Aug 7, 2015

The Wild World of Lydia Lunch

Out of all the filmmakers in cinema history, very few probably can compare to Rainer Werner Fassbinder when it came to his personal love life being closely intertwined with the films he made and the people he cast in them. Indeed, Fassbinder largely made his quasi-psychedelic avant-garde anti-western Whity (1971) in the futile hope of vying for the attention of his married black Bavarian boy toy Günther Kaufmann by unsuccessfully attempting to turn him into a film star (the film was never even distributed theatrically and was rarely seen until relatively recently when it was released on DVD). Apparently, when Kaufmann fell out of favor at a certain point, Fassbinder decided to fire him from the lead role of Der amerikanische Soldat (1970) aka The American Soldier and replaced him with Karl Scheydt (though Kaufmann sung the film's theme song “So Much Tenderness”). Ultimately, Fassbinder would immortalize his rather rocky and one-sided doomed romance with his mulatto beau with his early masterpiece Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (1971) aka The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, though he would obscure reality by transsexualizing himself and his ex-lover in Sapphic high-camp form. While Fassbinder’s films and their background histories expose a seemingly romantically accursed man who could be both a venomous sadist and pathetically meek masochist, none of it quite compares to the patently pathetic and just plain repugnant lengths that the Cinema of Transgression anti-messiah Nick Zedd (They Eat Scum, Geek Maggot Bingo or The Freak from Suckweasel Mountain) went through to direct the superlatively shitty celluloid anti-love-letter The Wild World of Lydia Lunch (1983). While I certainly try to stay away from any film that features anti-Renaissance woman Lydia Lunch, my curiosity got the best of me after watching the documentary Blank City (2010) directed by Celine Danhier and learning that Zedd made the film to document the proudly cunty eponymous subject breaking up with him. Certainly an (unintentionally?) ironically titled work that makes Lunch seem like a disgruntled toddler who made a seriously botched attempt at giving herself a haircut while high on Ritalin and makes Zedd seem like a obnoxiously self-pitying little poser punk cuck who probably enjoys it when fat women step directly on his testicles with high-heels, The Wild World of Lydia Lunch is a truly cringe-worthy and Fremdsham-inducing example of phony yet pathetic art imitating phony yet pathetic life. As Lunch stated regarding the film in Blank City, “it’s a homemovie of me walking around with a ‘fuck off, leave me alone’ cassette I sent him in the mail as a soundtrack. I was not happy with this.” Despite being particularly pointless and of absolutely no interest to anyone aside from the ‘artiste’ and maybe the star, Zedd apparently felt it needed to be made, stating in Danhier’s doc, “I wanted to put something on film that would capture that moment in time,” thus revealing that he must be a morbidly masochistic mangina who seems proud of the fact that he was dumped by a decidedly dirty dame that has more testicular fortitude than him. Of course, the question is why would any self-respecting man want to make a film in tribute to his girlfriend breaking up with him featuring said girlfriend walking around aimlessly juxtaposed with an intricately bitchy audio breakup letter?!  Apparently, the same sort of man that would somewhat ironically write like a teenage megalomaniac in a (micro)manifesto, “We violate the command and law that we bore audiences to death in rituals of circumlocution and propose to break all the taboos of our age by sinning as much as possible. There will be blood, shame, pain and ecstasy, the likes of which no one has yet imagined. None shall emerge unscathed. Since there is no afterlife, the only hell is the hell of praying, obeying laws, and debasing yourself before authority figures, the only heaven is the heaven of sin, being rebellious, having fun, fucking, learning new things and breaking as many rules as you can. This act of courage is known as transgression. We propose transformation through transgression - to convert, transfigure and transmute into a higher plane of existence in order to approach freedom in a world full of unknowing slaves.”  Indeed, quite tough words for a man that makes such mundane art, as the only subversive thing about The Wild World of Lydia Lunch is that celluloid sped Zedd would actually try to pass off such a patently pathetic Super-8 turd as a real film.

