Trash Humpers: Official Review
After my recent article about “Trash Humpers,” I was graciously invited by the filmmakers to see it for myself. Honestly, I was excited going into the film, but nothing could prepare me for the film itself, which was equal parts humor and horror.
The film, if you catch the title, is about a threesome (sometimes foursome) of elderly cretins that live on the outskirts of civilization. They spend the film smashing the cast offs of society, whether it’s rubbish, old appliances, or even the human bodies. Once can sit and argue about the artistic merits of its Dogme 95 influence and Cinema Verite, but let’s be honest. It’s just ugly. All the characters (with the exception of one) are disgusting, vile, and boorish. The locations, mostly back alleys, side streets, and ruined homes, look awful. The props, costumes, and makeup are awful looking. The movie, shot with natural and available light on the long dormant VHS format, looks terrible. What’s amazing about Trash Humpers is that was the intention by filmmaker Harmony Korine and his team all along. It was intended to be an artifact, something to be discovered fifty generations from now so that people in the future could see how society in the twenty-first century is depraved. Much like we now watch The Great Train Robbery and Birth of a Nation with quiet reverence, the students of the year 2300 will watch Trash Humpers and see what life was truly like for citizens in turn of the century America. They’ll see the elderly gyrate their bodies on trash cans. They’ll see small children deface babies. They’ll see Siamese twins forced to make pancakes and then eat them with dish soap in lieu of syrup. The film is a thinly veiled metaphor for the fall of suburban consumer culture, where perfectly good items are discarded and destroyed. The amazing thing about this film is that you literally have no idea what’s going to happen next. Unlike the current crop of by-the-numbers popcorn films that infest multiplexes this time of year, there’s no “setup” or “payoff.” No “good guys” or “bad guys.” I can tell you right now this is the only film of the summer that will have baby dolls being dragged on the back of bicycles. What’s exciting are the characters that occupy the frame, and after watching this film, I can tell you that people will be talking about this one for years to come.