out of Five
Running time: 78
Demented, juvenile and utterly pretentious nonsense that comes across like a senile version of Jackass crossed with white trash performance art, yet it's also strangely enjoyable and has future cult hit written all over it.
What's it all about?
Any lingering doubts over the meaning of the title of writer-director Harmony Korine's Trash Humpers are immediately dispelled by the opening scene, in which four white trash weirdos in creepy-looking old-age make-up are seen literally humping trash cans, wheelie bins, trees and any other inanimate objects they can get their hands on. The weirdos in question are Momma (Harmony's wife, Rachel Korine), Buddy (Brian Kotzur), Travis (Travis Nicholson) and Herve (Harmony Korine) and the rest of the film follows them around, documentary-style as they hang out in rural Nashville, torturing dolls, cackling, miming masturbation with tree branches, smashing stuff up, performing poetry and monologues, indulging in orgies, singing made-up songs and occasionally murdering people, just for the hell of it.
The film is shot on crappy VHS, complete with auto-tracking messages, tape glitches and the occasional signal from a VCR (e.g. STOP, REW, etc.). Korine says that this was to make it seem as if the film could have been found in a ditch and he's sort of right – it looks a lot like a bunch of idiots got hold of a camera, filmed themselves messing about for a few days and then got bored and abandoned the whole thing.
To be fair, some of the scenes are strangely beautiful, such as a shot of them bouncing on a trampoline in the road at night or the bizarre climax of the orgy scene, where the men are being groped by three large, semi-naked women while one of them sings “Silent Night”. Similarly, there's a lot of dark humour and several scenes are disturbingly creepy, such as an attempted asphyxiation or a young boy smashing up a doll while cackling maniacally in a high-pitched voice and yelling “I told you I'd kill it!”
Despite its utter pointlessness, unpleasant characters and total lack of plot, there's no denying that Trash Humpers has future cult status written all over it – it's the sort of film where devotees will learn the songs, gleefully quote lines to each other and bond over the fact that no one else they know has seen it. Worth seeing, believe it or not.