Archive for December, 2010

Just in Time for Christmas-Trash Humpers

On my way back home for Christmas break, I stopped at a truck stop to use the bathroom. The nice, well-stocked, clean looking place was closed for repairs so I had to go to the grimy old one on the other side of the interstate. This was one of those places where everything came in shades of brown, either painted that way, or stained from decades of cigarette smoke. The obese waitress told me the bathroom was for customers only, so I got a cup of coffee. After a brief spell at her greasy counter, I got down to business. The bathroom was just a touch filthier than you’d expect. The flickering light revealed a hideous paint job slowly chipping away from years of rot and negligence. Fur (not hair) was strewn about the base of the sink. Somebody left a damp paper sack on top of the toilet seat. A VHS was inside the sack. “Trash Humpers” was written on the tape in white paint marker.
Well actually, they have it on Netflix, but if you get the chance, you should try to see it on grimy diner tape. That’s how it was meant to be viewed, just stumbled upon through sheer luck, leaving the viewer to decipher if it’s real or not. Unfortunately, we live in a post-YouTube, post-Wikipedia world. There’s not enough mystery surrounding oddities like this, so I can only laugh along.
Trash Humpers is about exactly what you think it’s about. Writer/Director/Presumably-Everything-Else Harmony Korine set out to make a movie about four people in old man masks running around a derelict town humping trash, cackling, and causing a ruckus. There is no plot, the characters don’t have names, the cinematography’s rather ugly, and it doesn’t make any sense. It’s not a very thoughtful or insightful flick, but it does deliver on its message of trash humping. There is no glory in Trash Humpers. We need movies like Trash Humpers. Korine’s calling out the moviemaker in all of us. This is what he can do over a weekend. Is it good? Not really. Can you do better? Go for it, man. What’s there to lose?
I was very excited when I saw that Trash Humpers was coming in the mail. I told my friends about the coming greatness, and most of them seemed offended and disgusted. None could grasp why I’d want to watch such filth. “Harmony Korine? Ugh.” They’re all too snobby to watch low-brow sleaze. Of course, this only made the movie better. Like Mount Everest, it’s something you watch just because it’s there.
My expectations were low, but I’m happy to report they were exceeded. I don’t want to reveal any “plot points.” The thing’s barely there as it is. If you were worried about the actual trash humping, don’t. It’s all fully clothed dry-trash-humping, and there’re other scenes with dialogue and whatnot. The Trash Humpers run into some people on their quest, and most of them do a good job livening things up.
I was genuinely surprised that the DVD had deleted scenes in the special features. That would imply there was some editing involved. I assumed Korine just filmed until he had enough. Could there be more going on than meets the eye? Everybody’s going to debate the true meaning of the movie, but I say it is what it is. It’s a fun movie to watch with some friends. Really, a team effort is the only way I’d recommend watching it. There are some movies that must be seen in theaters, and there are some movies that MUST be seen with a group. Alone, I would’ve gotten bored a lot sooner, but I made it a full hour into the thing before it stopped amusing me. If that’s not an accomplishment, I don’t know what is.
The one thing I am confused about is the old man masks. Are they supposed to be real old people? Do the other characters know that the Trash Humpers are wearing masks? If they aren’t masks, does that mean only old people can be Trash Humpers? If they are real old people, are they at all related to The Hateocracy from that episode of the Boondocks? How old do you have to be to join the Trash Humpers? Do we become Trash Humpers when we die? Is heaven Trash Humping? It might be. Being a Trash Humper would be great. They seem to get away with everything they do, they meet the weirdest people and they get to hump all that garbage. Sometimes, they even pick up flesh and blood hookers to suck them off. Where do they get the money for that? What do Trash Humpers eat? DO they eat? Will there be a sequel, or at least a cameo in A Fifth of Shrek? So many questions, and you know Korine has no intention of answering them. Trash Humpers will be Trash Humpers, I guess.