“I don’t know if I really like this movie, it’s just kind of weird. It’s worth checking out; it’s weird. Something to talk about. So, if you like really, really weird stuff, check out Final Flesh, it’s really weird.”–YouTube reviewer
DIRECTED BY: Written by Vernon Chatman, directed by “Ike Sanders” and three other uncredited directors
FEATURING: Twelve amateur porn stars
PLOT: After a prologue explains that the atom bomb is about to drop, we’re shown a family of three (mother, father and adult daughter) sitting around a kitchen table, deciding that they will stay and “die with dignity.” The mother and daughter give birth to various food items and the father tires to climb back into the womb, and then daughter relates a dream. We see a mushroom cloud, then another trio of actors in a different apartment who believe they are in the afterlife: they recite more humorous nonsense about God, death and the apocalypse and enact more bizarre skits before the action shifts to another trio in a different room, then another…
- Vernon Chatman made Final Flesh by submitting scripts to four different amateur porn production companies that specialize in acting out their client’s fantasies. The scripts were submitted between 2002 and 2009, so the film was actually 7 years in the making.
- Chatman is a stand-up comic and Emmy-winning television writer. He wrote for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and “The Chris Rock Show” before co-creating the short-lived, weird cult TV series “Wonder Showzen” and “Xavier: Renegade Angel.” He’s most famous for his work with “South Park,” where he provides the voice of “Towelie,” the pot-smoking towel.
- Chatman is a member of the Brooklyn-based art collective PFFR, who produce music, art, and short films. The first segment of Final Flesh was made as a short film for a PFFR art show, and although the final project was Chatman’s work alone, it was still released under the PFFR umbrella.
- Final Flesh is distributed by Drag City, an independent music label that has only recently branched out into underground film (and may have given up that side-business already). Drag City’s other 2009 movie release, Trash Humpers, hogged the company’s headlines when it became a minor cause célèbre after Netflix refused to stock it. Final Flesh received relatively little promotion, despite the fact that Netflix declined to carry it, as well.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: For Final Flesh, we’re going to break with tradition and provide four different “indelible images,” one from each segment of the film. A girl breastfeeds a porterhouse steak; a woman in a jeans, a tank-top and a skull mask threatens a man on his deathbed; a couple make out by mashing the skulls drawn on their backs together; a young lady in black lingerie performs a wedding ceremony on two corpses lying side by side.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: The conceptual art premise of sending a non-erotic script to be acted out by pornstars-for-hire might be weird enough, but when that apocalyptic screenplay requires the bemused amateur actors to bathe in the tears of neglected children and recite lines like “I just creamed my demon” after being slapped, we’ve traveled beyond the snarkily experimental into the realm of the existentially deranged. All the world’s a stage and these men and women play many parts; if some of those roles require them to pour ketchup in a conch shell and poke at it with a turkey baster while moaning orgasmically, then maybe that’s just how this universe rolls.
Short clip from Final Flesh
COMMENTS: In porn, when a woman wiggles and says “oh my God, there’s something going Continue reading 89. FINAL FLESH (2009)