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Trash Humpers

USA 2009. Dir: Harmony Korine. 78 min. 35mm

“A Dadaist delight, Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers is a direct descendant of Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures, perhaps the first and only.”

35mm PRINT! Harmony Korine’s utterly confounding follow-up to Mister Lonely — a work supposedly indicative of a “maturing” filmmaker — was an almost indescribably perverse, garbage-heap artifact made in the vein of crude, no-fi home video. Shot on VHS and purportedly edited on two VCRs, Trash Humpers chronicles, via disjunctive, single-shot vignettes, the puerile pastime of four sociopathic “seniors” as they perform abhorrent acts in their Nashville haunt — including, you bet, humping trash. The geriatric masks the actors don, which straddle the nightmarish line between authenticity and artifice, recall the living-dead visage of Grandpa Sawyer in 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a close cousin. Perhaps most disturbing — and ingenious — are the shrill, disembodied voices that terrorize the soundtrack, laughing, cawing, heaving, groaning in abject delight. Awarded top prize at Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX by a gutsy jury, Korine’s “found footage” freak show is a tour de filth to the nth degree. Proceed with extreme caution!



“The home movie from hell ... An exercise in experimental provocation and in pure insolence.”

The Guardian | full review