[ REVIEW ]

INDY MOVIE REVIEW
 
The Hardcore Collection the Film of Richard Kern (1986-1993)(2蹨)
 (บรรยาย) 
 
   
 

Director:Richard Kern Music by:Bewitched, Black Snakes, Joe Budenholzer, Jim Coleman, Cop Shoot Cop, Dream Syndicate, Lydia Lunch, Sonic Youth, SPK, The Butthole Surfers, J.G. Thirwell (Foetus), Thurston Moore, Wiseblood and others. Country:USA Language:English Genre:Experimental, Art - House, Avangard, Underground, Erotic, Trash, Horror Subtitle:translate don''t needed (few english dialogs)  Starring: Lydia Lunch, Kimbra Pfahler, Henry Rollins

 
 

      dvd ˹ѧ underground ͧ Ԫ 13 ͧ 1986 ֧ 1993 dvd 2 ǹǺ ¹ ¹ Թ շ駤عç,, ͧšҴ ͧǹ仴¤Դҧä شš ͹ءѺŧҹͧ ¡ͺҡ´ ˹ѧṡ繻ҡ ˹ѧ觷ͧ art-house ͧ ͧѭõԡ

 

     This exclusive video collection is jam-packed with the gritty best from noted New York filmmaker Richard Kern. His sexually-charged work has been alternately dismissed as violent and offensive by the mainstream press, but embraced by the underground as the perverse standard.
     Says Kern, I''ve tried it all: crime thrills, drug thrills, sex thrills. Nowadays, I get most of my thrills by offending people with my films. I don''t even have to be there. I can sit far away and think, Someone''s watching my video right now and thinking, Yeeughh!
     Featuring punk rock diva Lydia Lunch; funnyman Henry Rollins; the exotic genitalia of Kimbra Pfahler and the churning music of both Sonic Youth and Foetus, this urban jungle excursion is guaranteed to satisfy your dark craving for the unusual.
     The Hardcore Collection has been totally remastered, and includes three movies exclusive to this DVD release: Manhattan Love Suicides, Submit To Me, and The Evil Cameraman

Disc 1 Contents:
1. Death Valley ''69 (1986)
2. Right Side of My Brain (1984)
3. You Killed Me First (1985)
4. The Bitches (1992)
5. The Sewing Circle (1992)
6. X is Y (1990)
7. Fingered (1986)

Disc 2 Contents:
1. Horoscope (1991)
2. Submit To Me Now (1987)
3. My Nightmare (1993)
4. Manhattan Love Suicides
5. Submit To Me (1985)
6. The Evil Cameraman (1986, 1990)


On DVD 1 (Side A):

"Death Valley 69" (1986) 6 minutes (4/5*)

Directed by Richard Kern, Judith Barry, and Sonic Youth
This is a bizarre mix of images combined to make what amounts to a music video. Faked crime scenes, cruise missiles, gun toting band members, a secreted switchblade; it is all funky and the song isn''t half bad either. Some of the footage is from the later "Submit to Me" films.

"The Right Side of My Brain" (1985) 25 minutes (2/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Lydia Lunch comes along and puts the "hardcore" in "The Hardcore Collection," and promptly bores the audience to death. This surrealistic poetry reading makes no sense and drags on for what seems like forever. Almost worth it just to see a young Henry Rollins with shoulder length hair.

"You Killed Me First" (1985) 11 minutes (2/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Teen angst is taken to a bloody finale in this badly written and directed short. The actors struggle with ad-libbing, tripping over each other''s lines, and the sloppy editing highlights this. A definite letdown, considering the strong ending

"The Bitches" (1992) 9 minutes (4/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Two competing women seduce a man, and the trio participates in a threesome that ends up reversing gender identities. The black and white film is creepy, and not that sexy, but still good.

"The Sewing Circle" (1992) 7 minutes (2/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Two women sew another woman''s vagina shut in living colorI am realizing Kern''s performers are as sick as he is

"X is Y" (1990) 3 minutes (2/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Despite some good sound mixing, this is a pointless exercise in images as attractive women sport guns and rifles. Pointless.

