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Gummo (1997)

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Lonely residents of a tornado-stricken Ohio town wander the deserted landscape trying to fulfill their boring, nihilistic lives.


Harmony Korine


Harmony Korine
3,811 ( 189)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacob Sewell ... Bunny Boy
Nick Sutton Nick Sutton ... Tummler
Lara Tosh Lara Tosh ... Girl in Car
Jacob Reynolds ... Solomon
Darby Dougherty Darby Dougherty ... Darby
Chloë Sevigny ... Dot (as Chloe Sevigny)
Carisa Glucksman Carisa Glucksman ... Helen
Jason Guzak Jason Guzak ... Skinhead #1
Casey Guzak Casey Guzak ... Skinhead #2
Wendall Carr Wendall Carr ... Huntz
James Lawhorn James Lawhorn ... Cowboy #1
James Glass James Glass ... Cowboy #2
Ellen M. Smith Ellen M. Smith ... Ellen
Charles Matthew Coatney Charles Matthew Coatney ... Eddie
Harmony Korine ... Boy on Couch


Constructing this film through random scenes, director Harmony Korine abruptly jettisoned any sort of narrative plot, so here we go: Solomon and Tummler are two bored teenage boys who live in Xenia, Ohio. A few years ago, a tornado swept through it, destroying more than half the town and killing the same amount, including Solomon's father. The film, from there, chronicles the anti-social adventures these two boys have. These include sniffing glue, killing cats, having sex, riding dirtbikes, listening to black metal, and meeting a cavalcade of quirky, bizarre, and scary people. These include a man who pimps his mentally ill wife to our anti-heroes, three sisters who play with their cat and practice becoming strippers, a black midget fending off the sexual advances of a troubled man (played by the director Harmony Korine), a 12-year-old gay transvestite who is also a cat killer, Solomon's mother who seems to be the only glimpse of sanity, two foul-mouthed six-year olds, and most ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the creator of KIDS See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive depiction of anti-social behavior of juveniles,including violence, substance abuse,sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

24 November 1997 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Gumo See more »

Filming Locations:

Tennessee, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,820, 19 October 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,820, 19 October 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film is populated with friends from Harmony Korine's own Nashville upbringing. Bryant L. Crenshaw, the midget, went to high school with him. The skinhead brothers are old friends, as well. See more »


Some crew member's feet are visible kicking a wire at the bottom of the screen during the "chair wrestling" scene in the kitchen. See more »


[first lines]
Solomon: [voiceover] Xenia, Ohio. Xenia, Ohio. A few years ago, a tornado hit this place. It killed the people, left and right. Dogs died. Cats died. Houses were split open, and you could see necklaces hanging from branches of trees. People's legs and neck bones were sticking out. Oliver found a leg on his roof. A lot of people's fathers died, and were killed by the great tornado. I saw a girl fly through the sky, and I looked up her skirt. Her skull was smashed. And some kids died. My ...
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Referenced in John's Arm: Armageddon (2008) See more »


Mom and Dad's Pussy
Performed by Destroy All Monsters
Written by M. Kelley and C. Loren
Published by Destroy All Monsters 3
Courtesy of The End is Here!
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User Reviews

An American parable and an excellent study of America's underbelly
20 February 2013 | by t_atzmuellerSee all my reviews

For many people who know the United States only through cinema, tabloid celebrity-news and TV, the US is the land of the rich and the beautiful. For those people, the likes of Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, in other words, actors with big, polished grins and empty eyes are the faces of America. And Hollywood is its capital city.

Well, "Gummo" isn't about that America; "Gummo" is the America of the poor, uneducated and the degenerated descendents of the dregs from around the world. These aren't the (supposedly) proud and noble people who came to America on board the Mayflower, but rather those that travelled in the ships hull; those who eventually ended up in some dreary trailer camp and hamlet somewhere in the Midwest, simply because they weren't wanted anywhere else.

"The prophet has no honor in his own country", goes an old saying, which would explain the harsh criticism that director Harmony Korine has received, especially by American critics and reviewers. Too close to home and too harsh a reality, but undeniably a reality that Korine is more than familiar with. Korine descends from a similar environment and I dare say that it took courage to explore such an uncomfortable background.

The closest I can compare "Gummo" to is Werner Herzog's "Stroszek"; not only are the filming techniques very similar (whether Korine is a Herzog-fan I do not know, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least), blending together professionals, amateur- and non-actors seamlessly, but both films have a similar nihilist air, telling stories that are free of redemption, yet captivate the viewer's attention like a travelling freak-show or the birth of a two-headed cow.

One of the main reasons that I was watching "Gummo" in the first place, before even realizing what kind of film it was, was the presence of actor Jacob Reynolds. I had seen Reynolds in "The Road to Wellville", were he has a small but impressive scene as Dr. Kellogg's (Anthony Hopkins) adopted son. Apart from being an excellent actor, Reynolds is ugly. His ugliness, the over-sized head, bird-like features and asymmetric features, glues itself to the eye of the beholder; one could watch him for hours, giving new meaning to the term "so ugly that he's back to beautiful again". A shame that the young actor hasn't been starring in more films and bigger roles, but, like I already said, the industry relies more on pretty and lifeless actors.

Well, this definitely isn't a "pretty picture" – if you want "pretty" or "artificial", I recommend films with above mentioned ladies and gentlemen – and it most likely will not make you feel better if you happened to have a bad day. But it's authentic, and that's not exactly common these days. A movie one either loves or loves to hate.

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