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Totally F***ed Up (1993)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,507 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 15 critic

Gay teen angst...

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Andy
Roko Belic ...
Tommy
Susan Behshid ...
Michele
Jenee Gill ...
Patricia
Gilbert Luna ...
Steven
Lance May ...
Deric
Alan Boyce ...
Ian
...
Brendan
Nicole Dillenberg ...
Dominatrix
Johanna Went ...
Excalibur Lady
Robert McHenry ...
Andy's Trick
Brad Minnich ...
'don't touch mine' Guy
Michael Costanza ...
Everett
Babyland ...
Club Band (as Dan and Smith of Babyland)
Joyce Brouwers ...
Deric's Mom
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Storyline

Life really sucks for a group of gay and lesbian teenagers living in Los Angeles. Their parents kicked them out, they're broke and bored, their lovers cheat on them, they're harassed by gay-bashers. If things are going to be this way, maybe suicide isn't a bad idea; at least not in the mind of Andy, our major protagonist, who gives the film its title by describing himself as "totally fucked up." Written by Marty Cassady <martyc@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gay | suicide | teenager | lesbian | nihilism | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 January 1995 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Totally Fucked Up  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$98,967 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First part of Gregg Araki's Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy. The other two parts are The Doom Generation (1995) and Nowhere (1997). See more »

Quotes

Michele: I believe in love! I mean there's gotta be something for people to cling to besides TV right?
See more »

Connections

Features V Is for Violet (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Teenage Suicide
Written & Performed by Unrest
Published by Upon Entering the Hotel Adion
Courtesy of Mark Robinson & 4AD
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Seeds of Gregg Araki's Genius
18 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tracing the progress of innovative filmmakers is a pleasure for movie buffs. Gregg Araki developed a unique voice in film in the early 1990s (this film dates back to 1993), a voice that maintained a sense of immediacy with his actors who he directed with his hand held camera in a manner that gave the illusion that the 'script' was extemporaneous. Careful not to assign controversial roles to inadequate talent, Araki gathered a group of young actors and pulled the very best from them. Many of these early actors still maintain presence in Araki's prolific flow of films.

As is so often the case with Araki's stories, TOTALLY F***ED UP deals with gay sensibilities in a way that displays the entire spectrum of positive and negative response to his characters. He does not preach: he simply voyeuristically reveals lifestyles as though he were a hidden personage who just happened to fall into private moments and turbulent emotions. In this film Araki divides the examination of six teenage gay kids (four boys and two girls) into 15 dialogues, each representing an aspect of what faces his characters and how they cope with being on the fringe. The 15 episodes are related because the characters remain the same and it is this unique manner of making his story that has continued to be a trait of Araki's later, more linear films.

We meet each of the six characters in an interview situation, with only the minimal amount dialogue conveying the maximum amount of information. The primary character is Andy (a superlative James Duval) whose view of life is bleak to say the least: Andy doesn't believe in love, in commitment, believes he is bisexual even though he has never stepped out of his same-sex playing out, grows to depend on his friends, falls in love with a sweet talking fellow Ian (Alan Boyce) only to discover Ian is not at all monogamous, and finally feels the pain of heartbreak and makes a decision about life that ends the film. The other characters include Michele (Susan Behshid) and Patricia (Jenee Gill) who are lesbian lovers and stable figures for the boys, desiring to have children and a wholesome life without the need for male penetration!; Steven (Gilbert Luna) and Deric (Lance May) who are coupled but come apart when Steven has an affair and Deric is gay-bashed; and Tommy (Roko Belic), the one who falls in love too easily with every one night stand he has.

The episodes deal with the characters' sexual attitudes, AIDS, life on the streets, drugs, parental alienation, loneliness, abuse, suicide, and the desperate need for extended family. With Araki's technique we come to care strongly for each of these disparate kids: by the end of the film they feel like close personal friends of ours.

The filming technique is choppy and slips out of focus and seems to idle like a malfunctioning engine at times, but in Araki's sensitive hands these aspects add to the tension of the story. Clearly Gregg Araki is a gifted artist, and his films subsequent to this successful one serve to prove his growth and increased power of heart to heart communication. Highly recommended. Grady Harp


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