11.10.2010

Worst of Netflix: Pervert!

After the Human Centipede/Karla/How to Be a Serial Killer trifecta, a commenter asked that I move my focus to comedies for a while. The relentless focus on man’s repeated, vivid inhumanity to man was getting to be a little much. I intended Pervert! to serve as a bridge: it’s about killing, but it’s also billed as a silly backwoods sex romp. I thought then I could ease back into movies where most of the characters survive, even if the audience may not.

Pervert!, to put it bluntly, is a loose, in many ways, reimagining of Native American trickster legends, with the addition of a lot of bare breasts and near-ceaseless double-entendres. It straddles the previously-undiscovered line between misogynist exploitation and feminist allegory in an 81-minute, partly claymation cringefest with some classic zingers and great cinematography. I’ve never had more mixed feelings about any film, much less one I’ve reviewed. We’ve all seen good material done badly and bad material done well: Pervert! is mixed material realized by people with widely differing levels of talent. The flim is unrated by the MPAA, but sports its own rating of “Horny-14, because of blood, huge boobs, and a snake.” They’re not kidding. The top-billed star is Mary Carey, the pornographic actress who ran in California’s infamous 2003 52-pickup gubernatorial election that made Schwarzenegger Governator.

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Pervert! While visiting his Bible-thumping yet lecherous father in the desert, randy college student James (Sean Andrews) tries everything he can to hook up with the local curvaceous cuties, but his sex quest stalls when a bloodthirsty killer targets every buxom beauty in sight. Porn star and onetime California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey stars in this lusty nod to 1960s exploitation films.

Much like a Michael Moore film, the movie opens with a grey-bearded man standing in the middle of a desert highway, declaiming in a weird, barely intelligible voice that the story we are about to see contains much that is bloody and shocking. This then cuts to the opening credits, a rowdy montage of T&A with the words “death,” “sex,” and “freedom” scattered about. We bounce or last bounce, for now, and the flim proper begins with an attractive doofus picking up a hot hitchhikeress in his beautiful vintage Mustang. They make a little suggestive small talk, but then she opens the glove box. Pornography flies out, like bullshit from an ex-boyfriend, and the hot hitchhikeress demands to be let out, announcing that she’d rather take a ride from a serial killer. Your mom foreshadows. James, the attractive doofus, arrives at his father’s ranch in time to overhear the end of an argument between his father, Hezekiah, and his lush young mistress Cheryl, played by Mary Carey’s breasts and, to a lesser extent, Mary Carey, who delivers all her lines with the same jerky flow most people use when trying to name every state.

There’s a transition cut here, expressed by a short shot of a nude woman running around the desert with a rubber chicken and screaming. She reappears at each major break, doing something weird in the desert, unclothed except for a silly prop (a golf cart or a luchador mask), and is credited as “Transition Babe.” We may add this feature to the blog.

The three sit down to dinner, where it’s revealed that James is going to college in New Orleans! I dub him “TJ,” for Tulane James. Cheryl spreads butter on her corn, rubs it around with her hands, sucks it off the end, and generally Freuds the shit out of her dinner while they make awkward small talk about college, and have an appallingly frank discussion of sex. My father has many good qualities, but chief among them may be that he has never once asked me how the “pussy-poking” is at school. Granted, he may have known better, but still. Every single line in this movie is a double entendre. Remember being 13?

“This is hard.”

“LOLOLOLOL OMG YOU SAID HARD”

“I’m having trouble…”

“LOLOLOLOL YOU SAID HAVING”

“It seems…”

“LOL IT”

And so forth. Sometimes they’re funny, but often it comes off as “Hey, remember that this is a sex comedy! About sex! And dicks!” Everyone retires, but Hezekiah and Cheryl’s vigorous bedroom antics are overheard by TJ, who masturbates to them. His own father. They expand on the popular “say my name” trope:

“What’s my name!”

“Hezekiah!”

