With schlock flix, you never really know what you’re going to get, but you also sort of know exactly what you’re going to get. Between the anthology films Trashology and Theatre of the Deranged, there’s sure to be something to please—or displease—everyone.
Trashology is perfect for lovers of early John Waters, which was the goal of Brian Dorton, the film’s creator. This homage to the Waters-style lunacy pretty much nails it. Purists might revolt against the imitation, but it’s the best form of flattery, especially when it’s done right.
So you might not find the next Divine here, but there are plenty of drag queens, or at least, guys in wigs and women’s clothes. Even cutie pie director Brian Dorton gets in on the act!
The cleanest thing you’ll see in Trashology is the gorgeous muscle body and muscle ass of the college teacher in the wraparound story. That’s the advantage of having a gay director. But other than that, the film is all repulsive, extreme, excessive, explicitly visual and auditory shit and sex humor strung together in three stories.
The first story has two ladies (biological and drag) killing their religious nut friend…and then bringing her back from the dead with a Ouija board. No, it’s not a horror movie. Just pure gross out entertainment.
The second story is about a big woman, jilted at the altar, who goes home with a guy to have sex with him and his cousin…and then crushes him to death. So she and the cousin dispose of his body, but a self-loathing lesbian sees and threatens to tell unless they kill her girlfriend for her.
The third story is about two chicks (guys in drag) who use a phone app to locate, torture, and kill sex offenders. While it relies solely on mocking the subject matter with perverse punishment and humor, Brian Dorton could easily turn this concept into a full-length hardcore exploitation, revenge, or horror film, sort of like the films Father’s Day or Sodomaniac. Here, the story starts meandering off course and becomes overly long.
Then there’s the wraparound about a female college student reading the book Trashology, which is where the three stories come from. What’s cool is that it’s not just the wraparound that holds the stories together; they are actually interconnected with overlapping characters!
As for wraparound chick, she has plans for her hunky teacher when he dumps her. Speaking of dumps, her handsome, bearded friend volunteers his ass to help her make a very special kind of pudding pie to give the teacher…. Seriously, you have to be a fan of Divine’s shit-eating stint to appreciate the crap humor that abounds in Trashology.
Whether it’s unconsciously done or not, the movie paints women (played by females or males) as a repulsive, slovenly gender, complete with disgusting habits and dirty practices. It’s an interesting thought considering the director is gay, because straight directors usually make the male characters the brunt of all the toilet humor in exploitation films while women get all the beauty shots. I must say, it is the real female actors in the film who give the most dedicated performances, doing whatever it takes to totally deliver the most genuine old school John Waters gags to make you gag.
One last note: the awesome electro bitch track “Fuck Me, I’m Famous” by Manoush is heavily featured in the film.
THEATRE OF THE DERANGED (2012)
Theatre of the Deranged is more for the gore hound than the gross out hound. This anthology, with each story directed by someone different, delivers more of a horror feel. But the truth is, you just watch this one for the blood, because most of the stories are too trippy to be coherent narratives.
This dude with half his face all fucked up is our host (see DVD cover). That’s all you really need to know about that. No wraparound story.
“Lust for Blood” – The first story is directed by and stars b-movie actor Shawn C. Phillips, who you may have seen in anything from SyFy originals to terrible z-grade flicks.
The tone and gore is very Troma. Shawn drinks a fortune-teller potion that turns him into a green puke monster then goes around ripping out people’s guts. The highlight of this story is definitely the white dude dancing to a boom box in the woods. Awesome.
“Bad Dennis” – four kids go on a road trip…and they are either on really bad drugs or took a wrong turn into backwoods slasher territory. Cool horror elements but you’re never really sure what is real.
“Speak Easy” – this is a very short film about a dude who’s sitting with his friend in a yard, accusing him of fucking his girlfriend. He then beats him to death with a hammer. That’s it. That’s the story. The head bashing gore rules.
“Doll Parts” – this one is directed by Brian Dorton of Trashology! It’s essentially a cool, stylized slasher with awesome kills, but I had no idea what the hell was going on. There are flashbacks, character names being thrown around, faces coming and going, and some twists, but I just couldn’t follow most of it. Dorton gives us another sex offender revenge subplot, and I think there is even a gay couple reveal. But while there’s full-frontal courtesy of the handsome bearded dude from Trashology, who invites another dude into the shower, we never see any man-on-man. Maybe for fear of scaring off straight audiences? Perhaps considering there’s an absolutely pointless shot of a woman’s tits to appease straighties.
“Cannibal Blood Girl” – another short one that takes place in a backyard, and it’s directed by the schlock master Creep Creepersin.
Of course, my fave of Creep’s is the gay vamp flick Brides of Sodom. But gay this one isn’t. Three dudes lure two chicks into a yard to rape them, but then rapists and victims alike are attacked by some porn star they apparently already killed. This vengeful, naked be-otch shoots bloody acid from her mouth, tits, and even her, well….
So yeah. In the world of modern indie madness, Theatre of the Deranged is the horror anthology while Trashology is the comedy shocker. Pick your poison.