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Trash Humpers (2009)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  14 April 2011 (Netherlands)
5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 2,669 users   Metascore: 33/100
Reviews: 30 user | 73 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

Follows the lives of a small group of sociopathic elderly people in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Momma
Brian Kotzur ...
Buddy
...
Travis
...
Hervé
Seth Peterson
...
Plak
Charles Ezell ...
Twin
Crystal
Jennifer
Roxxie
Page Spain
Chris Gantry ...
Singer
Chris Crofton
Paul Booker
Dave Cloud
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Storyline

Follows the lives of a small group of sociopathic elderly people in Nashville, Tennessee.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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14 April 2011 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Frotadores de basura  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were only four months between the start of shooting and the film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009. See more »

Quotes

Hervé: Make it! Make it! Don't fake it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Mr. T #2 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Single Girl, Married Girl
Lyrics and Music by A.P. Carter
©Peer International Corp.
With the authorization of La Societe D'Editions Musicales Internationales (S.E.M.I.) -Paris-France
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User Reviews

 
Is humping a US mailbox legal?
30 September 2009 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

Young provocateur filmmaker Harmony Korine, who lives in and grew up in Nashville, has made a film in trashy cheap VHS that evokes the nightmare world of degenerate southern redneck swine.

He doesn't exactly say that. He explains when talking of the film that growing up, there were some scary old people who used to peek in windows at night, particularly next door where there was a young girl. Now the underpasses and open lots that he roamed as a youth are full of trash, and looking at trash receptacles one day the idea came to him of people humping them. He couldn't get real old people to play his roles so he gathered together a group of friends earlier this year who wear old person masks in the film. A couple of weeks of warming up and a couple of weeks of wandering around and shooting as the cast improvised and the film, like a sketch made on a whim, was done. It's perhaps an antidote to the more elaborate process involved in Korine's last film, 'Mr. Lonely,' a more straightforward film starring Diego Luna, Samantha Morton, and others.

There is no plot, just a series of random scenes. A boy tries and fails to sink a basketball in a hoop. The garbage cans get humped. A screeching old lady rides a small dirt bike around with a baby doll tied dragging behind. The boy takes a hatchet to a doll in a parking lot and tries to chop up its head. A man recites an improvised poem about a nation of trash while one of the masked oldsters sits in a wheelchair and throws out firecrackers at a bunch of balloons. There is some nakedness. There is some nasty talk. There is almost the fear Korine said his wife felt when he played a VHS tape somebody'd given him, that it was going to turn into a snuff film. Korine wanted this to look and feel like found footage, like stuff on a strange videotape found in the trash somewhere. Made by old and demented perverts living a free and aimless life.

Some of the images may evoke various sources such as Diane Arbus or Ralph Eugene Meatyard's still photos (strangeness, retardation, aimlessness, Gothic vacuity), but he denies any such connections. Somebody has suggested Korine is treading on the ground of early John Waters. But Waters has a knack for plot; even Korine's structured 'Kids' scenario rambles. And Waters has a great sense of humor. 'Trash Humpers' is ridiculous -- it's a horror movie that's also a comedy -- but there is no wit in it. It's a kind of improvised voyeurism. It does succeed in wandering well outside the mainstream. Its use of a very primitive kind of VHS reminds us as in a far more complex way did David Lynch's beautiful 'Inland Empire' that seeming "found" footage can be deeply evocative and scary. Even 'Blair Witch Project' comes to mind. Not many filmmakers would have staged a series of casually revolting stunts like those encapsulated randomly and (he says) in order of staging that Korine dumps on us here. It's a statement about limits and about freedom. And it's been acknowledged as valid. Even 'Variety' concludes its review of the film with the line: "Across the board, tech credits are appalling -- in a good way." Korine is an odd one (and an articulate interviewee in the NYFF press Q&A) and for festival and film buff audiences he is a force to reckon with. The question is, what's next? Will he go backwards or forwards?

Dennis Lim has written an appreciative piece on the film for Cinema Scope. "Can the most regressive work yet by an artist known for arrested development also be a sign of his newfound maturity?" Now there's a bit of interpretive convolution for you. And the statement implied by the question may be true. But still the remaining question is, what's next?

Shown as part of the main slate of the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center 2009. Premiered at Toronto.


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