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Credited cast:
Walt Dongo ...
Miles Dougal ...
Tiffany Naylor ...
Bill Nowlin
Walter Patterson ...
Vietnam Ron
Bill Tyree ...
Dingles Davenport


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Release Date:

18 April 2007 (USA)  »

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$1,000 (estimated)

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Inhale at your own risk
25 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Garbanzo Gas is my introduction to the directorial career of Giuseppe Andrews, who provides visitors to his site with a barrage of films to choose from, all of which you can guarantee were made from a miniscule budget. Garbanzo Gas has now found a way to etch itself as Andrews' most famous, with publicity circulating from Adam Rifkin's documentary centered around him and his directorial style by the name of Giuseppe Makes a Movie, where the making of this film was chronicled. Fittingly enough, this is a strong, independent effort, reminding me greatly of something director Harmony Korine might make in efforts to further bask in the light of imperfection and cinematic nihilism.

Garbanzo Gas works because it doesn't care, which is something that can be said about very few films. It doesn't care whether there's continuity, a story, believable characters, practical setups, songs with lyrics that rhyme, and so forth. It exists in that crack of cinema where everything is an anomaly and questioning its practices is nothing more than a trivial waste of time. If one simply sinks into the experience that Andrews provides us with, then one can maybe, just maybe appreciate his efforts to concoct probably the strangest film effort most of his audience has ever seen.

The film stars Andrews' longtime collaborators Miles Dougal and Walt Dongo in starring roles as Leon and Alan, two dirt-poor bums wasting a weekend in a hotel, one stranger than the next. Starving, and without enough money to even score chips from the vending machine, they notice that they are sharing the hotel with a cow ("Vietnam Ron") who has won an all-expense-paid vacation from the slaughterhouse by the slaughterhouse manager ("Spit"). We watch the listless events of the Leon and Alan try to eat the cow before befriending him after learning his struggle, and even learn that there is a killer on the loose by the name of Dingle Davenport (Tyree), who takes orders from a "talking" orthopedic shoe. And we can't forget the strange couple of T-Bird and Tawny (Walter Patterson and Tiffany Naylor), who we pop in on randomly during their night of oh-so strange sex and deviant acts, captured under Andrews' light of "no nudity or exploitation," so he claims in Giuseppe Makes a Movie.

One has to appreciate the bleeding "homebrew" qualities of Garbanzo Gas more than anything. Andrews is somebody I call an "anarcho-director," or somebody that rejects all convention, using very cheap cameras, paying his "actors" (many of whom are just local homeless people) about as much as they would make from a day's work at a minimum wage job, and even resorts to coaching his actors on what their lines/actions are just minutes, sometimes seconds, before he shoots the scene. Taking this into account, Garbanzo Gas is Andrews' tour-de-force for filmmaking, coming off much like Harmony Korine's Trash Humpers, both of which just seem like abhorrent "f*** yous" to cinema and all preconceived conventions.

Then there's the dialog of the picture, which is simply worth the price of admission alone. Andrews writes some dialog I'm positive has never been included in any film ever before, from the presence of excessive swearing in some scenes, to some of the indescribable things the characters to say. Andrews clearly writes what's on his mind, regardless of whether or not its meaningful or makes any coherent sense. Andrews even admitted that the way he came up with the title for the film was after he ate a can of garbanzo beans, farted, and laughed. He doesn't care either way. He doesn't even care if you're watching.

Movies like this strictly depend on the variable of what kind of day you're having and what kind of film you're expecting. In that case, I suppose I was having a pretty could day. To me, this film isn't much different than contemporary absurdist cinema by the likes of Quentin Dupieux or Todd Rohal, and the only difference is a significantly lower budget and less polish to the aesthetic and camera-work. If I were to loan this film to most people, they would almost all loathe the product and find the content abysmal and irredeemably grotesque and unfunny. This is an understandable reaction, as the film is frequently peculiar and basks in that light of cinema not many want to touch. The world is divided into three kinds people - those who like Garbanzo Gas, those who tried to watch and like it, and those who absolutely hate it or hate it without watching it. Inhale at your own risk.

Starring: Miles Dougal, Walt Dongo, "Vietnam Ron," Tiffany Naylor, Walter Patterson, "Tyree," "Sir Bigfoot George," "Spit," Ed Roth, and Giuseppe Andrews. Directed by: Giuseppe Andrews.

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