Sunday, March 11, 2012

Garrett Also Loves Trash: Garrett favorite and least favorite trashy films

I had a hard time narrowing it down to four trashy films as well, but I stand by the four I picked. They're pretty damn trashy.

Maniac (1934)

Learning about mental illness can be fun! Especially when the person you're learning about it from is almost certainly fucking certifiable themselves. This movie is supposed to be about the dangers of mental illness, alerting people of these dangers so that umm...I that they don't opt to go crazy. Like Prince did after writing the song of the same name.Dwain Esper's 1934 film Maniac tells us about mental illness by introducing us to a wide variety of utterly bugfuck individuals. Like the untalented vaudevillian who makes his living as a mad scientist's assistant. Like the mad scientist himself who wants to prove his artificial heart works by telling the vaudevillian to let him shoot him so that he can bring him back to life. The mad scientist by the way, is played by the worst actor in the history of acting. Horace Carpenter, the actor who played the mad scientist had to have actually been mad to believe that what he was doing on screen was actually acting. It might be the worst acting ever, and I don't hand out such accolades lightly. The vaudevillian decides to kill and impersonate the scientist, and ends up encountering a variety of other crazy people ostensibly shown to demonstrate what mental illness does to people. Like how it makes guys think they're sex crazed apes and forces them to kidnap naked women or how it makes two women get into syringe fights or causes actors to hallucinate scenes from Haxan. Maniac is a truly trashy film and about as educational as Shark Night 3D. I love Maniac so much.


This movie is what would happen if John Waters decided to remake Videodrome. And then ate some bad shrimp before bed and edited his dreams into the dailies. Terrorvision is oozing with familial dysfunction, neglect, pop culture criticism and weird sexuality. The characters are all ridiculous caricatures. The antagonist is a garbage disposal from space beamed in via a funky satellite dish. Or is the antagonist child neglect or our media obsessions? Any of these are valid. It's smart, nasty, sci fi trash of the highest caliber. This movie is just great.

The Gore Gore Girls

What's trashier than strippers? Dead strippers, that's what. A "classy" private detective is hired by a trashy reporter to investigate murdered strippers. These strippers are murdered by meat tenderizer, scissors and having their faces fried. But this is not a typical slasher movie. This is an H.G Lewis movie. Lewis loves and exalts in gore, has no reason to scare you and came from a background in softcore pornography. He was a big influence on John Waters. So, if you're into trash, check out one of its progenitors and masters. This movie combines gore, surrealism and crazy humor in ways you just can't find anymore. Outside of a good Bizarro novel.

Visitor Q

What if incest was magic and God was reality television? Takashi Miike has done some mean things to his audiences. But Visitor Q is the meanest thing he's ever done and I'm grateful for it. Like Terrorvision, Visitor Q deals with uncomfortable sexuality, child neglect and the negative power of media to transform our consciousness, unlike Terrorvision, it also deals with necrophilia, excrement's efficacy as lube and the magic of lactation (which Gore Gore Girls only touches upon briefly). And unlike Terrorvision, this movie is a spiritual journey into the most rotten parts of ourselves and into the disintegration of the family unit. Dysfunction breaks down the family and we're left watching and wondering what will come in its place. There are no easy answers but Miike's is pure poetry. Obviously, this not for the squeamish, obviously this is the kind of Grade A trash that makes me proud to be a cult cinema aficionado and Bizarro author. Visitor Q is in my opinion, the greatest trashy movie of all time.

Least Favorites

Every Biker Movie

Werewolves on Wheels! Psychomania! She Devils on Wheels! The Glory Stompers! The Peacekillers! Biker movies should be awesome. They have such intense titles and bikers are some bad dudes. But I expected more from this genre. I expected it to be gorier, sexier and deadlier than any other film genre. I expected angels of death and mostly I get hooligans and casual nuisances. I want Edward Lee from biker movies and I get Wes Craven. Maybe it's just a matter of personal preference, maybe it's the genre, I don't know. The Werewolves on Wheels are barely on wheels as lycanthropes. The zombie bikers in Psychomania don't look like zombies. The Peacekillers don't do all that much damage to those hippies. The She Devils are among H.G Lewis' least weird and violent villains. Fuck you, every biker movie. You broke my heart.

Naked Massacre

Speaking of broken hearts, this movie is dead to me. I'm almost angry about deriding it because it means dignifying it with a reply. But I must raise the alarm lest somebody else become the broken hollow sad shell of a man this movie turned me into. Naked Massacre sounds like the most id driven, overstimulating funfest you can watch. It sounds dirty and exciting and more fun than a barrel of naked ladies who get massacred. This is instead the story of a sad Vietnam veteran who holds a bunch of nurses hostage in Ireland. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what to do with a movie called Naked Massacre, but somehow the dipshits that made this movie couldn't do it. Step 1: Nudity. Step 2: Massacre. It's not hard, guys.