 Shot in Ireland and England in the summer of 1983 while Lunch was there with the intention of starring in some film directed by Irish experimental filmmaker Vivienne Dick (She Had Her Gun All Ready, Guerillere Talks), The Wild World of Lydia Lunch ultimately seems like it was made so that Zedd could capitalize off of his (ex)girlfriend’s marginal fame as a slutty punk anti-princess and so-called ‘spoken word artist.’ Indeed, as someone that made the dreadful mistake of reading Lunch’s almost psychopathically written whore memoir Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary (1997) where she blames her degenerate vacuum-cleaner-peddling father and the fact that he supposedly molested her as the reason for her legs being perennially spread (or as she wrote herself in the book, “So twisted by men, a man, my father, that I became like one”), I immediately recognized her gratingly and distinctly emotionally vacant prose being vomited in the film. It is no surprise to most people that many artists tend to suffer from certain narcissism related personality disorders, but Lunch is a real unsavory crusty cunt with psychotic tendencies that is in a league of her own and Zedd’s abortive 23-minute doc reveals why she somehow absurdly believes that she is god's gift to men and that the world revolves around her unflatteringly fat ass. Indeed, even the greatest of menschen are willing to suffer a certain amount of ceaseless bitching, self-absorption, and irrationality from the so-called fairer sex, but any man that would dare to date the less than lushly lecherous spunk-soaked (un)lady Lunch is a major masochist and sub-beta-bitch, among other things. After watching a mere two minutes or so of the shockingly plodding pseudo-experimental doc, I was hoping that at least a dozen members of a biker gang would emerge from a dark alley and senselessly sexually ravage Lunch so that she would shut the hell up (but then again, she would probably enjoy it and I can only imagine the hideous hog sounds she makes during sex). 

 Undoubtedly, probably the only marginally entertaining aspect of The Wild World of Lydia Lunch is that a large part of Lunch’s rant involves bitching about whether or not the film is actually going to get made and that Zedd will have to fend for himself if he dares to take a trip over the pond to the UK.  In fact, after listening to Lunch’s seemingly lethal pathological bitching, the viewer is left shocked that it was, rather unfortunately, actually completed.  Of course, the film was probably assembled in a couple hours while the ‘actress’ and ‘auteur’ were stoned as a result of sniffing glue, so that would probably explain why the film is so piss poor even by Zedd's standards (notably, when the film was originally released on VHS, the tape also included Zedd's short The Bogus Man (1980) as if to remind the viewer what kind of director he really is).  In what is ultimately the most disgruntled pity party ever featured in cinema history, Lunch narrates via her self-described “a fuck-off-and-leave-me-alone recording” at the very beginning of the film, “Nick, nothing is working out as planned. I am in total despair…disrepair […] I have had some of the grisliest days of my life wondering what to say or what to do to you.” Of course, Lunch deceptively starts out the audio break-up letter in such a melodramatic way to portray herself as a damsel in distress so that she can kill Zedd softly and elicit phony sympathy for him while kicking him to the curb. In what might be considered borderline anti-Semitism by Hollywood standards, Lunch proceeds to bitch how her Hebraic manager Robert Singerman screwed her out of money and now she cannot pay for Zedd’s trip as she apparently originally intended to. In a shot featuring Lunch lurking in a dark stairwell like a poser Goth dyke, we hear the pseudo-spooky slag complain, “I feel like fucking off in the distance for a six month disappearance. After I have been believed for dead, maybe my high hopes, ignorance, and trouble-making will be forgiven and forgotten. Maybe I will be dead. I am in a permanent state of morbidity.” Somehow I doubt that, despite her pseudo-sullen bitch stares and Siouxsie Sioux haircut, Lunch is as morbid and hopelessly desperate as she portrays herself as, but I do not doubt that she is lying when she claims that she is comforted by, “the most morbid man the world has left alone” because, to quote her, “he is undoubtedly worse off than me,” as she is clearly a sadistic bitch who creams her festering stained panties every time she experiences schadenfreude 

 If the doc has any comedic value whatsoever, it is when Lunch spews pseudo-poetic barf like, “I’m at a loss of everything. I can barely move. I do not want to think or do anything…lethargy and apathy have placed their print at the base of my brain. My heart ran away with the moon and I’m left ugly and lonely. Although I tried to pursue, I don’t want to be left with the burden of finding us support.” Indeed, if there is anything more infectious than her daddy-defiled downy-bit, it is the acidic word viruses that she regularly excretes from her odious facial orifice. If Lunch has anything that can even remotely be described as an admirable attribute, it is that she actually admits that she is a nasty little narcissistic bitch, narrating in her anti-love-letter to avant-garde sped Zedd, “I am, due to necessity, becoming more self-concerned […] do not misinterpret this for anything other than self-preservation.” As for her comatose romance with Zedd, Lunch finally gets to the point when she cynically states regarding their shattered love affair, “What once was is never again. How sad…but not really.”  Somehow, I doubt someone like Lunch has the capacity to love, hence why she uses her gash to make cash.  Apparently, Zedd is no more optimistic about their love affair, as Lunch complains, “Your last letter depressed me irreversibly…so callous yet so true.” Alluding to the fact that she is NYC’s most routinely used cum-dump, Lunch also complains, “Anyway, I really need some fucking time off, I feel like a goddamn rag that’s been used to wipe up after one man from the next. You may or may not understand this condition.” Of course, as a seemingly masochistic man who tends to date bargain bin anti-babes and derelict divas that have less than effeminate faces than he does, Zedd probably can understand Lunch’s curious condition in some strange way. 

