Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Goregasm (2007): or, Oh Dear God No


When you're young, your parents give you lots of good advice that, due to the nature of parent/child relationships, you won't fully appreciate until you're much, much older. Things like "Always wash behind your ears," "Look both ways before you cross the street," and "Never try to draw to an inside straight." It's only as an adult, having learned through experience the hard truths your parents tried to teach abstractly, you look back and understand the wisdom and compassion Mom and Dad possessed, and wish that you'd been smart and mature enough to take their advice before personal tragedy brought those lessons home.

Of all those nuggets of parental wisdom I wish I'd paid more attention to, perhaps the greatest is this: "Don't take candy from strangers."

Of course "candy" is figurative here. It could just as easily mean "poisoned toffee bars" or "LSD-laced Mickey Mouse tattoos." The basic truth remains the same--beware of gifts from givers who may not have your best interests at heart.

In my case, at last weekend Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in LA, "candy" was "a free DVD," and the strangers were the purveyors of the 2007 DIY orchestrated assault on filmmaking, good taste, and basic human decency known as Goregasm.

Looking back, I guess that title should have been a tip-off.

Think of a GWAR video, only without the showmanship, musical proficiency, and insightful social commentary. Think of a Troma movie without the high production values and delightfully cosmopolitan sense of humor. Think of all those dead baby jokes you and your friends used to tell in junior high, but without the rapier wit. Got it? Formed a picture of that movie in your head?

That movie is still about twice as good as Goregasm.

Better than Goregasm.

We open with a teenage kid whacking off to fattie porn in his room, and it all goes downhill from there. His mother catches him at it and reprimands him with the earnestness of a damp cereal box, saying "The Cockface Killer will get you!" if he keeps self-pleasuring.

Next Mom heads to her own bedroom to re-enact the scene her son was enjoying with a gangly fellow we later learn is meant to be the kid's dad--though judging from their looks, he'd have had to father the boy before he got out of diapers himself. Anyway, they've barely gotten busy--and in this case, it's a blessing--before they are attacked by one of the three focal devices of the movie, the Cockface Killer himself! CK is a hulking brute in a strategically-ripped black bodysuit (buttocks wahey!) wearing a German stormtrooper-style helmet, a dimestore zombie mask, and a phallus on his chin. Hence the name. Apparently devoted to wiping out all perversity by using the very tools the perverts use to sin, CK bludgeons the couple to death with a gigantic floppy black dildo. Lots of caro syrup blood flies, screaming ensues, etc. etc. And...SCENE.

Next we meet our lead characters, a couple of porn store clerks persumably modelled after Dante and Randal from Kevin Smith's comparative masterpiece. They spend their days talking about sex, selling sex toys and videos to a parade of eccentric degenerates, and pointing their more adventurous clients to a "glory hole" room in the back of the store run by a mysterious 3rd party corporation. Lead clerk Mark is having trouble with his girlfriend Stacy, who doesn't want to have sex with him because she's afraid of the Cockface Killer's wrath. His sidekick makes wisecracks that are meant to be funny. We get lots of shots of fake penises. SCENE.

We also meet the homicide division of the local PD, a man and woman team on CK's trail. Except the male cop nonsensically believes that the murders are not the work of the Cockface killer, but of a "Fetish Killer" who is going Se7en-style through a magazine called 13 Filthy Fetishes as a model for his killings. His longsuffering partner--the only halfway engaging actress in the whole flick--rolls her eyes and points out his stupidity in making up another killer where none is necessary. Occam's razor, dude. SCENE.

Still better.

Mark and Stacy finally overcome her paranoia to get it on, and who should show up but the Cockface Killer! They get slapped by his Dildo of Death but manage to escape, nude, into the streets. They buy clothes from a whore with a flea market in what's meant to be a rib-tickler ("Look at their funny clothes! Haha! He's wearing a pimp coat!") and the hooker offers to do them for half price. Laughing yet? Me neither. SCENE.

Elsewhere, a stereotypically gay guy is applying for membership in a girl gang known as the C.L.A.M. which stands for "The Clitoral Legion Against Mankind." Their leader is a big-breasted hispanic woman with a goatee (I wish I were making this up) and since the gay fellow is still technically a man, they beat him, torture him, anally rape him with a razor-edged strap-on, and then lock him in the glory hole at the porn shop. Wow, didn't see that coming!

So that's the set-up: Mark and his sidekick are out to stop CK so that the world will be safe for perverts, the cops bumble along doing their Abbott and Costello Go to Sodom routine (only not as funny as that sounds), and the C.L.A.M. commit atrocity after atrocity, occasionally crossing paths with and battling CK while the clueless cops prance around in the foreground.

After that's established, the movie devolves--as if it could further--into a series of skits designed to offend and disgust, in fact DESPERATE to do so. A woman masturbating at home alone is killed graphically by CK (close up of prosthetic lady-bits spurting blood and CK using his head, literally), the porn store "mascots" (a couple of underfed naked folks who have sex nonstop every day in the shop--and who seem to be actually having sex on camera, as far as my untrained eye could tell) are leisurely chainsawed in half by CK, the "hilarious" male cop has sex with his dead wife, the poor sod in the glory hole gets force-fed feces, and the C.L.A.M. and the Cockface Killer square off in a battle of villains that brings thing to a merciful though far-too-late end. Having fun yet?

Getting closer.

So the whole thing is pretty desperately, relentlessly repellent from one end to another. There's lots of nudity, but none that you would really want to see (okay, the girl playing Stacy is kind of cute in a "real girl and not a glamor queen" kinda way). The acting is all "Hey you, at the end of the bar! Want to be in a movie?" level, the jokes never even get close to being funny, and the effects are pretty much dildos and corn syrup. Oh, and it looks like it was shot on someone's dad's camcorder, which it probably was.

Of course, the people who worked on this would tell you I've missed the point--I don't have the requisite sick sense of humor required to "get" what they were going for here. And that may be so. Plus, there's really no such thing as bad publicity. I don't doubt that some poor soul out there will read this synopsis and say, "Wow, that sounds awesome! I've got to check it out, over a bowl!" And that person would doubtless be the producers' target audience. To him I say, more power to you. Don't let me put a cloud on your enjoyment. Let your rainbow shine.

But I don't think I'm exactly a film snob here. I've got Live from Antarctica and Phallus in Wonderland on VHS. I've sat through all the special features on the 2-disc collector's edition of Terror Firmer. I even enjoyed Die You Zombie Bastards, a movie with similar production values and goals but whose strange, jazz-like humor riffing and skewed child-like enthusiasm eventually won me over (and which I would recommend over Goregasm any day of the week). So I don't think I'm incapable of appreciating this kind of thing when done with a certain amount of flair.

So hey, kids, you've been warned. Goregasm receives a MMMMmovie record low of 0.25 thumbs, and that much only because I broke that thumb in grade school and don't have a full range of motion. (Okay, it's actually for the female cop, who was the only person here I really felt sorry for and wished she'd been in a better movie.) If you can break the cycle and take a grown-up's advice, it'll save you unnecessary pain and tummy upset. If not...well, sometimes we all have to learn our lessons the hard way.

That's the ticket.


[Note: The picture above showing raw sewage pouring into a waterway was taken by Trey Ratcliff and is licensed under creative commons. Plus, it's way better than Goregasm.]

2 comments:

Ryne said...

Great post.
Glad to see you're a part of the LOTT D.

Karswell said...

Yow! As if that ain't bad enough there was already a movie called Gorgasm made about 10 years ago. Sheesh, talk about, uh... I don't really know what else to talk about actually.

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