"Fingered" (1986) 24 minutes (3/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Lydia Lunch returns as a phone sex operator who hooks up with one of her clients. They go on a crime spree, memorably kidnapping and terrorizing a young teen girl (Lung Leg). If you take away all the hardcore sex and violence, this has all been done before. Lunch is always watchable, however.

On DVD 2 (Side B):
"Horoscope" (1991) 4 minutes (3/5*)

Directed by Richard Kern
A young woman reads her horoscope at work, goes home, and fantasizes that she is being fought over by two nude men. It does not help that one of the guys looks like Morrissey! Typical Kern, the film does not follow through on the original idea.

"Submit to Me Now" (1987) 19 minutes (4/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Kern''s cast of irregulars combine to act out various sadomasochistic practices before the film delves into gory self mutilation. While it wears out its welcome after a bit, this is still one of Kern''s strongest films, with nightmarish images.

"My Nightmare" (1993) 6 minutes (4/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
A photographer (Richard Kern) graphically masturbates to a sexual fantasy of his model, but the real thing shows up and is not as uninhibited as he would like. Explicit sexuality, this time with a payoff that does work.

"The Manhattan Love Suicides" (1985) 36 minutes (4/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
This film is actually made up of four vignettes: "Stray Dogs" has a model trying to get an artist''s attention by literally coming apart. "Woman at the Wheel" has a gal and a new car, and how the men in her life won''t let her enjoy driving. Co directed and starring Nick Zedd, "Thrust in Me" has a woman committing suicide, and her boyfriend''s rather strange reactionZedd plays both parts! "I Hate You Now" has a disfigured pot dealer and his girlfriend, who decides to join him in his disability with the help of a steam iron. All four are bizarre, but maybe I have been watching enough Kern by now to actually get them, I think.

"Submit to Me" (1986) 10 min. (4/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
More of the same type of imagery as "Submit to Me Now," and still bloody weird.

"The Evil Cameraman" (1990) 11 min. (4/5*)
Directed by Richard Kern
Kern is himself, putting female models through hell. Kern''s final film on the DVD may be one of his best.