 As to why Lunch is breaking up with Zedd, she states in a considerably cold and callous tone, “I guess I just want to be relieved of any and all responsibly for and of your emotional, physical, and financial well-being. I do not want the hideous suffocation of any sort so capable of being readily reproduced with any relationship, even ours. My selfishness exceeds itself at this point, but if it doesn’t I would simply be forced to wither and die away at the fatal hands of repetition.” Like so many little girls who dump their little beaus, Lunch claims that she still wants to be friends with Zedd, even declaring during a superficially misanthropic pseudo punk rant that surely screams of juvenile posturing and gross insincerity, “…above all, I hope you’re my true friend. My cohort…in this unending and ugly garbage bin—the world—where self-denial and self-suppression is the key taught since day one. We go against this grain and we live for truth. The ugly fucking truth.” Of course, Lunch would not know the “ugly fucking truth” if an AIDS-ridden Detroit negro-beast bit her on her saggy semen-soaked ass. At about the halfway point of the doc, Zedd himself makes an appearance and cuckishly admires Lunch as if he is completely infatuated with her essence while she chews on a piece of grass while looking at the filmmaker as if he is a sad and pathetic nuisance who does not have what it takes to truly pound her putrid puss. After Lunch self-righteously declares to Zedd, “I need a vacation from all the fucking hassle I’ve gone through to make some stupid dreams come true and I have been try…I am racked […] You speak of the ruination of your life as you knew it; I speak of the death of mine,” the audio breakup letter has finally concluded and the rest of the film the viewer watches the eponymous gutter grade femme fatale doing pointless things like aimlessly walking around and standing on street coroners while locals look at her as if someone has flung a steaming pile of feces across her face.  

 In a vaguely intentionally humorous segment of the doc that clearly demonstrates that she lacks even the slightest inkling of maternal qualities, Lunch pushes a happy little boy on a swing while maintaining her signature disgruntled bitch facial expression. While the film does not feature the sort of nudity and lechery one would expect from a film titled The Wild World of Lydia Lunch (indeed, I bet Zedd came up the title strategically in the hope that more people would buy it on VHS as a result of assuming it was a Kern-esque blue movie) and starring a street slut that has no problem sucking cock on film, the viewer can see Lunch’s baloney nipples in a couple scenes where she is wearing a white dress that is far too elegant for such a rather unrefined gutter wench. In one of the few scenes where she actually seems genuinely happy and excited, Lunch plays catch with a dog who cutely sees her off when she rides away on a motorcycle with some random leather-clad lowlife. In what is indubitably the most pretentious scene in the film, Lunch smashes a small mirror that she is staring into, as if she hates being the female Narcissus of the Cinema of Transgression movement. In the end in a mellow yet vaguely Gothic pastoral scene that seems borrowed from Jean Rollin, Lunch enters a gated path, shuts said gate, and then disappears from the frame, thus assumedly signifying the end of her romance with Zedd. Notably, the doc concludes with the inter-title “Film Stolen by Nick Zedd,” thus making it seem like that the film was actually indeed shot by Vivienne Dick (for anyone that has seen any of her short films with Lunch, the aesthetic similarities are unmistakable) and that Zedd stole the footage and merely edited it together. Either way, The Wild World of Lydia Lunch is not the sort of film that any self-respecting auteur would want to claim as their own. 