Doing this post reminded me how truly passionate I am about trash. It was hard to narrow it down to these few, but here goes:



This movie was considered trash when it came out and that opinion has not softened with time. It is still a very misunderstood movie, with just cause. Glen or Glenda is not particularly lewd by today's standards, but that does not diminish its strangeness. It is a halfhazard patchwork of styles. It is delivered in documentary format, though it most certainly is not one. Entire scenes are conveyed solely via V/O and a fixed camera on an empty room. There are dark surreal sequences that attempt to convey the confusion of the protagonist, played by Ed Wood himself, who is conflicted about his proclivity for cross dressing. He asserts that he is a normal heterosexual man who wants to marry his girlfriend, played by his real life girlfriend, Dolores Fuller. Her acting is beyond awful, which adds to the magic somehow. Ed Wood appears in all his angora clad glory. He argues for the stigma of cross dressing to be lifted, which is brave. He makes up fake statistics and claims men's clothes are simply too uncomfortable and men's hats cause baldness, which is confusing. The fact that this film is disjointed adds to its novelty. The fact that Ed Wood is dead serious is hilarious. The fact that he made this movie on no budget in a time when this subject was clearly taboo, is beyond admirable and makes me love this man more than I can say with words. Hooray for Ed Wood, king of the trashheap!


This movie kicks all kinds of ass and it stars the lovely Reiko Ike who will stop at nothing to bring down the rival Yakuza gang who have been murdering women and getting them hooked on smack so that they will be obedient drug mules. The violence towards women is very disturbing but the revenge is so much sweeter because of that. If you like to see hot Asian chicks kicking ass this is the movie for you. The tone is a strange cross between hentai and a dark gangster film. There is little that is not shown and the colors are vivid and gorgeous. This movie does the amazing job of being a voyeurs ultimate fantasy and having a powerful message of female sisterhood and empowerment. The grand finale is pretty much the ending of KILL BILL VOL. I but with nakedness and golden showers. I dare not reveal more. It will blow your mind in all kinds of ways.


When a woman must survive in the Nazi occupied Netherlands she does what she can. She is beautiful. She was a once successful singer, before the war forced her to go into hiding. She is also Jewish. In order to infiltrate the enemy she worms her way into their company and seduces a high officer. Somehow this movie is thoroughly trashy and not any less smart because of it. Somehow you are with her, every step of the way. Only Mr. TrashKing AKA director of Showgirls and Basic Instinct could pull off this feat. The marriage of sex and violence is beyond awkward in Showgirls. But Black Book is basically a mash up of Hitchcock's Notorious and Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, if they were hot and wildly un PC. In this dark tale of seduction and suspense there is a palatable sense of horror and tragedy. War creates situations that would be unthinkable in times of peace. It turns an unblinking eye to the jaded adult world of compromises and deceit, and of heartbreak and courage in the face of all adversity. This is a movie about what the heart can stand, what the body can endure and what it looks like to try to be a human being in inhuman times. The grand finale is brutal and chilling. Her punishment for betrayal is something that can only be seen to be believed. Watch this if you dare!


My most recent discovery is this gem of precious filth and depravity. It is guerrilla cinema at its best. is haunting, magical and strange. It is viciously satirical, politically thought provoking and a decadent feast for the eyes and senses. It is like diving into a pig trough and finding so much delicious candy that gets you high and makes you want to be wild, take off your clothes, fuck like a maniac, start a revolution and rejoice in your bestial humanity! This movie is like Jodorowsky and Bunuel on crack. Sweet Movie was banned in Poland and got all kinds of people stirred up in all kinds of ways. This movie is dangerous because it is an active assault on the senses. It aims to confuse and discombobulate. And it succeeds. When you are done you don't know which end of you is up but you feel awake in a whole new way. There are two women the plot follows, one goes through a strange series of adventures including getting packed in a suitcase, sold to a millionaire as his virgin bride and getting her naked body covered in chocolate for a commericial. The other lives on a boat that has a huge Karl Marx face on the front. She is a revolutionary and she has more sugar than she knows what to do with but her love is deadly. Everybody should see this movie right now! WARNING!!The most disgusting scene in the movie is real and was not in the script!!


Bad trash is disappointing trash. Trash that is trash but not fun at all! SHAME SHAME SHAME on these!


