Ladymol's Review

I guarantee you will either love or hate this film; there’s no in between.

What would teenage LA life look like to someone from remote village in Afghanistan? I think it would look pretty much like this film. And I’m not sure whether that’s a comment on American decadence or on judgemental fundamentalism. Whatever, this film is unique and fascinating.

Dark is eighteen, confused about his sexuality and about his girlfriend’s unwillingness to give up having frequent sex with as many partners as she can. The central pair of a wide group of teenagers, they converge at a party one evening.

Sometimes shot in weird psychedelic colours, drugs, alcohol, sex and death are the central themes. Weird things happen (alien lizards and freaky clowns). Rape, suicide, murder all play out to a thumping soundtrack that never lets up.

As Dark says to his video diary, he has the sense that they are the last generation, that they are all doomed. His one chance for redemption is snatched from him at the end in a powerful metaphor about the American nightmare: bad things are hatching from the cesspit of their depravity.

You could study this film for a very long time; the metaphors are incredibly rich: murder with a tomato soup can giving a whole new meaning to splatter; stepping in a hamburger (an American iconic symbol?) covered in six inches of furry bacteria; the TV evangelist calling the faithful to a God who demands their ultimate sacrifice; the celebrity (the epitome of the American dream) who is the most corrupted of them all.

Wonderful, but not to everyone’s tastes. If you want something odd, full of eye-candy, a pulsing beat and some thought-provoking insights on contemporary life, then I urge you to give this a go.

Cerisaye's Review

I've no idea what this film was about. It was weirdly enjoyable, perhaps because everyone in it was young and pretty or eye-catching, and I suppose it has something to say about kids growing up today. Through the story of one eventful day in the lives of some LA teens that culminates in a big party blow-out.

We watch from the POV of Dark, a film student looking for love. He thinks he's found it with free & easy Mel who isn't ready for the kind of commitment Dark wants.

There's a rather sweet will he/won't he romance between sweet adorable Dark and the very arresting Montgomery with some nice homoerotic moments, which shows love can be found if you look for it in the right place.

I've seen Larry Clark's films, and much prefer Araki's version of teenage alienation. It's all in there, from bulimia and drug abuse to teen suicide and rape.

The whole thing is rather dreamlike- or maybe nightmarish is more apt- a Technicolour hallucination with full-on special effects, including a wandering space alien.

There are some nice cameos from the likes of Beverly D’Angelo as Dark’s Mom, interrupting his early morning personal time in the shower, and John Ritter as a TV evangelist whose cry to the hopeless to Believe produces shocking results.

It's definitely not for everyone, what with sex, violence and gore, but Duvall as Dark is compelling. The title says it all, but it's an experience to watch.

I’ve just found out this film is the final part of a trilogy, including Totally F****D Up and Doom Generation.  I would definitely look out for the other two movies.