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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 23.71%
Just Average: 1.03%
Pretty Crappy: 2.06%
Sucks: 28.87%

4 reviews, 73 user ratings

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by Dr Nick

"A true originalÖa modern masterpiece"
5 stars

Time to re-visit one of my favourite films ever. Gummo offers something new at each viewing and it just gets better and better. At once moving, funny, sad and completely off-the-wall, it's a film like no other. One of the most original, exciting directorial debuts of the 90s, Gummo has to be seen to be believed.

Gummo is set in the small town of Xenia, Ohio, a town once hit by a tornado. Not having a narrative in the conventional sense of the word, the film is mostly composed of short free-standing segments; various local people just living their strange but fascinating lives. Tummler and Salomon are two of the few recurring characters. Making a living out of killing stray cats and selling them to the local Chinese restaurant, these two teenagers spend the rest of their time riding their bikes, sniffing glue and visiting prostitutes. The characters they meet along the way includes Jarod, who when he doesn't kill cats or takes care of his comatose grandmother, likes to be photographed in women's clothes. Despite all the random weirdness in the film, none of the characters stand out. Instead, everything seems perfectly ordinary in this setting. There's Bunny-Boy, a young boy wondering the streets, wearing not much more than shorts and big, pink bunny ears. There's a tennis player with ADD, an albino girl who loves Patrick Swayze and a brother pimping his own sister, who also has Down's Syndrome. There's life-support machines being turned off, deaf people arguing and two skinhead brothers beating the hell out of each other while discussing dinner and shoes.

It's hard to describe Gummo; it just has to be seen to be believed. Director Harmony Korine has a natural talent for making the surreal seem completely realistic, and always showing great respect for his characters no matter how ridiculous their situations might seem to the uninitiated. In the hands of someone else, it could all easily have been offensive, but instead the film is full of warmth and is actually quite moving. Like many people out there, you might think that Korine himself is a spoilt pretentious twat, who has watched too many Fassbinder films, and for this reason you might refuse to watch the film. But, give it a shot. Chances are you might hate it, but some of you will see in it what I saw - the freshest, boldest piece of independent cinema to come out in a long time (and now seven years later it feels as fresh as ever). And hey, you've got to admire a director, who chooses to make a cameo appearance in his debut film as a drunken gay man trying to seduce a midget.

Shot with a mixture of formats as varied as the characters in the film, Gummo successfully mixes still photos, 35mm, 16mm, 8mm and video footage to create a visual experience out of the ordinary. The soundtrack is equally varied, with everything from Roy Orbison to death metal thrown in.
Korineís script is full of hilarious dialogue, with classic lines like "I hate the fucking cops. They're just mad cause we get more pussy then they do", spoken by a five-year old, as well as great one-liners such as "Life is great, without it you would be dead". Gummo is as original as they come, a modern masterpiece. Sure, compared to most films, Gummo is a mess, but it's a fascinating, compelling mess and it makes as much sense as the audience is willing to make out of it. What I personally think makes Gummo so special, is the little touches that require multiple viewings to spot. Finding these things is part of the beauty of the film, so I'll only reveal my personal favourite, the strips of bacon taped to the wall when Salomon is having his dinner in the bathtub.

So, what's Gummo all about? I choose to see it as an attack on contemporary independent film, a powerful display of the true potential of cinema. It's a vicious attack on all our senses, and completely shatters all the rules that films are "meant" to follow. We need more films like this.

If you're still not convinced, at least watch it just to see Chloe Sevigny jumping on a bed topless, as well as pulling black tape of her younger sister's nipples in an attempt to make them bigger.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=475&reviewer=345
originally posted: 04/17/04 06:57:04
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User Comments

