SXSW 2010 Review: TRASH HUMPERS
Writer/director: Harmony Korine
Cast: Charles Ezell, Kevin Guthrie, Harmony Korine, Rachel Korine, Chris Gantry, Travis Nicholson, Page Spain
Congratulations, Harmony, you’ve just made the weirdest movie ever.
If I could described Harmony Korine’s TRASH HUMPERS in one sentence, I would say “Weird people doing weird shit while humping trash cans and trees.” Since you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’ve already seen Harmony’s previous films and you already know weird is Harmony’s God given gift. Harmony’s that guy that’s not weird for the sake of being weird, he’s just naturally strange and cares 0% about what people think of him or his films. By definition, he fits the bill. His recent outing is called TRASH HUMPERS. It’s extremely, um, colorful (trying to avoid that noun you know I want to use), and after a few days of what I just saw marinating in my brain, I came to the realization that TRASH HUMPERS is something I want to hang on to.
TRASH HUMPERS is a feature-length collective of three elderlys (or young people posing to look elderly by wearing cheap Freddy Krueger masks – I’ll let you decide) who do random acts of destruction, violence and yes, trash humping. I wrote down a small list of other things that happened throughout the film which raised enough attention to note: They clean a wheelchair at the car wash, lurk in windows and spank overweight strippers while one of them sings “Holy Night.” Through out the film, the Humper holding the camera belts out a haunting laugh. At other random moments, a new character is brought in and does some type of speech, those consist of: a little boy (who teaches us how to murder a doll by hammering it on a basketball court), a 50-something year old man dressed up in a skimpy maid’s costume that you have no doubt seen on Halloween who belts nonsense that I couldn’t even transcribe if I tried, two twins (random men connected by panthose at the head) make pancakes while the camera person yells “Make it make it! Don’t fake it!” repeatedly, and a man who stares at the camera and “woo woos” like a train for five to six minutes. This is TRASH HUMPERS in a nutshell.
TRASH HUMPERS was shot and edited on VHS – which makes the collected footage appear even more raw and disturbing. Harmony wants his audience to view this like it’s actual found footage of three sociopaths who filmed themselves lurking the streets and wrecking everything in their path. Throughout the film, the camera tries to auto correct and the images become distorted due to being shot on VHS (now been fixed due to the digital age). This is where I tip my hat to Harmony. Shooting in such a dirty style put the film on a grand scale of surrealism. If you didn’t know who Harmony Korine was and I told you this video was real, you’d believe me.
The audience is supposed to view this film like it was a tape randomly stumbled upon whether it be wondering down the road or coming across in someone’s trash. This feel gives the film a horrifying presence because it’s a sad realization that there are crazy individuals out there that just want to destroy the world. Since you’re at the end of this review, you know what you’re in for when watching TRASH HUMPERS.
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