Feb 26, 2017

The Devil’s Cleavage

Although I have somewhat mixed feelings, I have to concur with many of his fans that Slavic-American sod auteur George Kuchar (Hold Me While I'm Naked, Symphony for a Sinner)—arguably the most lovably degenerate filmmaker that has ever lived—created most of his greatest and most idiosyncratic cinematic works before he left his hometown the Bronx and relocated to San Francisco and became a perennial professor at San Francisco Art Institute where he would stay for the rest of his relatively singular life. Indeed, one might assume that relocating to the virtual homo capital of the world would have been artistically beneficial to a homosexual filmmaker, yet Kuchar’s early keenly kaleidoscopic no-budget masterpieces like Hold Me While I'm Naked (1966), Eclipse Of The Sun Virgin (1967), and Pagan Rhapsody (1970), among various others, certainly demonstrate otherwise. Still, Kuchar did manage to direct a couple of unequivocal classics during his first decade or so again in SF, including the masterful The Devil's Cleavage (1973), A Reason To Live (1976), the rather underrated Forever And Always (1978), and The Nocturnal Immaculation (1980). In fact, it was not until his one-time-student turned great-love, hyper hedonistic queer filmmaker Curt McDowell (Loads, Sparkle's Tavern), died of AIDS in 1987 that Kuchar’s artistic evolution seemed to end and that he got lazy and satisfied making relatively generic shot-on-video student films. While one could certainly argue that the digital dioramas featured in one of Kuchar's later works like Secrets of the Shadow World (1999) have a certain anachronistic schlock appeal, the film seems like a lethally kitschy piece of grating aesthetic autism compared to something as visually alluring and strikingly hermetic as Eclipse Of The Sun Virgin.

In terms of sheer ambitiousness and intrinsic cinematic insanity, Kuchar’s rare feature-length film The Devil's Cleavage is arguably the filmmaker’s magnum opus and certainly one of the great unhinged masterpieces of the American underground.  Indeed, it is hard to argue that Hold Me While I'm Naked is superior to the fecal-flavored tragedy and chiaroscuro-laden doom and gloom of Kuchar's bizarrely ballsy black-and-white feature.  Modestly described by Kuchar himself as “an impressionistic series of romantic set pieces filmed in seedy interiors,” the innately fucked feature reeks of perverse pulchritude and grotesque glamor, as if the aberrant auteur was attempted to direct something as ethereally beauteous as an avant-garde flick directed by French auteur Marcel Hanoun like L'été (1968) meets Josef von Sternberg's Shanghai Express (1932) for morally retarded John Waters fans and Troma turds. A sort of all-the-more-eccentric big sister film to the Kuchar penned and McDowell directed black-and-white pornographic cult horror classic Thundercrack! (1975), the film is equally grotesque as it is gorgeous as an unrelenting scatological farce that satirizes classic Hollywood melodramas by European-born filmmakers like Douglas Sirk and Josef von Sternberg and gritty film noir flicks by Nicholas Ray and Sam Fuller. Hopelessly convoluted in terms of plot and storyline as a cinematic work that feels like it is set in some alternate unhinged universe where time and place are dictated by the wayward whims of the mostly mentally unstable and sexually insatiable characters, The Devil's Cleavage is, in many ways, not much more than the psychosis-ridden fantasy of an obsessive cinephile that demonstrates more interest in golden age Hollywood than the sort of avant-garde and experimental cinema that Kuchar was loosely connected to. In other words, the film was not made with the intent of giving experimental cinema gatekeeper Jonas Mekas a hard-on. 

