Okay. Got that out of my system. I totally misjudged the movie Septic Man. But who wouldn’t? A septic man goes down into the sewers to find out what’s making everyone poop and puke all over the place—which is graphically depicted in the opening scene of a woman sitting in a Saw-esque bathroom, letting loose from both ends. Even that intro makes you think this is going to be an over-the-top gross out film.
Next, Septic Man is visited by the creepy janitor from Urban Legend, who asks him to investigate why people are becoming sick. So Septic Man leaves his pregnant wife behind and heads into the sewers. He falls into a septic tank and tries to get out after he finds it clogged with dead bodies.
After about a half hour something finally happens and Septic Man learns there are two brothers—a thin freak with filed teeth and a big dumb goon—living in the sewer. While Septic Man tries to befriend the big dumb goon to get himself out of the situation, he slowly begins to go insane and morph. You can only imagine what he’s drinking and eating down there, so you can also imagine what he’s becoming as the change takes over. In that sense, there’s a body horror element to the film.
Septic Man also feels kind of like the Cronenberg version of The Fly, only with the flies being on him rather than him being a fly (although Jeff Goldblum’s makeup mostly looked like shit for a majority of the film). The tone here is just as tragic considering there’s not a sign of humor. Plus, the gross out aspects of the film didn’t really gross me out that much, I guess because I was expecting them and because they felt forced, making it confusing as to how they were supposed to be taken—as black comedy or to create a sense of just how gruesome his circumstances are?
We don’t know why the brothers live in the sewer and we don’t see them killing anyone. We just see bagged bodies being dumped into the septic tank (which would explain why everyone’s getting sick). The only good that comes of the thin brother’s horror-and-gore-ready teeth is that he bites his own brother once.
The relationship between Septic Man and the big dumb brother never really pans out. And the thin plot involving Septic Man’s wife seems almost pointless.
Watching this movie is like being constipated; you sit there for more than an hour waiting for something to happen. It just feels like the whole point of the film is to send a message that a septic man is never appreciated for doing the dirty work and his life will turn to shit in the end.