11/22/14 Mark Gummo's one of the best films I've seen: powerful, uncompromising, ultimately heartbreaking 5 stars
1/10/12 Samson If you do not see the chaotic beauty in Gummo, you and I will never agree on anything. 5 stars
8/24/11 louise what a load of crap 1 stars
12/02/10 Colton Bose A brilliant debut from one of the only true geniuses at work in modern cinema. 5 stars
8/10/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Pseudo documentary about inbread mutants in Ohio. 4 stars
5/04/10 J There's an in-between of Hollywood films and this crap..Shocking doesn't auto. mean good 1 stars
3/19/10 dancing lizard lasting trauma effects feeling/being lost, forgotten, dirty, w/o direction 4 stars
3/06/10 SmoothEdgy Appease your shadow! Watch this film! 5 stars
2/18/10 Dave Schniedberg Harmony korine is an aboslute moron. meaningless art. infer all you want, its accidental. 1 stars
11/03/09 a random girl one of the weirdest and most interesting movies i've seen. 0.o 4 stars
4/19/09 belike This movie reminds me of blue velvet. 4 stars
4/19/09 mr.mike Strangely fascinating but the endless parade of oddballs eventually becomes tiresome. 3 stars
4/01/09 Anonymous. i was surprised i liked this... 4 stars
11/30/08 Chunga not enough stars to rate.best movie ever !!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/01/08 Tiffiny This movie, although disturbing, was amazing. Gods forgotten children. The realism of life. 5 stars
6/13/07 Sugarfoot Offensive not because of its content but because of it's unwatchability factor. 1 stars
1/22/07 buckwheat korine nurtures it out of the womb and feeds it bacon. he weeps for the bastard child. 5 stars
8/26/06 M. Mirliss A buffet of memorable scenes a unique and brilliant cinematic voice of our time. 5 stars
5/31/06 molly People aren't seeing the point of this film. It shows reality and uniquness. 5 stars
5/25/06 andrew great movie should be a sequel 5 stars
12/17/05 Jintan Mental Syrup of Ipecac. 1 stars
6/10/05 peroxide harm is genius 5 stars
4/04/05 EclecticEnnui I love it. 4 stars
1/02/05 Chris This movie is so self important and shallow not to mention bad that its funny 1 stars
11/28/04 Ur Reviewer Sux A marvelous piece of art. To understand itn 5 stars
10/26/04 Jon It's just some fucking NYC kid's false perception of what middle America is like. 1 stars
10/08/04 Zach Good film, takes a brain and open mind to enjoy! 5 stars
8/17/04 Gabriel saw this movie high, thought it still sucked. 2 stars
8/11/04 safri 'break(ing) the waves & dance(r) in the dark-rock on harmony! 5 stars
7/25/04 Christopher Moore Love it or hate it, it's not about Xenia, Ohio. A culmination of all small towns. 4 stars
6/21/04 neubauten Harmony Korine is a no talent turd and people who think he's deep are so fucking deluded 1 stars
4/19/04 coreyhaim I wouldn't even give it one star if I wasn't being FORCED! This movie is ass! 1 stars
4/18/04 Jack Sommersby Like Korine's-written "Kids", it confuses grittiness with "truth". 1 stars
2/25/04 Agadil Truly and deeply one of the best films I have ever seen. Amazing. 5 stars
11/24/02 heather go beyound the boundries. god dammit. 5 stars
11/17/02 alex aeQea ariumn humans rule 5 stars
10/07/02 chris listen to the director's comments on the dvd...you'll at least understand what he's doing 5 stars
9/30/02 James Superb originality, korine's off at a great start 5 stars
9/27/02 division_joy harmony korine should be dismembered and burned for this shit 1 stars
5/29/02 JD without a doubt, the absolute worst movie ever made. Korine is a worthless sack of shit. 1 stars
4/04/02 John Freedom The movie is very close to the experience of my childhood. I grew up in a place like that. 5 stars
3/10/02 Brad Streep This film makes my nippples HARD! I LOVE IT! 5 stars
12/02/01 Caiphn Well I love my little rooster and my rooster loves me 5 stars
11/15/01 Rufus McGunner GAG! Total and complete Horseshit! 1 stars
9/23/01 Elgyn I never get tired of this movie. A classic. 5 stars
9/11/01 Rob Banfitch a unique movie that defies convention and holds you the whole way through 5 stars
5/09/01 Ro Disturbing and brilliant 4 stars
4/26/01 WhiteGutterTrash This Movie was a sick and evil joy ride...!!! 5 stars
4/07/01 Toktela Finally some originality 5 stars
2/26/01 perverted pixie Ugly, beautiful...Maltin opinions are dinosaur. Haters of this film are voidoids... 5 stars
2/24/01 Rob Banfitch a mishmash of erratic genius 5 stars
2/20/01 Rocket Boy Ugggggggh 1 stars
11/14/00 MiS^DeMeAnOr disturbing with a few amusing parts 2 stars
10/24/00 Jacob Smith One of the most important film's of our time. A piece of pure mastery. 5 stars
10/15/00 fm hmmmmm..... 4 stars
8/03/00 daymia kelley alive, dynamic, different stab at white trash rural life. 5 stars
7/25/00 Basil Sooo weird I just had to go out and buy it. 5 stars
12/27/99 Bigs Obvious raw talent 5 stars
11/05/99 will an interesting trip that goes nowhere but the scenery is nice. pretty nifty. 4 stars
10/24/99 kim Had my best laugh of the week! The last line of Jonny Angel's review. Wonderful and apt! 1 stars
10/21/99 Annah Integrity all the way 5 stars
9/16/99 strike Nothing happens, but still a strangely intruiging piece of Americana. 4 stars
7/13/99 machine disturbing but very cool 5 stars
7/02/99 Arlene childishly sadistic - moron with a camera 1 stars
6/19/99 mr. peepers You say potato, I say genius.... 5 stars
4/14/99 Jon Jackson My god this movie is like two bags of shit! 1 stars
1/02/99 tarkin666 Whipping dead cats is good clean fun. 5 stars
12/08/98 Shadow Raider Don't waste your last moment on this shit. Pretentious trash for everybody! 1 stars
11/21/98 Miss Elaineous Awesome, the funniest movie I've seen in a long time ! 5 stars
10/31/98 Bad Kosh If you watch that shit, don't say I didn't warn you, 'cuz it sucks crap. 1 stars
8/31/98 Harrison Long Let my suffering be a warning to you, do not waste a moment of you life on this shit 1 stars
8/31/98 Mister Whoopee Korine is a hack. A no talent. Pretentious shit. 1 stars
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  17-Oct-1997 (R)



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