 Upon doing as much research I could on the film due to my suspicion that it would offend the outstandingly anally retentive and politically correct sensibilities of respectable bourgeois faggots and morally righteous white liberal wimps, I discovered that The Devil's Cleavage was not exactly beloved among many film critics, including bitchy gay ones, when it was original released. Indeed, in a 11/27/1975 review featured in Soho Weekly News, the nameless reviewer bitched regarding the film and his belief that Kuchar had totally degenerated as a filmmaker, “With HOLD ME WHILE I’M NAKED (1966), he made a kind of breakthrough into home-movie big time, and I can remember lines of Lower East Side patrons (mainly dirty old men) eager to suffer through the heights of a New American Cinema program just for 15 minutes of Technicolor Kuchar and of his star Donna Kerness wetting her magnificent breasts behind a shower curtain. We all thought someone had arrived capable of saving even independent cinema. But a lot of bathtub water has flowed down the drainhole, and I don’t see that Kuchar has gone anywhere except he has moved from the Bronx to San Francisco and—as a friend pointed out—he has advanced from color to black-and-white.”  Additionally, in a slightly less scathing review featured in the Chicago Daily News, Christine Nieland complained, “Unfortunately, THE DEVIL’S CLEAVAGE looks a lot funnier on paper than it does on film. For one thing, Kuchar makes no concessions to technical competence. The dialog is scratchily recorded, while the black-and-white visuals are harsh and ugly. Secondly, once we get the idea, we realize that we’re laughing at a one-joke movie. The level of parody remains consistent, which is to say the film never really tops itself. When you’ve seen one of Kuchar’s grotesque housewives, you’ve seen them all.”  To his great credit, experimental filmmaker Warren Sonbert (Short Fuse, Carriage Trade)—a somewhat tragic auteur who is best known for cinematic works dealing with his own frail mortality and losing battle with AIDS—certainly seemed to have a better grasp of the film when he wrote in an article for the Bay Area Reporter entitled An American Treasure, “This uproarious romp through the fleshpot dumps of San Francisco is a relentless exploration of sin, greed, lust and various inviting body parts – like Douglas Sirk on Ecstasy.”  Of course, it is ultimately impossible to articulate the singular majesty of the film in mere words, especially when describing an abstract (anti)melodrama directed by a man that was not very verbally articulate himself.

 Undoubtedly, what virtually all of the reviews that I encountered in regard to The Devil's Cleavage have in common is that the reviewers seem incapable of accurately describing even the most rudimentary elements of the film’s plot, which is certainly no surprise to anyone that has seen the flick. Indeed, the film is a hot and steamy mess of the nicely (and sometimes nefariously) nasty sort where logic and rationality are nowhere to be found.  Indeed, Pacific Film Archive director Edith Kramer was not exaggerating when she stated, “I don’t think anybody can copy or imitate George’s style. His whole career has shown an independent spirit in the best sense—he’s applied a very personal, unique style to an enormous body of work that’s like a fountain, never running out of wit, energy, or inspiration,” as the filmmaker’s many and oftentimes quite blatant technical fuck-ups and plot inconsistencies are even part of his own charmingly preternatural auteur stamp. In short, it is quite obvious while watching The Devil's Cleavage that it was directed by a uniquely uncompromising lost soul that only creates films for himself and is imprisoned in his own scatological universe where common everyday human wants and needs, especially of the sexual and romantic sort, are the butt of one big perennial joke that seems to be at the expense at humanity as a whole, especially that portion of humanity that was born and bred on the delusional dreams of Hollywood.  Directed by a homosexual man that mostly rejected the label of being a gay filmmaker that makes gay films as clearly indicated by remarks like, “I don't see myself as a gay filmmaker. . . . I don't think other people see me as a gay filmmaker either because certain of my films don't deal with that—and because I don't grab my student audience and fondle them on the side,” the film is only queer in the sense that the auteur sees heterosexual romance as a patent absurdity that he has nil nature intrinsic understanding of, hence is depiction of it as the height of irrationality and insanity (but then again, he depicts gay romance as equally absurd). Indeed, in a Kuchar flick, love can only end in death, despair, sexual and social dysfunction, and/or abject delirium. Somewhat strangely (or maybe not so since Kuchar would subsequently pen Thundercrack!), the viewer can only conclude after watching The Devil's Cleavage a bisexual ménage à trois is the only reasonable antidote to heartbreak and lovesickness.

When Josef von Sternberg said, “Shadow conceals—light reveals. To know what to reveal and what to conceal, and in what degrees to do this, is all there is to art,” it seems that Kuchar tooks these words of cinematic wisdom more seriously than most.  Indeed, there is probably not one single shot in The Devil's Cleavage where a character is not at least partly lurking the shadows, as Kuchar wants you to know these sad and mostly sexually depraved individuals are shameful slaves of their lustful longings.  As many of his films rather hilariously reveals, Kuchar, quite unlike his sex-saluting cocksucker comrade Curt McDowell, was a sexual neurotic of sorts.  In The Devil's Cleavage, the viewer is treated to what might be best described as low-budget neurotic erotic neo-Expressionism where carnal crimes are mostly boldly highlighted via the lack of lighting.

