Four senior citizens--Momma, Buddy, Travis and Herve (Rachel Korine, Kotzur, Nicholson and Harmony Korine)--document their antics as they lurk like wayward teens, indulge in pranks and public acts of vulgarity, taunt people they meet and commit vicious crimes, all while cackling with laughter and singing off-key folk songs. They don't seem to live anywhere, but instead roam the streets looking for people they can mock, passers-by they can offend and wheelie bins they can defile.
Besides the escalating tone of nastiness, there isn't a plot. The four leads are clearly young people in rubbery makeup, and the scenes are only loosely connected by echoing sounds and actions, plus those they interact with. There's virtually no dialog, just snippets of sound and a few scenes in which someone tells a story or recites a poem. As it progresses, there's a recurring baby doll motif, as these four nutcases first encourage a schoolboy to bash a doll with a hammer, then continue to deface dolls themselves up to the vaguely unnerving final images.
But vague is the word. Since there's no connection with these clown-like characters, there's also no suspense (or whatever Korine was going for). We're not quite sure whether this is meant to be a commentary on anarchic teens or the ageing Western population. Or perhaps, as one person says, it's about "the grisly facts of what so-called civilisation has done to us". Except that it's so random that nothing rings true.
Korine's last film, Mister Lonely, was a blast of fresh air, so it's perplexing to see him slip back into this pretentious in-joke. It looks like it was shot on a mobile phone, then transferred to a worn-out VHS tape, complete with severe tracking problems. It's structured like a series of YouTube-type dares punctuated with unfunny jokes, things being smashed and moments of gruesome nastiness. There's even a long rant about why our lives would be better without heads. Well, at least we wouldn't have to endure movies like this.
Genre: Special Interest
Run time: 78 mins
In Theaters: Thursday 14th April 2011
Distributed by: Drag City
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 16
IMDB: 5.0 / 10
Director: Harmony Korine
Producer: Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Amina Dasmal, Robin Fox
Screenwriter: Harmony Korine