A black comedy about the mediocrity of the suburbs.
A black comedy about the mediocrity of the suburbs.
I needed a day to think about Blonde Death before reviewing it. It wasn't very different than what I expected, but somehow infinitely better. It's more structured and coherent than many other films of this ilk. Even other tour de force sov films like Twisted Issues seem scattered by comparison. Director James Robert Baker really applied himself, he had a clear vision and created something special. The dialogue is some kind of free form poetry. Certainly bears a likeness to John Waters, but I'm reminded of Giuseppe Andrews' and his speedy and perverse use of word salad. The acting, also spot on. No one else really hesitates or has to think of their line, which I've become accustomed to finding…
"I haven't cried since I saw E.T."
Rises above the mediocrity of Orange County. I want to read the script, because the language in this movie has the razor wire precision of John Waters when it comes to making one wince and laugh at the same time. Beats watching MTV.
"I was tryna make it look like some psychopath done it."
an act of pop vandalism. a shot-on-video lovers-on-a-beer-run movie, BADLANDS meets DESPERATE LIVING. blown-out golden-lit handheld, wistful contrapuntal narration, but with incestuous spankings, mass murder, theme parks, and an eyepatch-wearing militant lesbian. fuck your brains out, kill them all, and if you're lucky you'll die standing up on the top of a rollercoaster.
When I was 13 I had a Green Day shirt (yeah, I know) that depicted a cartoon kid holding a brain that said "EAT YOUR PARENTS" in dripping blood on the back. And I was angry all the time. And I was sexually confused. And I thought John Waters' SERIAL MOM was probably the funniest movie ever made. If I could have somehow held onto all of those feelings of hate and confusion and bad taste for decades, I probably would have wanted to kill myself. Writer/director James Robert Baker (aka James Dillinger) did.
But not before delivering one of the most wall to wall tasteless movies (or "tapes" as he called it) that is just overflowing with poetically obscene…
"Everything from Harold Robbins to Marcel Proust!"
A hot house piece of hate mail transmitted from the brain of "the world's angriest gay man" straight to 24 VHS tapes. Practically drenched in the fluids of teenage sexuality while it shoves a magnum in your face, James Dillinger's punk SOV work of misanthropic rebellion still sings with a kind of weird poetry that feels like it was written in the bathroom of a 7-11 while one last line of speed sits on the back of the public toilet. Kill your parents, scoop out an abusive ex's eye, cut off a rapist's junk and have a three-way with the man of your dreams before dying standing up on a Disneyland roller coaster. This is real deal outsider art of the most potent kind -- oddly laser focused despite the obvious backyard limitations. Crank that shit, Tammy. Let's fuck.
Super lo-fi, but surprisingly entertaining throughout. The story is insane in the best way possible. Hard to not make comparisons to John Waters. Will definitely be purchasing the DVD, if I can find it.
"I know this is gonna sound stupid and crazy and romatic, but I think I'm in love with you."
"Oh, baby, you better be careful. Last girl who said that to me got her head knocked off when she stood up at the top of a roller coaster."
Camp and trash and sleaze in perfect proportions. I couldn't help thinking of Reese Witherspoon in Matthew Bright's Freeway (1996). If you enjoyed that ride, you'll love this one.
I've seen so many movies like this, but nothing else on the same level. It's that rare collision of subversion, competent filmmaking, and a cast who are in on the joke. The dialogue is hilarious, and the pacing is spot on. You're never bored with this movie, because it never lets up.
I'd put it up there with '70s John Waters, Deadbeat at Dawn (1988), and the best shot-on-video gems. See you at Dunky Land!
Goofy, incredibly quotable SOV jammer that’s a lil bit Freeway and a lil bit Pete & Pete.
“I sure know what sensuality’s all about, now!”
(Edit: oh my god there’s ten minutes of an old LA local newscast hidden at the very end of the tape! 😍)
Sov exploration continues....
I rented this on vhs and it was the first film I’ve watched on a vcr since the late 90s. A perfect experience.
This film is an excellent 80s punk diy John waters style done through Southern California suburban angst. In other words it’s amazing and so much fun. The dialogue is really well written and funny and everyone involved gives it their all. Extremely ernest and that is what I love about any art.
I’ve always loved the angry Samoans. Extra half point for that.
Like someone put Heathers, Woodchipper Massacre, and Barbara Loden’s Wanda into a blender, and then sprinkled some John Waters and Rebel Without a Cause on top. Remarkable for a sov. Remarkable for a movie.
An angry blast of fuck-the-world energy delivered with total sincerity, urgency, and the home-movie realness unique to SOV films. By the time our outlaw trio arrives at Disneyland it feels like they’re the only real people left on this earth and all the hundreds of unwitting extras – “a demented cacophony of castrated dreck” – are the ones in a simulation. Features some of the most wonderfully ferocious, poetic dialog I’ve heard in a film of this kind, from “good morning you scheming sack of slime!” to this incredible monologue delivered in voiceover with a sax accompaniment as two lovers embrace on a beach and the camera swirls around them:
“Knowing as I did now that Vern had caused my…
my trans girl vibes:
sara lee wade as tammy is in my pantheon forever. very girl next door and very transgressive punk at the same time. she is seriously my spirit animal.
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