The plot is that there's a Suicide Girls photo shoot in some spooky cabin in the woods. They don't know why the're going to such an unglamorous location and are kinda confused but go anyway. Girls start to disappear. The remaining girls panic slightly. More girls get killed. More girls panic slightly more. If there was a script to this trashorama, it was not a very good one. The dialogue is wooden and predictable and the continued ignorance is laughable. The chicks in the movie were either high the whole time or were pretending to be, in any case, there is very little dramatic tension or titillation. The only reasons for watching this movie were not present: hot chicks exposed, hot chicks getting scared and slaughtered in horrible ways. If you wanna get off, get off this train, 'cause it ain't going nowhere!


Anne Hathaway and Bijou Phillips play two rich girls who are bored with their privileged lives and decide to slum it with the local gang scene. They get a rush and come back for more, which leads swiftly to getting their stupid asses raped and hooked on crack. Their lives fall apart faster than you can say jailbait. You feel bad for these girls for getting fucked, but they are so goddamned stupid, you just throw your hands up in the air.

Dollarbin Massacre Goes Trashpicking with Constance Ann Fitzgerald

When Constance Ann Fitzgerald isn't working in a sex shop, she writes Bizarro fiction. In fact, she's one of this year's New Bizarro Author Series, like Spike Marlowe and Justin Grimbol. Since Constance's book Trashland A-Go-Go revolves around a stripper's adventures in a magical, fucked up world of trash, we thought we'd talk about trashy movies, films that test, stretch and shatter the boundaries of good taste. Films we should be a little ashamed to like whose creators showed no shame at all. So, she gave us a list of her four favorite and two least favorite trashy, trashy movies. And here it is.

Trashpicking by Constance Ann Fitzgerald

I love:

Pink Flamingos – In the interest of making this a proper list I have selected the quintessential “Trashy” movie to represent the entire John Waters catalogue.
This. Man. Knows. Trash. And better still, he isn’t afraid of it. He embraces it. When you think of trashy cinema John Waters should be the first thing to come to mind. In his films you can expect depravity in all forms. What makes his work special is his approach. Things that normally make you cringe probably still do, but you also laugh. His films make me want to visit Baltimore even though I know nothing interesting happens there. Ever.

Mommie Dearest – All the backhanding fun of Dynasty! Joan Crawford’s twisted discipline, withholding nature and all around bizarre parenting techniques reek of a hybrid Jackie Collins /V.C. Andrews novel. But, you know, with less incest.
Once you get passed the fact that this movie is based off of the book written by Crawford’s daughter Christina, and that these acts were alleged to have happened, it’s actually kind of fun.
You want to get lost with Joan. You want to see her succeed; you want to see her be glamorous and divine. And instead what you get is her face covered in cold cream shouting “NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!” and beating a little girl with a coat hanger. You want to see her rise above and
gain a sense of humanity. But you won’t. So just enjoy the ride.

Meet Monica Velour -- Kim Catrall plays a washed-up, boozey, aging porn star/single mom that goes back to stripping to make ends meet. Her biggest fan, and dork supreme, Tobe Hulbert tracks her down to catch her show and an awkward, uncomfortable, semi-sweet friendship is formed.
Anyone who has ever been a superfan roots for Tobe. Regardless of the uncomfortable age difference.

Party Monster - What makes this movie trashy isn't just the hedonism- it isn't just the pursuit of feeling good and being fabulous, no matter what the cost.
It's that these thing's ACTUALLY happend and they made a movie that makes it look like a really fucking good time.
Michael Alig built an entire scene and got so strung out that he killed and butchered his friend and then partied for 3 months until he was finally found guilty.
But Seth Green and Macaulay Culkin (his best work since 'Uncle Buck') prancing around on screen more than softens the blow. It makes you want to throw glitter on your hunchback and get out on the dancefloor covered in raw liver and fake blood.

I loathe:

Showgirls – I want to like a movie about a workin’ girl just trying to make a go of it. But I can’t. This movie was bad. Really fucking bad.
I grew up as a fan of Saved By The Bell. I remember Elizabeth Berkley’s finest moment vividly; Jesse Spano wacked out on caffeine pills crying in her bedroom singing “I’m so excited” until she broke down and fell into the arms of platonic best friend Zac Morris.
Bad actress then. Bad actress now.

Poison Ivy 3:The New Seduction -- Did anyone else know that they made FOUR of these movies?! FOUR!
In the third installment “Poison Ivy: The New Seduction” Jamie Pressley plays the little sister of Ivy named “Violet”. Big fucking surprise, every girl in all four films is named after a flower but behaves like a complete fucking tramp.
Violet is no different. She’s a dominatrix hooker seeking revenge on the people who threw her family out of their home due to her mother’s scandalous ways. Scandalous indeed.
Poison Ivy 3 must be a late night Skin-a-max favorite. It’s basically soft core porn. I recommend it to hormonal undersexed males everywhere.

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