“Why castigate these creatures
Whose angelic features
Are bumping and grinding on trash?
Are they not spawned by our greed?
Are they not our true seed?
Are they not what we’ve bought for our cash?”–poem from Trash Humpers
DIRECTED BY: Harmony Korine
PLOT: Four rednecks in wrinkled geriatric masks wander around nearly deserted streets drinking wine, demolishing abandoned television sets, tormenting the bizarre outcasts they come across in their wanderings, and humping trash. One of the humpers explains to the camera that, unlike the suburbanites sleeping in their homes, they “choose to live like free people.” By the end of the video the focus shifts to a single humper who may be having doubts about the trashy lifestyle.
- Trash Humpers was basically unscripted, although the characters and aesthetic had been thought out beforehand. According to Korine, the cast wandered through Nashville for a few weeks, sleeping outdoors, and filmed their in-character improvisations; the most interesting bits were edited into the final product.
- Korine assembled this film quickly in reaction to his negative experiences making his third feature film, the relatively big-budget Mr. Lonely; he found the bureaucracy surrounding that production creatively stifling.
- Trash Humpers is distributed by Drag City, an independent music label that has only recently branched out into underground film. Their other 2009 release, Vernon Chatman’s absurdist Final Flesh, was previously inducted onto the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies Ever Made.
- American DVD-by-mail rental giant Netflix originally declined to stock copies of Trash Humpers. Drag City circulated a press release suggesting that the movie was refused because of its provocative content, and pointing out other controversial movies the company stocked. Trash Humpers was accepted into the rental program soon after the press release.
- Trash Humpers was one of two winners of the second “reader’s choice” poll asking 366 Weird Movies’ readership to select films that had been reviewed but passed over for inclusion on the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies ever made.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: It seems impossible to think of the title without immediately calling up the mental picture of actors in creepy geriatric masks in an alley grinding their groins against garbage bags.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Any film in which four rednecks in latex masks that make them look like escapees from a nursing home for the criminally insane force a pair of Siamese twins connected at the head by what looks like a giant tube sock to eat pancakes doused in Palmolive has weirdness in its corner.
Trailer for Trash Humpers
COMMENTS: Weirdness obviously counts for a lot. For a movie that goes so far out of its way Continue reading 93. TRASH HUMPERS (2009)