Follows the lives of a small group of sociopathic elderly people in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Harmony Korine warned us, and a lot of people didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t listen. I caught a screening of his latest feature, the micro-budget freak-out acid test that is Trash Humpers, at a screening at like 10 on a Tuesday morning at TIFF, in a half-full jumbo theatre at the Scotiabank movie omni-plex downtown. He seemed sheepish as he was introduced, the one time enfant terrible who wrote Kids at 22 and made Gummo a few years later, saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ all the people whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d want to see the film are still in bedÃ¢â‚¬Â. He plead with us, saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re the kind of person that walks out of films, justÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ walk out right now, pleaseÃ¢â‚¬Â. Nobody did, not at that point, anyway.
Trash Humpers is really easy to explain and really hard to deal with, and it might be great. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not smart enough to really know, and although I know a lot of smart people like it, I find people that are smart enough to have argument-worthy opinions about the relative worth of these things to be untrustworthy. I certainly liked it (a great deal), when I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t actively wishing it was over. The film is intended to function like a piece of faux-found art, a Ã¢â‚¬Å“tape youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d find in the gutterÃ¢â‚¬Â, complete with poor tracking and video-toasteresque titles. Korine, in costume and character records his friends (accomplices? confederates?), actors put into gruesome old-face, the kind of geriatricization that Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville employed in Jackass, except these actors arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t intended to pass: theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re made old, and made weird. None of the characters lips or eyes move properly, and the female characterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s skin has a distinct greenish tinge. And nothing else on the characters is made up Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they have the hands and legs and arms of young people Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and they smash boomboxes, cinder blocks and lightbulbs with psychotic, aggressive youthful enthusiasm.
Korine calls his film Ã¢â‚¬Å“an ode to vandalismÃ¢â‚¬Â, which it could be. The four characters break things, get drunk and murder people, abduct children, pour soap on pancakes, screech and screech and screech. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s made a follow-up to Gummo that has abandoned that filmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s semi-traditional aesthetic beauty, its colour and vibrancy, as well as its hopefulness, what hopefulness there was in it anyway. Trash Humpers is a film about America 10 years later, about America where people upload 20 year-old snuff tapes of ill people being murdered by karate instructors to youtube. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dark and difficult and really really interesting, if hard to sit through (certainly for the 20 or so people who didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take Korine at his word and walked out halfway through the film). ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s certainly not going to win him any new fans, but for people that me that love his work, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a thing of gross-ass beauty and legitimate, considered depth. 8/10.