 As someone that probably would not even have fucked Lydia Lunch when she was at her prime (sorry, but short and pudgy girls with shitty haircuts and attitudes really just do not do it for me), The Wild World of Lydia Lunch proved to be nothing short of an abject aesthetic torture test of the odiously obnoxious sort and, in that sense, it may be the most obscenely offensive thing that Nick Zedd—a less than sophisticated would-be-agitator and failed enfant terrible who thinks it is edgy to film burn victims licking titties and ugly fat chicks displaying their damaged goods—has ever directed. Naturally, when an obnoxious and emotionally stunted hipster brat like Zedd actually attempts to direct a film with a semi-serious and even emotional tone as he did with his Lunch doc, it has uniquely ugly consequences, but I never expected what probably can be best described as a singularly pathetically incriminating and self-denigrating vanity piece (of course, it is impossible to gauge whose vanity piece it really is).  As a fan of Kenneth Anger's Eaux d'artifice (1953) and early Werner Schroeter flicks like Eika Katappa (1969) and Argila (1969), I certainly have no problem with plot-less films featuring melancholy girls doing nothing but posing and walking around, but Zedd's film is about as aesthetically delectable as pus-covered potato chips. Apparently, Zedd has claimed that he made the film as a means to get revenge against Lunch for dumping him by making money off of her, yet the eponymous subject has mostly good things to say about the film and filmmaker, starting regarding the auteur and his debasing doc, “That he was bold enough to come and track me down anyway is a testament to his stubborn dedication to his art.” Personally, I think the film is more of a testament to how lazy, pathetic, uncreative, parasitic, and stupid Zedd is as an artist, but I actually have respect for Lunch for agreeing to allow her bitchiness to be exploited in such a shamelessly sleazy fashion that demonstrates that the filmmaker probably could have had a serious career in reality TV. Indeed, if Zedd should be awarded any sort of honor for The Wild World of Lydia Lunch, it is that he has probably directed what is the most embarrassing film ever made and I cannot even blame an insufferable cunt like Lunch for dumping his weak ass.  As can be expected, Zedd has only become all the more emasculated over the decades, as he is now a stay-at-home dad who spends his days doing laundry for his Mestizo son and assumedly taking orders from his much more masculine Mexican baby-momma.  While I am sincerely happy for Zedd that he has now settled down and has his own family, I pray that he does not make a homemovie in tribute to them in the vein of The Wild World of Lydia Lunch.  As for Lydia Lunch, thank god she has never reproduced.

-Ty E


Tony Brubaker said...

I want to bugger Lydia Lunch (as the bird was in 1977 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

Tony Brubaker said...

When this film was made Lydia was 24, 6 years past the prime of her life already ! ! !.

Tony Brubaker said...

Lydia did have such a gorgeous fat arse back in those days, buggering her senseless would`ve been a joyous pleasure.

Tony Brubaker said...

"The Wild World of Lydia Lunch" is an appalling film specifically because it was made in England, if it had been made in America instead it would`ve been superb ! ! !.

Tony Brubaker said...

"Mad Mad: Fury Road" is just more loathsome fag-enabling by the fairys who run Hollywood, bloody disgusting woofters, is there anything they wont try to taint everyone else with their odious virus, BLOODY HIDEOUS QUEERS, DESTROY THEM ALL, RIGHT NOW ! ! !.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to ask that at some point you make some sort of list of directors and films that are among your favorite that you would recommend. SS goes deeper than any other film review site, or book, that I have ever seen and there is simply no way to keep up, I think it's about time for a little retrospective. Reading the site it becomes a fucking cluttered mess in my head and I can only tackle one thing at a time, I do know I want to see After Man and more Fassbinder based on your praise so that's a good place to start I guess. I enjoy your work and endless suffering you endure so we don't have to, more than that I appreciate the honesty and cutting through of bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Ty... Ty... Ty... another brilliant and thoroughly entertaining stroll among the fringes of cinema's fringes, as usual. But am I correct in my perception from this review that Lunch is not, in fact, a Tribette as I'd always assumed?

Her physiognomy, her presentation of herself, and her willingness to do the most debased things possible for the merest of attention all scream "Jewess" to me -- but... I have, on occasion, been known to be misinformed.

Soiled Sinema said...

Scott: Indeed, I am surprised as you are. Although her real surname is apparently Koch, Ms. Lunch is actually apparently a kraut wop, or as she supposedly said herself when asked by a member of the chosenites if she was Jewish: "Sorry hon, the nose is Sicilian, the name is German. can't be part of every list."

Anonymous said...

Genetics is a funny thing. I've banged Jewesses who literally looked less Jewy than Lydia Lunch does. I've also seen quite a few enticing specimens of the kraut-wop mixture, and compared to them, Miss Lunch definitely emerged from the shit end of the gene pool.