“When was I born!”

“July 20, 1924!”

“What’s the capital of Maryland?”

“BALTIMORE! [sic]”

Spent, they all go to sleep, whereupon TJ has a nightmare about being in a voodoo temple. The next day, he and Hezekiah do some generic “farm work” before Cheryl pops up to offer a snack. Apparently she means food, since she takes TJ into the root cellar and hand-feeds him jam.

“You’re going to make some lucky girl very happy some day.”

All I’m going to say is that if eating jam straight from the jar = cunnilingus mastery, I’m wasted on men. They then go outside, where Cheryl continues her two-pronged assault on TJ’s libido and pancreas by plucking a beehive from a tree, pouring the honey on herself, and rubbing it on her breasts. TJ ends up swollen in a number of places, since the bees decide to attack him instead. While sleeping off the venom, he has another voodoo dream. Get it? New Orleans! Voodoo! Tits!

The next day, Hezekiah shows TJ his studio, where he makes sculptures of women out of various cuts of meat. It’s his “art.” You could spend years going into the potential symbolism here, so I’ll just note that his magnum opus is named “Ophelia,” and that he “used to use beef jerky, because it was so malleable.” Beef jerky has been described many ways, but seldom as malleable. They adjourn for lunch, which they have three feet from Cheryl as she uses the outdoor shower, accompanied by a jaunty version of “Dear Old Donegal.” Hezekiah and TJ play a few rounds of “I’m More Passive-Aggressive Than You,” then leaves to take his car to the garage. The mechanic is a homosexual with a lot of white power tattoos, and that goes about like you’d expect. He also uses “y’all” in the singular, which is my biggest pet peeve. It’s plural. No one who actually uses it would EVER use it to refer to one person. I think the “all” should tip you off.

TJ starts walking home, but runs into Cheryl, who’s driving back from her manicure topless. She opens up about her upbringing “in a trailer park full of dust mites and Lithuanians” and then abruptly mounts him, which somehow nearly causes them to crash. They then meet an oblivious Hezekiah, who’s hunting coyotes. He expands briefly on their role in the trickster myth, ending with how their meat is “not fit to be et by a Chinaman.” This is illustrated by a shot of a woman “dressed” as a coyote dancing around in the desert.

Cheryl and TJ then star in a “we’re having an affair” montage, set to spicy little swing number. Hezekiah finds out because TJ jauntily tosses the condoms away after sex, and they land in the cistern. It’s not a sex comedy until semen ends up in food, drink, or grooming. He thunders at them both, threatening divine wrath, and in the morning Cheryl is gone. TJ suspects his father, who arrives home the next day with a new “spicy Latina” mistress, the new flavor at Whores n’ Things. She can’t decide if she’d rather be a bitch to TJ or seduce him, so she tries to shoot the gap by being enticingly rude. She doesn’t last long; when TJ sneaks into the studio to see if Cheryl is in among the meat, something unseen attacks and kills Hot Tamale. Cheryl isn’t among the meat, but staggers into the studio drenched with blood. Then her head falls off, which is less surprising than the absence of a “don’t lose your head!” joke. Father and son accuse each other of the murders, so decide to compromise by not telling the police and burying the bodies.

TJ then sneaks away to call a nursing home, which sends over a naughty nurse to investigate. She’s tougher than her predecessors, in her way: when Hezekiah tries to rape her, she overpowers him, ties him up, and sexually attacks him, including a Matilda-style face-fart. (It’s funny when it happens to men, you see.) She and TJ leave Hezekiah tied up so they can flirt for a while before she tells him that she’s a lesbian. TJ isn’t to worry, though: since homosexuality is a choice, if things go well between them she’ll just switch. They cuddle up on the couch to “just talk”:

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Red.”

“Mine’s blue. What’s your favorite sport?”

“Basketball.”

“Mine’s baseball.”

“If you could wipe one race off the face of the earth, which would it be?”

