches.” As Lydia lets Marty know regarding whores, “Not more honest, baby. They just lie better.” After the two talk dirty to one another for a couple minutes in a joyously vulgar manner that seems much more authentic than a foreplay scene from the average 1980s porno flick (apparently, Lydia and Marty began dating when the latter was only 16-years-old and the two remained friends after they broke up), Marty bends over savagely sassy slut and begins fiercely finger-fucking her while she ecstatically screams, “make me fucking cum you fucking pig. Fuck me. Fuck me.” While Marty eventually mounts and buggers the swarthy streetwalker, he seems to get a little bit excited in the process as it is not long before he expels his load and then proceeds to fist-fucking Lydia. Indeed, while Marty violently fists Lydia, who sounds like a horny hog in heat, she screams, “make me fucking cum, you filthy cock. Do it!” and then proceeds to have an orgasm.
After the two equally depraved strangers complete coitus and leave the apartment, Lydia is immediately approached by a sleazy middle-aged pervert on the street who grabs her arm and asks her, “Hey, baby, how much?,” to which she hostilely replies, “Get your filthy hands off me. You can’t afford it.” Needless to say, the would-be-john is pissed and retorts, “Well, fuck you. You whores coming around here ruining our neighborhoods with your goddamn faggot boyfriends.” Unfortunately for the sidewalk sex scavenger, Marty pops out immediately after he says, “goddamn faggot boyfriends,” and threatens the man by angrily stating, “Hey, you got a problem, buddy? Fat ugly motherfucker.” Although just initially threatening to kill the man due to his rather rude behavior, Marty gets a little bit too excited and stoically slits the sorry sap’s fatty throat with the ease and precision that one would expect from a barber who is giving a customer a quick shave. While Lydia seems somewhat afraid of Marty after he violently murders the stranger in cold blood, she meekly follows his orders when he demands that she “Get the fuck in the car” and then proceeds to take a little road trip with him in Death Valley that ultimately has savagely nihilistic consequences that even a morally bankrupt ghetto whore like her could not predict. While riding in his car, Lydia has the nerve to ask Marty, “What’s your goddamn problem? You didn’t have to do that, you know. What are you trying to prove, anyway?,” but he merely replies in a self-satisfied fashion, “He got in my way and had to pay.” Indeed, Marty has a malevolent plan that involves having some good clean fun with Lydia and some friends, but of course the two encounter a couple ‘detours’ on the way that somewhat predictably have rather deleterious results.
The first place that Marty takes Lydia is a place called ‘The Snakepit’ where the working-class antihero soon spots a redneck comrade of his lifting weights outside while listening to cheesy country music, which inspires the character to ask his friend, “What’s this cowboy shit?” Naturally, the poorly dressed desert weightlifter is quite pleased to see Lydia and immediately says to her with a sort of L.A. hillbilly twang, “Looky, looky, nice fresh nooky,” to which she whorishly replies, “If you can afford it, it’s yours.” Of course, Marty’s friend is immediately pawing at Lydia and playing with her tits, thus inciting animosity between the two sub-lumpenprole pals that eventually erupts into senseless violence. Indeed, while his friend is carrying Lydia and playing with her unclad mammary glands, Marty stabs him in the thigh and then forces the dirtbag (anti)diva to get back into his car, thus bringing a swift end to their trip to the so-called Snakepit. Not surprisingly, Lydia gets pretty angry at Marty at this point and bitches at him, “I’m sick of your macho bullshit. A real fucking hard guy. Fuck you!,” to which he characteristically replies, “You know, you talk a lot of shit, you dumb fucking cunt.” While Lydia continues to bitch incessantly in a manner that would put even a morbidly obese black ghetto welfare queen to shame in terms of sheer obscenely odious obnoxiousness and intolerability, Marty thankfully decides enough is enough, violently drags the lecherous unlady out of his car, bends her over the hood of said car, and then proceeds to ram his loaded revolver in and out of her seemingly putrid poontang, which she seems to rather enjoy despite bitching, “you stupid fucking macho pig.” After using his assumedly well greased gun as a sort of redneck dildo, Marty penetrates Lydia’s discernibly loose asshole while she shoots off rounds from the revolver in what ultimately proves to be a particularly absurdly humorous orgasm that makes it seem like lowlife criminals are masters of improvised carnal fun.
