Monday, July 18, 2016

Gummo (1997)

Fine Line Features
Directed by Harmony Korine
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4
(DVD, New Line)

Two boys roam a small Ohio town on their bikes with bb guns strapped to their backs hunting stray cats which they kill and sell to a man who apparently resells them to unknowing restaurants. Meanwhile two sisters talk about boys while searching for their lost cat. Their parents don't seem to mind any of these activities, exhibiting their own strange behavior. It all takes place in squalid houses overrun with filth and bugs or decaying suburban back alleys. We get hints of the root causes of all of this social dysfunction: sexual abuse, the death of a parent, the violent aftermath of a tornado, but they mostly just fade into the background. If you can get beyond the shocking animal abuse on display (it does, however, have a Humane Society stamp in the credits and mentions "some" prosthetic animals were used), it's a raw film that somehow manages to be even more disturbing than Korine's predecessor Kids.

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