Okay, Carolyn & I just started doing Netflix again, so we’re watching a movie a night again.

We’re finally through the many months of watching all 280 episodes of Frasiers… And we tore through both seasons of Tripping The Rift in 1 or 2 weeks.  Frasier is underrated (though when it first aired, I thought it was overrated), and Tripping The Rift is relatively unknown, but completely hilarious… And I think “Six” has beat out the mom from Game Over as “hottest computer-animated character ever”.

But anyway, we started watching movies again…  The first two we watched were:

Monday: Gummo
Tuesday: Hostel

They were both very disturbing!!!!!!!   And being disturbed is a GOOD thing.  It wakes one out of their coma of complicity and lets them see the true underbelly of the world, if just for a moment.

First, Gummo.  Tagline: Prepare to visit a town you’d never want to call home.

I originally decided to watch Gummo when some random person on the internet said it was by the same director as Kids.  Of course, in checking IMDB, that does not seem to be the case.  Gummo started off as disturbing, within the first 5 seconds.  A kid with a crackly voice describes his experience living through a tornado.  Seeing up a girl’s skirt for the first time as a girl flies overhead in the wind, her skull crushed.  Seeing body parts fly around.

But wait, there’s not really a tight plot in Gummo.  You could argue there was no plot at all.  In truth, it was a slight plot.  Some people have said Napoleon Dynamite had no plot.  But N.D. had a lot more plot than Gummo.

The director basically cast the entire movie in 45 minutes by going to Burger Kings and factories and such.  The movie is about Ohio redneck racist glue-sniffing cat-killing-for-fun white trash.  There is a decent amount of violence against cats.  Think, Amores Perros, but with cats instead of dogs.  This movie actually had separate characters and stories much like Amores Perros.  It very obviously had the qualities of an indepdent film.  The pacing is, for lack of a better word, psychedelic.  It jumps between scenes that have no relation to each other.

The movie is very real.  He filmed real white trash.  He let the camera roll.  He also said when he finished filming, he threw up in a yellow bucket, and fall unconcious for 2 days, and woke up to find a pocket-knife stabbed into his leg.  Who knows.

Anybody who watches this movie should actually watch the dvd-extra first.  It would more properly set your expecations up.  This movie is polarizing, being one of the few movies where Carolyn & I had drastically different opinions.  She hated it.  I loved it.  It was like a dark, evil, nihilistic King Of The Hill. 

My favorite scene was “man vs chair”.  This guy really kicked this chair’s ass.  It was insane.  The actor had just gotten out of prison the previous day.  It probably felt really good to get drunk and be free.  I can see how the director could characterize it as “beautiful”.  (And no, I wouldn’t want him in or near my house!)

Anyway, I would recommend it as a dark portrait of america’s underbelly done in a semi-reality, artistic manner.

The other movie was Hostel.  What can I say about this?  Torture, torture, torture.  It starts off like a party movie.  30 minutes into it, I say to Carolyn, “I’m not seeing the horror yet.”  And yet here I am, the next day, and thoughts of the movie still haunt me.

I loved Saw and Saw IIA lot. They are almost my favorite horror movies ever.  Hostel makes Saw look tame in some aspects.  Saw put a lot more thought into each person’s suffering.  Saw emphasized quality over quantity.  Hostel, however, is on a much grander scale.  I don’t necessarily think it to be a better movie then Saw or Saw II, but let me just say this:  If I had to pick one of the two movies to be a true story, I’d pick Saw.

Hostel was messed up.  They could have been a bit more graphic and traumatizing.  Some of the torture scenes could have gone on longer, to make the point more.  (Think: Six Feet Under carjacking scene, or Phone Booth, which is basically one 2-hour scene that completely exhausts the main character as well as the viewer.)  But they still made their point.  They didn’t need to show everything for the viewer to realize that THIS IS SOME F’ED UP SHIT.  I hope to God no place like Hostel exists in real life, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one did.  Eastern Europe does indeed sound like the likely resting place for such a horrible place.

Either way, CNN had an article today on how American hostels suck compared to Europe… but after seeing Hostel the movie, I don’t feel as bad.

I’d recommend both movies as excellent ways to disturb oneself.   Gummo is realer.  Hostel is more intense.  Gummo is more disorienting.  Hostel is more formulaic.  Gummo is depressing.  Hostel just makes your heart sink thinking about it.  Gummo is a town I would never want to live in, but I would gladly exile myself to Gummo-land (redneck Ohio outskirts) for the rest of my life than live one night in that Hostel.

And the people who “worked” the hostel in the movie Hostel?  They all need to be tortured and killed, slowly.  Were the movie a true story I would have no problem doing it myself, because death is really too good for those (actually ficticious) assholes.  They created a hell.  A pure hell.  At least in Gummo, they had the white trash thing going for them — I can understand why they are the way they are.  But there is absolutely no excuse for any human being to do anything I saw in Hostel, ever.

Very interesting movies, though.