 Divided into three equally debauched chapters that chronicle the romantic decline of the less the glamorous female protagonist, The Devil's Cleavage is a farcically forsaken film where madness is the method. Featuring a naughty nurse named Ginger (Ainslie Pryor) that lives in the seedy suburbs of San Francisco, the film could be described in literal terms as a cautionary tale about the perils of being a nymphomaniac that is married to a lazy and seemingly sexually impotent Hawaiian man that falls to deliver regular dick injections (as any honest lady will tell you, every healthy woman needs their hole to be filled every once and a while lest they go insane and become feminists or something). Indeed, Ginger’s somewhat literally lethally lethargic hubby Edmund (Al Wong) is such a lazy loser that she is forced to search for new cock each day because he simply will not fuck her, let alone work or pretend to act like anything resembling a respectable husband. When Edmund briefly wakes up from his eternal slumber to beg “I want an egg,” Ginger prepares a lavish breakfast and then feeds it to her beloved dog ‘Bocko’ instead of her yellow bedridden spouse.  Aside from resenting her husband, Ginger hates the grotesque old fart patients that she takes care of so much that she regularly creates fake vomit and throws it at these poor helpless souls. A hopeless hawaiiphile that seems to be attracted to men that most women simply ignore, Ginger married Edmund because he is a Hawaiian aristocrat and she expected it to be an immaculate storybook marriage, but as she complains in terms of her grand disillusionment in regard to her somnambulist-like spouse, “He was the ancestor of some fat Hawaiian monarch […] He promised me a pineapple plantation and a necklace from the teeth of a tiger shark. Well, as it turned out, he became the pineapple and the necklace became nothing more than the collar of the leash.”  Of course, since her hubby sleeps all day, Ginger has no problem cheating on Edmund and getting away with it, at least at first until a couple busybody bitches decide to ruin her marriage with an anonymous letter.

 On top of everything else, Ginger is violently mocked and ridiculed by her slutty ghetto skank neighbors. Indeed, when one of the neighbors asks Ginger how her husband is and she nonchalantly retorts “not so good,” a haggard bimbo (Kathleen Hohalek) hatefully remarks, “Maybe if you both slept in the same bed, he’d feel a lot better.” At this point, Ginger gets in a brutal literal bitch-fight with the two neighbors that involves exposed panties and rabid bitching but seemingly nil landed punches. An unbelievably cruel and craven bitch, the haggard bimbo neighbor regularly tortures her own bedridden ghoul-like mother, who bears a striking resemblance to Leatherface of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (notably, the film was apparently completed in 1973, which was one year before the release of TCM), by dumping her own full turd-packed bedpan on her. When a tall, not-so-dark, and slightly handsome handyman named Marvin (musician and Curt McDowell regular Mark Ellinger) swings by the haggard bimbo’s humble abode to fix her dishwasher, she opts to drug the unwitting prole’s coffee so that she can rape him. Unfortunately for her, instead of successfully molesting Marvin, the sexually predatory haggard bimbo gets disgusted, runs out of the room, and is subsequently suffocated to death with a plastic bag during a brutal display of much-needed Filicide in what is indubitably one of the most potently perverse Schadenfreude-inducing moments in all of cinema history. As for Marvin, he luckily manages rob the haggard bimbo and then escape without even noticing that his would-be-rapist his being brutally murdered by her own progenitor. 

 When Edmund somehow wakes up long enough to receive and read an anonymous letter that reads, “Your wife is a tramp,” it more or less spells the end of Ginger’s horrible marriage. Indeed, while Edmund is reading the letter, Ginger is flirting with a sleazy Swedish beatnik doctor named Dave. A shameless slut that likes to pretend she has something resembling dignity despite the fact that she has downed about half-a-dozen dicks in the last seven days, Ginger cynically remarks to Dave, “Do you expect me to commit adultery for the sixth time this week? What sort of woman do you take me for?” and he reveals his sexual desperation by retorting, “I’ll take you in sickness and in health until death do us part.” Ginger also reveals her bizarre flirting techniques with Dave by telling him that she knew he was “Swedish” because, as she pretentiously states, “I could tell by the cold light burning in your eyes. Northern Lights . . . always shifting.” Ultimately, poor Edmund dies under dubious circumstances and Ginger exposes how much of a self-obsessed bitch she is by complaining, “Oh, why is he always gone when I need him most.” Not surprisingly considering her less than ideal circumstances, the death of her husband proves to be a blessing in disguise for Ginger as it affords her the opportunity of being able to relocate to wholesome Blessed Prairie, Oklahoma and begin a new life that is free of savage slut neighbors and worthless men that don't know how to treat a woman, or so she initially believes before she receives a rude awakening that involves a hunky yet less than faithful Midwestern mensch with a Cruising-esque mustache. 

