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Trash Humpers (2009)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Trash Humpers (2009) If you know what you're getting yourself into, Harmony Korine's "Trash Humpers" does not disappoint. Anyone who hated his 1997 film "Gummo" will certainly hate this film MORE, but those who appreciate his unique brand of unconventional 'storytelling' and avant-garde, nightmarishly transcendent credo will definitely remember this flick long after viewing...

"Trash Humpers" is a hard concept to describe in a particularly coherent way, but it pretty much follows a group of freakish characters who engage in a constant onslaught of destructive activity. Their physical appearances are that of old folks (the faces all look a lot like the Grandpa from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") with the bodies of youths and their preferred sense of avocation seems to come from violently humping trash receptacles... Other pathetic, deviant characters come and go, such as a small boy in a suit who seems obsessed with smothering baby dolls in plastic bags, two guys who act as conjoined twins, a redneck telling some of the worst racial/homophobic jokes ever (the fact that he was in a neckbrace and sling was hilarious in contrast with his obnoxious personality), and a mentally unstable musician. After a while, it becomes clear that the maniacal "humpers" are, in fact, murderers but this is never really elaborated on and comes across as unimportant...

The entire movie appears to have been shot using an old VHS camcorder and is operated, documentary-style, by one of the humpers. Scenes are often "snowy", blurry, and show tracking bars and "REW/FF" signals. This style is incredibly effective in adding to the visual "rawness" of Korine's abstract vision.

The film "Trash Humpers" is completely surreal and haunting, while using an obviously minimal - or possibly NO budget. Personally, I am a huge fan of Korine's films - from "Gummo" to "Julien Donkey-Boy" - and as far as this film goes, it falls somewhere in the middle. I loved "Gummo", though I didn't find "Julien Donkey-Boy" as strong, but "Trash Humpers" is really something different - the idiosyncrasy and moral tone exceeding FAR beyond his prior works, in my opinion. It's debatable, but this is a PURE horror film, in my eyes, even though I found most of it down-right hilarious. From what I've heard, Korine wanted to return to his true "grit" roots after having directed the larger budgeted "Mister Lonely", which I have not yet seen. Yes! What better way to 'stick it' to those bureaucratic big-wigs than to make a film like "Trash Humpers"? This film isn't just a "bitch slap" to all those liberal arts majors who jerk off to Kenneth Anger films, thinking they know all the in's n' outs of arthouse/indie film making symbolism - it's Korine's personal statement to the film industry. You watch it, and you WILL agree.

If you can appreciate Harmony Korines auteur perceptions on film making and the world in general, "Trash Humpers" is a must see. James Cameron can spend tens of millions of dollars in creating a fictional "world" no one has seen while Korine can show a real "world" in real time in a light no one has seen and make it a thousand times more interesting and memorable...

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