Saturday, November 19, 2011

Final Flesh: Porn goes apocalyptic avant-garde


Dir. Vernon Chatman

[Drag City; 2009]


After a prologue explains that the atom bomb is about to drop, we’re shown a family of three (mother, father and adult daughter) sitting around a kitchen table, deciding that they will stay and “die with dignity.”  The mother and daughter give birth to various food items and the father tires to climb back into the womb, and then daughter relates a dream.  We see a mushroom cloud, then another trio of actors in a different apartment who believe they are in the afterlife: they recite more humorous nonsense about God, death and the apocalypse and enact more bizarre skits before the action shifts to another trio in a different room, then another…










 For Final Flesh, we’re going to break with tradition and provide four different “indelible images,” one from each segment of the film.  A girl breastfeeds a porterhouse steak; a woman in a jeans, a tank-top and a skull mask threatens a man on his deathbed; a couple make out by mashing the skulls drawn on their backs together; a young lady in black lingerie performs a wedding ceremony on two corpses lying side by side.








 The conceptual art premise of sending a non-erotic script to beacted out by pornstars-for-hire might be weird enough, but when that apocalyptic screenplay requires the bemused amateur actors to bathe in the tears of neglected children and recite lines like “I just creamed my demon” after being slapped, we’ve traveled beyond the snarkily experimental into the realm of the existentially deranged.  All the world’s a stage and these men and women play many parts; if some of those roles require them to pour ketchup in a conch shell and poke at it with a turkey baster while moaning orgasmically, then maybe that’s just how this universe rolls.




Swallow the pill

1 comment:

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