VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Living End (1992) [Gregg Araki]

Clio: 2/5 stars, 4/10.
Carolyn: 2/5 stars, 5/10.
Native ratings: 3.0/5 stars Netflix, 6.2/10 IMDB.

This is the last remaining Gregg Araki movie that we had not seen, which I am still able to obtain. I still can’t get a hold of “The Long Weekend (O’Despair) (1989)” and “Three Bewildered People in the Night (1987)”. So we’ve seen 8 out of 10 [not counting his MTV pilot as a movie].

Unfortunately, this early Araki work is lacking the directorial, surreal/psychedelic flair that he developed later on in his career. Visual-wise, it’s not as “fun” as his later work. However, bonus points for a 3 KMFDM songs and a Chemlab song.

I think maybe he realized his movies were too dark, brooding, and dare I say boring — so he threw in a lot of quirkiness to lighten the load a little bit. A little sugar to coat the bitter pill. And it works. He’s become one of my top 15 directors, and my favorite gay director (though I find his sexuality irrelevant, it does explain the gay focus of many of his movies).

I really like most of his movies, and this is the order I like them in: Smiley Face, Kaboom, Splendor, The Doom Generation, Mysterious Skin, Nowhere, Totally Fucked Up, The Living End (this one). So yeah, I’m a bit disappointed, but I knew this would happen, because Totally Fucked Up wasn’t that great either.

These early movies are some of the bleakest, most nihilistic, despair-ridden shit I’ve ever seen.

Plotwise, an HIV+ gay guy meets another HIV+ gay drifter homeless guy who ends up getting into some trouble. So the homeless guy convinces the somewhat tame guy to go on the run together.
You’d think with being on the run, that something would happen. No. Not much really happens. This story isn’t even really about the journey. There’s just not much that happens. I fell asleep repeatedly because it was some of the most boring shit I’ve ever seen.

The tame gay guy had a female best friend, who worried about him, and as a result, she ignored/was bitchy with her boyfriend and his needs. I guess if tame guy wasn’t gay, then they’d be a couple, so she probably took it hard because of that… But she’s barely in any scenes, so no…. There’s no romantic angle with her. There’s really not much to this movie besides nihilistic despair.

I’d recommend this for Gregg Araki completists only. Proceed with extreme caution.

Castwise, none of the actors are really in anything significant, EXCEPT Daisy of “Fern & Daisy”, who’s been in a LOT of movies. I still don’t remember her. And the “Twist Master” was in a lot of stuff too. But yea. For the most part, this movie is lacking any significant cast.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104745/combined

ANOTHER REVIEW HERE.