Monday, November 06, 2006

Love, Death, and a Pile of Human Shit.

1994, USA
Todd Phillips

G.G.Allin ate a lot of shit. If this is something that you need to see physical evidence of, then Hated is the movie for you. If you just want to take my word for it, you might save yourself 60 minutes of coprophilia, minutes that could perhaps be spent smearing yourself in your own defecate. There's not much depth to this documentary of the legendary punk rocker’s life, and it contains precious little actual information on G.G. Plus, his genitals are too drug-withered and shriveled for this tape to be much use as a scat video, unless you're mixing your defecation fetish with homosexual pedophilia. Thankfully, I am, but while I was pleased with the film, more discerning viewers will probably not be so generous.

Directed by Todd Phillips, the man who cursed my new apartment with endless screenings of Old School, this film school documentary purports to be an examination of Allin, a punk icon who took Iggy Pop's notorious on-stage antics and buggered them with something sharp. He performed naked, beat up women, vomited and swallowed, pissed and drank it, and shit and ate it, occasionally finding time to play "I Kill Everything I Fuck". Allin got more attention for his behavior than for his music, mainly because he couldn't even spell 'rapist' right on his album jackets, let alone write a coherent song, but that's entirely the point. But the songs were pretty good, for music that isn't Gorgoroth. But despite his failings in grammar, spelling, and personal hygiene, Allin's stage act was more important than his music. As much as I like to hear a catchy pop tune with a social message, like "Bite It, You Scum", or "No Room For Nigger", it's Allin's performance art that I really respond to. During shows, Allin would draw attention to nearly every behavioral taboo in existence, getting into fights with male, or more likely female audience members, beating himself bloody and usually senseless, and frequently inserting some variety of foodstuff into his anal cavity before either eating it or hurling it into the audience. But not only is Allin an avant-garde performer using shock tactics to draw attention to the ridiculously arbitrary societal disgust with the human body, he's taking performance art back from faggots picking their AIDS scabs and women talking about their periods. Compared to him, the last half of that sentence was a quote from Bible study.

Actually, "No Room For Nigger" is one of the less popular psalms in the King James Bible.

Not that this movie really addresses that aspect of Allin’s career. Essentially, Hated is a chronicle of the first show of G.G.'s final tour, set up by Phillips in an inadvertently Michael Moore-y intrusion into the cinematic reality. There are a smattering of interviews with other members of Allin's back up band, the Murder Junkies, like the drummer, Dino, who bases every conversation he has on past acid trips, and Brother Merle, who looks like Hitler mixed with a 19th century plantation owner. What little insight provided into Allin's artistic endeavors is gleaned solely from Allin's disjointed ramblings and the rushed voice-over by the director that bookends the picture. The rest of the film is comprised of live footage and news clips, as well as some amusing but unenlightening interviews with Allin's former high school teachers and childhood friends. Allin died shortly after the production of this film, so footage of his funeral, where he looks like a swollen Fu Manchu in black face, is added, but no additional depth is obtained. Essentially, this film reduces Allin's act to a novelty, which is only a half truth. As far as Hated is concerned, Allin is all fun and games until somebody gets covered in shit. Then, it's a thesis film.


Anonymous broadzilla said...

I spent most of this movie with my hands over my eyes - thanks for filling in the gaps. Somehow you've managed to make it sound even worse than the bits I do remember.

4:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's arbitrary about not eating one's own shit? There are excellent medical reasons for that particular taboo.

6:10 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

I do what I can, broadzilla, to make sure you don't miss a moment of defecate.

Anonymous, it's not the taboo of eating one's own shit that's arbitrary, is the disgust and shame society has placed upon the act of defecation itself that some find un-natural.

7:34 a.m.  

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