 Upon relocating to Blessed Prairie, Ginger checks into a seedy motel where she meets a nice but morally feeble and sexually promiscuous motel manager named Frank (Curt McDowell), who hits on her by asking her, “Would you like some assistance to that Stairway to Heaven?” and then somberly telling her the abridged version of his hilariously tragic life story, stating that he is, “The only son of Mary and William. Mom died six years ago. She fell into a wheat-thrashing machine and became hamburger for the crows. My father’s in a mental institution near Tulsa. He was driving the machine.” As for Ginger, she explains that she is nervous about identifying her dead husband’s corpse because she is afraid she will laugh and that the morgue attendant will realize that she is “just black inside” like “the gates of hell.” When Ginger complains of the degeneracy of Hollywood Hills, Frank retorts, “Debauchery here is limited to tilting pinball machines on the Sabbath” and recommends that they drink a local alcoholic mix known as the “Devil’s Latrine” in symbolic moment that seems to seal the fate of what ultimately proves to be a disastrously aborted romance. Completely shocked at his inordinate warmth and kindness and seemingly enticed by his boyish good-looks and pervert mustache, Ginger asks the motel manager, “Why are you so good to me, Frank?” and he autistically replies with not even the slightest hint of irony, “Once, about two years ago, in an Oklahoma City restaurant on Main Street, I read a saying by the owner of the place. It was written on the menu, right beneath the beverage section. It said, and I quote, ‘Be good and you’ll be happy.’ I’ve never forgot that, Ginger.” Unfortunately for the two new love birds, Ginger has to go identify her dead hubby’s corpse and the two must temporarily part company, so Frank makes her promise to come back to him during an extremely cheesy yet somehow foreboding moment of melodrama where the viewer immediately realizes that things will end terribly for both the nurse and her new gentleman suitor.  Despite making Ginger promise to come back to him, Frank has not forgotten two of his ex-lovers and he makes the rather ridiculous mistake of attempting to reconnect with both of them after the naughty nurse leaves, thus ultimately eventually leading to tremendous soul-shattering heartbreak for all those involved.

 After Ginger leaves, Frank totally loses his mind and literally treads snowy mountains and examines caves while yelling “Ginger, where are you?” in the hope of finding his new lover, as if he suffers from amnesia and has forgotten that she has promised to promptly come back to him. A self-destructively neurotic romantic hysteric with a feeble mind and all the more feeble heart, Frank cannot even bear being without Ginger for a couple days and soon finds himself getting into contact with two of his ex-flames, including a lecherous good-for-nothing slut named Loretta that he looks for in a sleazy bar. On top of hunting down Loretta, Franks calls his devoted ex-girlfriend Angie (Virginia Giritlian) and attempts to coerce her into leaving her abusive homosexual boyfriend Ronald to come back to him. Frank’s old flame Angie loves him so much that she confesses to him over the phone upon agreeing to leave Ronald and come back to him, “Why? . . . Why after so long do you stand in the way of the torrent I call my life? You’re the only dike I cannot crumble; the only wall of sandbags immune to my treacherous tides. You have only to say the words and I’ll head back north.” As a pretentious woman-beating prick that cares more about his “war buddies” (translation: fuck buddies) than her, Ronald is practically begging to be dumped by Angie, who ultimately uses a gun to make her way out of the door. As a man that proudly brags that her once picked her off the street and fed her “caviar and Ritz crackers,” Ronald refuses to let Angie go in peace and defiantly declares to her when she walks out the door, “I’ll follow you wherever you go.”  Of course, as a sexually confused mad man, Ronald naturally follows through with his pernicious promise.  While on the journey to get back to her beau Frank, Angie passes a strange nighttime parade featuring unintentionally grotesque giant floats of Charlie Brown, Batman, and various other cartoon figures that seem like a bad omen. Needless to say, the perturbing parade is nothing compared to the hell that awaits her at Frank’s dilapidated motel. 