When Marty spots a greasy haired teenage waif (Lung Leg) with torn white clothing while driving in the desert, he gets extremely excited, announces to Lydia, “Yo, check it out! Some teenage flesh hitchhiking,” and then proceeds to coerce the seemingly petrified girl into getting into his car. It must be the worst day of the discernibly shaken teen’s life, as she has no idea that Lydia and Marty are sadomasochistic sexual outlaws and immediately tells them a sob story about how a menacing man wielding a large knife got violent with her and threatened to rape and kill her. Fairly predictably, the hot twat hitchhiker’s glaring fear and tragic story make both Lydia and Marty fairly aroused and they decide that they want to complete what the would-be-sex-killer failed to accomplish. While Lydia and Marty promise to drive the hitchhiker back to her house after she begs them to, the two scheming white trash degenerates soon begin manhandling the hysterical teen while they are driving down the road. Although the hitchhiker manages to put up a good fight against her sexually aberrant attackers, it does not take long before Lydia is sitting on top of her body in the desert and ripping off all her clothes like a Sapphic sadist who gets a kick out of raping young nubile girls that cannot fight back. Needless to say, Marty masturbates over the hitchhiker while Lydia feels up her tits and pulls down her panties and exposes her bushy beaver to the arid desert air. When the teen manages to break free from Lydia’s savagely sensual grasp, Marty chases her down and starts brutally beating her while yelling psychopathic things like, “You dumb fucking cunt…You shouldn’t have blown it. Fucking idiot, what are you fucking doing this for?! You brought it upon yourself. Goddamn fucking cunt. Why did you have to blow it? This is what you fucking get.” Indeed, while blaming his victim for the senseless brutality that he is unleashing on her, Marty angrily declares with a discernible degree of seething psychosexual hatred and frustration, “I could fucking kill you.” After brutally beating the hitchhiker within an inch of her life to the point where her skin and clothes are completely soaked in blood and dirt, Marty is rebuked by Lydia, who seems to realize she might be in some serious trouble due to her role in maliciously molesting the waif and complains to her lunatic loverboy, “Macho asshole jerk. I didn’t even want to come here to begin with, you big fucking dick.” In his defense, Marty says to Lydia in regard to beating the hitchhiker to a bloody pulp, “She fucking blew it. She had to pay.” In a twist Hollywood-esque ending that seems somewhat tacked-on and that I feel makes Fingered somewhat weaker in a sort of pseudo-moralistic sense that contradicts the film's overall aggressively nihilistic tone, an off-screen cop randomly says to Lydia and Marty while they are arguing, “Freeze! LA County Sheriff!”
While it is just speculation on my part, I doubt Hollywood films like Dominic Sena’s Kalifornia (1993) and Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994) could have ever been made without the imperative influence of Kern’s Fingered (in fact, Stone’s film seems like a sort of Hollywood postmodern pastiche of a number of Kern’s films). Indeed, while films like Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers (1969), and Terrence Malick’s Badlands (1973) certainly predate the epic short in terms of works about outlaw lunatic lovers, Kern’s superlatively sleazy slice of gutter grade celluloid featured a whole new dimension of grittiness, nihilism, human ugliness, and visceral sexual depravity that makes the other works seem like hopelessly contrived Hollywood romantic-comedies by comparison. Notably, the film largely owes its raw, rugged, and even psychopathic essence to the fact that virtually all of the actors more or less played themselves, or as Kern stated in an interview conducted by the insufferable left-wing hipster hacks at Vice, “Believe me, in FINGERED, Marty Nation was exactly like that, no exaggeration. The guy who's lifting weights, he was like that. Everybody was real. Lydia Lunch was like that. Lung Leg was like that. The story was based on Lydia and Marty's travels when she was 16 and they would hitchhike and get picked up by somebody, and Marty would take his knife out and start stabbing and cutting up the upholstery in the car, looking at the guy. All those guys were really scary. The guy who's lifting weights in it got killed about two years ago, somebody shot him finally.”
Additionally, Lung Leg would accuse Lydia Lunch of taking delight in authentically abusing her while making the film, or as she explained in an interview with Duane Davis in the book Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground (2008) by Jack Sargeant, “I played only one role as Victim…in FINGERED…I was really taken for a ride in this movie…Unfortunately there was no script, if I had seen the script I wouldn’t have had anything to do with it. Half way through the film I realized, this woman, Lunch is not making a film, Lunch is playing some kind of board game; with me and the other people involved…maneuvering…manipulating…etc…and for that reason I would never want to work with her again. She is abusing the medium. She obviously tried to make me appear ugly so I wouldn’t get her Boys, and in so doing reduced greatly the quality of the film.” While I believe that Lunch’s organic sense of sadism actually adds extra layers of psychosexual horror to the film, I can certainly understand why Ms. Lung would still be upset about the fact that crusty old cunt Lunch beat her up and pulled her panties down. More or less half anti-pornographic chamber piece and half pseudo-snuff horror road movie, Fingered is ultimately a work that has few contemporaries as a sort of poor pervert’s take on Jon Jost’s classic flick Last Chants for a Slow Dance (1977) meets the fierce filmic fist-fucking of the experimental S&M porn flicks of gay pornographic auteur Fred Halsted like LA Plays Itself (1972), The Sex Garage (1972), and Sextool (1975). Indeed, if you’re interested in experiencing a sort of metaphysical death-by-sex via celluloid in post-Manson Death Valley, Kern’s film makes for a great triple-feature with Teutonic dandy Werner Schroeter’s (anti)feminist arthouse horror flick Willow Springs (1973) and Nico B. and Rozz William’s experimental S&M serial killer flick Pig (1998). Although I felt that Fingered was nothing more than frivolous fetishistic trash masquerading as art when I first saw it about a decade ago, I now must accept the fact that it is one of the very few great and memorable (anti)erotic white trash artsploitation horror flicks, even if I hate to admit it. Of course, John Waters probably gave the film its greatest accolade when he stated in Blank City that it was, “The ultimate date movie for psychos…it is. If you had your first date and took the girl to see FINGERED and afterwards she said, ‘That was really good,’ you know you were gonna get laid, but how were you gonna get laid?! That’s the problem.” After all, if there is any female quasi-actress that is truly believable as an evil, wanton wench who gets a sick kick out of defiling little girls to impress her equally evil and classless beau, it is Lydia Lunch, who demonstrates in Kern's film that she likes to be both fingered and doing the fingering.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 2:49 AM
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