     Transgression seems more like concept than reality in these no-boundaries days, but in the 80s and early 90s there was in fact a Cinema of Transgression, a mini-movement devoted to the far fringes of sex and violence among alienated, tribal urban youth. Based in New York City and closely allied with the music of Sonic Youth, Jim Thirlwell (of Foetus fame), Dream Syndicate, et al., its luminaries included Nick Zedd, Lydia Lunch, Beth B, Leg Lung, and most notably, Richard Kern.
     Kern, born in 1954, has had a dual career as photographer and filmmaker, but in both realms he works the same themes and motifs: New York as Boschian hellhole, pierced and pouting drug-swilling youth, Mansonesque tableaux of guts and gore (rendered in cheesy special effects), big guns, big knives, and rough hardcore sex. This DVD collects a hefty sampling of his filmography (180 minutes¹ worth, or 13 of his 26 films) from throughout his career, 1985 to 1992. These are shorts, running from a few minutes to more than half an hour, shot in video and Super 8 (often in black and white), starring Kerns sleazy stock company and friends: Lunch, Zedd, Henry Rollins, Karen Finley, David Wojnarowicz, Lung Leg. Kern himself appears occasionally, making up in dick size what he lacks in star power.
     One of the earliest entries here is the 1985 The Right Side of My Brain, which could have been subtitled "Or Salvation Through Face Fucking." This exercise in psychosis and paranoia stars Lydia Lunch (who also wrote some of the droning, dissonant music) as an urban casualty who talks in voiceover about being "sucked into an endless vacuum" and entering "a place where reality was no longer necessary." The usual rituals of daily life are suspended in this study in psychological free fall, as Lunch spends her time squirming in bed, undressing, fondling her tits, and submitting to some violent sex with a mysterious grunge boy with a gun. New York never looked so grim, reduced here to dilapidated apartments and dirty streets that recall the work of novelist Hubert Selby.
     Also from 1985 is You Killed Me First, whose main inspiration seems to be John Waters. This critique of middlebrow American life has hilariously bad, Waters-style declamatory acting by several of the superstars of 80s performance art. Zucchini fucker Karen Finley plays Mom; the late art-queen David Wojnarowicz is Dad; and Lung Leg, the 80s answer to Mink Stole, is the demented daughter who screams "I really hate you!" and "Youre just as disgusting as I am!" before mowing down the family at a Thanksgiving dinner. Waters isnt the only influence here. The Warhol/Morrissey touch is noticeable in mangled dialog that Kern doesnt bother to reshoot. Like both Waters and Warhol/Morrissey, Kern gives full play to the personalities of his stars, and no doubt a personality like La Leg is as crazed in real life as she is here. Despite the tinny trappings and amateurish feel, You Killed Me First succeeds as a grainy snapshot of a particular time and place: Richard Kerns brain in the mid-1980s.
     Gore also dominates Death Valley 69 (1986), which features "the bad kids" running amok, far from the institutions society has erected the family, school to control them. The film is a catalog of violent teenage wish-fulfillment fantasies via giant switchblades, martyred teens whove been eviscerated (shown in loving tacky detail), and attacks by cops with tear gas. Sonic Youth provides the soundtrack to these twisted lives, and Kern employs some crudely effective, if now dated, montage work.
     One of Kerns most ambitious works is Fingered (1986), whose sarcastic disclaimer says "Although it is not our sole intention to SHOCK, INSULT, or IRRITATE, you have been warned that we are CATERING only to our own preferences as members of the SEXUAL MINORITY." The film opens with Lydia Lunch as a phone-sex operator chatting up an adult baby who turns on her: "You dont give one good fuck for me, do you Mommy!" From there the film devolves into an evil road trip with Lydia and her boyfriend, who have rough sex and assault various friends, strangers, and a hitchhiker played by poor Lung Leg. There are echoes of Terence Malicks Badlands and of course the Manson family here. Typical of Kerns world, gratification must be immediate, and every slight, real or not, is answered with a knife in the gut or a gun in the head. The ever-versatile Lunch provides some of the music here.
     Two of Kerns more notorious works are Submit to Me (1985) and Submit to Me Now (1987), which dispense with narrative entirely, being simply a record of brief performances by some of Kerns friends and actors. Self-mutilation, crucifixion, bondage, blow jobs, and other divertissements are on florid display here, accompanied by the music of the Butthole Surfers. Kern himself appears in the 1993 My Nightmare, which features masturbation (by the naked Kern), spanking, and bondage scenes. In the quasi-epic (35-minute) omnibus film Manhattan Love Suicides (1985), a loopy David Wojnarowiczs arm falls off and hes sketched by a creepy artist.
     Kerns background as a photographer is evident in the attention to posing by his characters, and their general objectification. In the 1992 The Bitches (not to be confused with Chabrols Les Biches), Annabelle and Linda (per the credits) glare, dress up, give attitude, change clothes, curl their hair, read, smolder, and make over an anonymous guy who also glares, gives attitude, etc. They abandon these formal rituals briefly to jack off their new pal, and he eventually embraces more of their insular little world by playing dress-up with them. Eventually he gets plugged from both ends by the now strap-on wearing girls. The Bitches reveals other influences that run through Kerns work: Ed Woods softcore sleaze scenes from Glen or Glenda, and the bondage fantasies of legendary photographer Irving Klaw. Jim Colemans dissonant clatter soundtrack adds a disturbing frisson. Also from 1992 is The Sewing Circle, which preserves for all time (or until the mylar in the DVD disintegrates) the sewing up of Kembra Pfahlers vagina by ace seamstress and performance artist Lisa Resurrecion. Pfahlers seeming delight in this event "Its so fabulous!" undoubtedly bolstered some critics view of Kern as a misogynist taking pleasure in the literal suppression of female sexuality.
     Despite his works often laughable special effects, arguable misogyny, and dogged insularity, Kern successfully showcases the pleasures of trading bourgeois life and the angst that inevitably accompanies it for sex, violence, drugs, and music. His films are at the very least a welcome tonic to those sleek, empty, picture-perfect teen dramas from the John Hughes school that occupied so much cultural space in the eighties.
Bright Lights Film Journal
     If you are into guerilla and underground film making, this DVD is for you. You can see Kern as either a brilliant artist or a sadomasochistic exhibitionistor both. If your film tastes run toward the bizarre and extreme, enjoy.

eFilmCritic

 

 

 

 

 






˹ѧǡͧʹ..ͧ仴٫ԤѺ