While Angie is traveling across the country to desperately get back to him so that they can reignite their hot and steamy love affair, Frank hooks up with another ex-flame named Loretta at a trashy party, though he initially does not recognize her because she has become a militant Girl Scouts supremacist of sorts. Frank agrees to go with Loretta “into the darkness” and initially seems quite adamant about jumping her bones, but when she attempts to fuck him, he bitches like a retarded prude, “A Girl Scout doesn’t act like this, Loretta” and then curls up into a fetal position and pathetically whines, “I hurt all over.” Disturbed that Frank seems to have nil interest in her nice nubile body, Loretta asks him, “who has crippled you in mind and body?” and then bitches, “Strange . . . I brought you in here to help me become a woman and, instead, I find myself wanting you to accept your manhood.” Meanwhile, Ginger eventually gets back to the motel and happily declares while in the company of her large mutt Bocko, “I’ve comeback, Darling, like I said I would, only I brought a friend with me this time,” but is perturbed to find Angie instead of Frank. When Ginger asks Angie who she is, she replies in a somberly poetic fashion, “A dead memory that someone dug up from the past” and then promptly points at gun at her somewhat less attractive rival. After complaining about Frank, “I must have been insane to believe that telephone call,” Angie attempts to shoot Ginger, but it is ultimately the former that dies in the struggle (or so the viewer assumes). When Frank finally gets back to the motel, he discovers a grisly crime scene and immediately emotionally breaks down during a much deserved moment of self-loathing (after all, he acted as an unwitting catalyst to the deadly estrogen-driven encounter). To his slight chagrin, Frank also discovers Angie's ambiguously gay (ex)boyfriend Ronald, who states to him in a somewhat sinisterly sadistic fashion while curiously rubbing his rival’s back in an aggressively homoerotic fashion, “Why don’t you go out and lay in some meadow. The dew is already falling and it may rain later on. If it does rain, don’t run. There’s nothing like a little bit of god’s water to wash away the dirt to collect the Devil’s Cleavage.” 

 After losing Ginger, Angie, and Loretta, Frank somehow finds himself in an ultra sleazy bisexual ménage à trios with San Francisco handyman Marvin and Ginger’s slutty ex-neighbor Stella (Michelle Gross-Napolitano). As Frank mournfully declares to his new lovers, “six-dollar-a-night-key” is a “small price to pay for twelve hours for merciful amnesia,” especially when you manage to lose three different lovers in a single day despite all of the three lovers being hopelessly in love with you. Stella is an even more hopeless and sexually nihilistic case after breaking up with his abusive beau (overrated Judaic cartoonist Art Spiegelman in a rare acting role), as she longs for, “an eternity of forgetfulness,” which she attempts to achieve via cheap alcohol and dirty loveless sex.  Apparently, Stella was enticed by Frank because she could tell he was “one of the lost” just like her and Marvin. Not surprisingly, lovesick loser Frank bitches of his love for the nurse from the “city by the bay” while in the ludicrously lusty company of Stella and Marvin, though that does not stop him from partaking in a threesome. Eventually, Frank seems to accept his new sorry lot in life and declares to his new lovers before embracing them, “Do you think there could be happiness for us? Not individually, but as a threesome? I mean, perhaps there is some truth in that theory of three being a sacred number.”

Meanwhile, a seemingly severely wounded Ginger is coerced into following a slutty pseudo-blonde home where the female protagonist is more or less raped by the pseudo-blonde’s hyper horny sleazebag husband. While being sexually savaged by the sleazy scumbag husband, Ginger sees her beloved dog Bocko outside and cries out for him, but he does not even respond.  Indeed, it seems that even Ginger's beloved canine Bocko no longer wants anything to do with her. When Ginger complains, “I’m afraid. I’m so afraid” while symbolically bent over in a doggy style position, the sexually sadistic husband replies in a stern matter-of-fact fashion, “We’re all afraid” and then proceeds to penetrate her puss in a relatively savage manner. Upon being forcibly fucked, Ginger seems to finally accept her pathetically perverse plight in life as an unlovable slut that is not even loyal enough to be a dog owner.  As one can expect from a Kuchar flick, love destroys all in the end and virtually all of the characters are left completely emotionally wounded.  Undoubtedly, if there is any special insight that The Devil's Cleavage reveals, it is that everyone is foredoomed to live in isolation and emotional solitude and that love can only end in devastating heartbreak and, in some special cases, a very ugly death.

