Directed by Harmony Korine
Reviewed by MaT, added on Jan 1 2005
I have no idea what the hell this movie is about or is trying to say. I'm sure in Harmony Korine's head, there is some magical "artsy" explanation for showing a bunch of little kids spout out cuss words that would make Andrew Dice Clay cringe. I could describe a multitude of things in the film that I probably just "don't get" because I'm not on some cool, hip, psychological plane of thinking that Korine is catering too. The plot, as far as I can tell, centers on a small town that has been devastated by a tornado. The town happens to be populated with the most God forsaken ugly ass people on the planet and is so blatantly a "Fuck you!" statement towards the "beauty and glamour" of Hollywood, that any power the statement could have made falters under the extreme ridiculousness (is that a word?) of the entire premise.
Korine is a very talented artist and the visual look and feel of the film perfectly blend the gritty, ugly, nasty feel of the town. Everything in the movie is portrayed as filthy. From the kid taking a bath in a black-water filled bathtub, to the stereotypical portrayls of "trailer-trash" men (and women) with no shirts on and with mullets only a Metallica fan could love, Korine aims to make the viewer as uncomfortable as possible. However, it just doesn't work. Unlike Kids (which he wrote), Gummo just doesn't connect on any type of level that resonates with the casual viewer. Instead of feeling uncomfortable and uneasy, I felt disinterested and detached.
Korine gets kudos for at least making an interesting film, even if it isn't a good film. There are enough crazy camera angles and flashy visuals to satisfy most of the "artsy kids", but in the end, Gummo isn't a very good movie. I don't care how many pieces of fried bacon are taped to the bathroom wall. Oh yeah, one final note, Korine plays the drunk kid on the couch groping the black midget and trying to get him to have gay sex. Why is this in the film? Only Korine knows for sure...