 As a somewhat quirky (although not quite queer) chap with a similarly perverse sense of cinephilia and bizarre affinity for classic melodrama and film noir movies from golden age Hollywood, Canadian auteur Guy Maddin (Tales from the Gimli Hospital, My Winnipeg)—a romantic cynic with a fierce fetish for anachronistic filmmaking techniques—is naturally a huge Kuchar fan and even regards The Devil’s Cleavage as one of his favorite films. In fact, Maddin would lovingly state regarding the film in the documentary It Came from Kuchar (2009), “The movie I really want to be able to quote but I have to be able to see it again and again and again to do it is George's THE DEVIL'S CLEAVAGE. I just remember it having one line after another, each one eclipsing the previous one. And you could just tell it was just so much fun, and because they're at the dawn of my adult film viewing experience, they might as well have been my earliest childhood memories. But when I'm on the filmmaking road, trying to reach my own version of perfection, I still see THE DEVIL'S CLEAVAGE floating there.”  Notably, as an extremely modest and humble man, Kuchar rarely boasted about his own films and their importance and once even summed his artistic contributions to cinema history by stating, “I just, um, made pictures,” yet he seems to have also regarded his black-and-white melodrama as one of his favorite films as indicated by his remark in It Came from Kuchar, “THE DEVIL’S CLEAVAGE played in England. I made it with the school’s camera, which was sync sound. I got letters…people really enjoyed it, so I felt so much better, you know. I was happy I made it. It’s a big, turbulent drama about a big city nurse and stuff.” Additionally, in an interview with Scott MacDonald featured in the book A Critical Cinema: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers (1988), Kuchar remarked, “DEVIL’S CLEAVAGE has a revival now because of the punk thing. They like the heavy make-up and the costumes, and they like the subject matter. It’s real loud. When it first came out, some people liked it, some didn’t. Then it hit a period where everyone thought it was a grotesque horror. And now it looks good.”

Indeed, for a film that is well over 40 years old, The Devil’s Cleavage is still shockingly subversive and, aesthetically speaking, nothing short of an otherworldly celluloid orgy of delectable obscenity and blissful odiousness, among other things.  Certainly, in no other film will you find such a seemingly aesthetically schizophrenic mix of trashy toilet humor and chiaroscuro-heavy celluloid majesty.  Indeed, Kuchar is probably the only filmmaker that has ever lived that has managed to so blatantly blur the line between excrement and ecstasy, dementedness and deliciousness, and pathology and poetry. In other words, The Devil’s Cleavage offers unwavering happiness in a steamy and fiercely fecal fly-ridden filmic form that is seductively shadowy as Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr (1932) yet as scatological and schlocky as the most shamelessly morally bankrupt of Troma turds.  Undoubtedly, the fact that the film has never been released in any home media format is a crime against cinephilia and a sure sign that American cineaste oriented companies like the Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber Films are run by uptight prudes that rather peddle communist poverty porn and senseless feminist dribble than authentic American cinematic art.

 Notably, in his book Desperate Visions: The Films of John Waters & the Kuchar Brothers (1996), trash film historian Jack Stevenson revealed in regard to the imperative relation between Kuchar and McDowell, “In return for Curt’s help on THE DEVIL’S CLEAVAGE, George assisted Curt on his 1975 feature, THUNDERCRACK! This would be their glorious gift to posterity – the world’s only underground porno horror movie. George titled and wrote the film, did lighting, made up and costumed lead actress, Marion Eaton, and acted in the role of ‘Bling’ – the psychosexually troubled gorilla keeper who attempts suicide by crashing his circus truck in a thunderstorm.” Indeed, in terms of aesthetics and the people behind it, The Devil’s Cleavage is certainly a big sister film to the more pornographic Thundercrack!, which also notably features McDowell’s jumbo jugged sister Melinda McDowell and a number of the other same superstars, including Michelle Gross, Virginia Giritlian, Mark Ellinger, and of course Mr. McDowell himself.  Additionally, Kuchar's A Reason To Live starring McDowell is a sort of little sister film to the other two  While technically a melodrama of sorts, I would most certainly argue that The Devil’s Cleavage is easily the most bizarre, horrifying, and decidedly disturbing of these three films, even if it is not technically a horror film and lacks the oftentimes downright unsexy pornographic imagery of Thundercrack! (though it does feature a couple limp dicks and large saggy tits).  In short, I imagine the film would be nothing short of audio-visual torture to the majority of humanity, but for me The Devil's Cleavage is a healthy reminder why I love the art of cinema and why it sometimes takes the morbidly mirthful wisdom of a weird gay guy to realize the absurdity of getting all lovesick and melancholy over any one chick when there are so many other equally hysterical hymen-less harpies in the world.  Indeed, as a guru of the cinematically grotesque, Kuchar might have been a literal cocksucker but he was no loathsome faggot and his films reveal more testicular fortitude than the majority of action and superhero films.

-Ty E

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