Things progress, until finally (late morning the next day,) Nurse Patty makes a move. She stares at TJ’s groin and runs away, screaming. (It’s not me, it’s you. Specifically, your genitals.) He catches up with her and explains that, when he went to a voodoo witch doctor to try to make him sexually appealing, he didn’t realize it would mean his penis would be able to detach itself and go on a killing spree, underscoring the importance of reading the fine print. Back at the ranch, the claymated penis – which can turn itself into a little weasel-sized monster with fangs, walks using the balls as feet, and now has a little face – helps Hezekiah to escape.

Right here is where it all goes off the rails, as usually happens in these movies. The last half-hour of the movie is a lot of running around fighting an evil, detached penis. I’ll bullet-point you through:

-The white power homo mechanic comes back and tries to rape TJ, launching himself onto him with the battle cry “I ain’t one of those queer-ass dickless faggots. I didn’t come here to redesign your living room. I’m here to fuck you in the ass!” Word for word, my college match.com account profile. The penis kills the mechanic, rescuing TJ, who keeps running mindlessly around the desert.

-Nurse Patty was Cheryl’s lover, sworn to avenge her death at the hands of men. This is “tastefully” illustrated by a several-minute flashback of them in bed. The penis attacks and injures her, but she escapes and gets a shotgun, somehow.

-Hezekiah points out that the penis is a female, and in love with TJ. I don’t understand it either.

-TJ tries to fellate the penis, “just to see.”

-Nurse Patty shoots Hezekiah, who, in dying, reveals to TJ that TJ’s mother was a cannibal, and that he is in love with TJ.

-Nurse Patty and the penis kill each other off in a final showdown involving a beehive.

-There’s a nailed-on “Six Months Later” scene that lets us know that the penis returns to kill again, and the same ranting man from the beginning wraps it up.

The credits show that this was another family project, with five or so different Yudises popping up in the closing credits. The special features include a “making of” called “Into the Valley of the Hyper Vixens,” an “extended lesbian scene,” three different trailers, and a half-assed blooper reel. I’ve never thought it was funny when actors just forgot their lines. A blooper is someone falling down, at least. The “making of” clues us in a little: this movie was shot in twelve days for $50,000 and premiered in Helsinki, which may reassure the Finns about their decision not to join NATO.

As plotless wonders go, it’s not bad. The photography is very good, and shows off the beauty of the desert, instead of trying to use it as a blank backdrop like some other movies do. The movie in general just looks wonderful – it’s hard to explain in writing, but someone clearly has a good eye. It’s got some good one-liners and sight gags, and uses sound effects to grab a few extra laughs. Ultimately, though, the movie rests on one very faulty premise: that a disembodied penis, for any reason, would kill a woman who pours a hiveful of honey onto her bare breasts for kicks. I don’t believe it for a second.

11 comments:

Meredith said...

Ah, Chris, thank you. This is perfect. I'm the one who asked for fewer movies about the horrors of humanity and more comedy. A killer claymation penis is perfect.

Also, though a straight woman who reads this mainly at work, I support a "Transition Babe" feature.

Anonymous said...

bravo! if nothing else but for the tag "thunder cunt".

leberet said...

TRUE STORY.

My good friend/next-door neighbor's husband asked me to "put the internet" on their PS3 and, upon learning that they didn't even know the password to their own router, I took the easy way out and just set them up with my own wireless network.

I also offered to set them up with Netflix streaming on my account. He was ecstatic and promptly addED all kinds of Worst of Netflix-worthy films to my carefully curated instant queue. CRINGE.

A day later I was browsing Netflix on my laptop and it asked me to rate "Pervert!". I didn't think much of it until about a week later when I looked at my recently viewed movies and it essentially included every softcore porno on Netflix.

Andrew said...

So, it's basically like Idle Hands, but with a killer penis instead of a murderous hand, and no Devon Sawa.

Stephanie said...

Holy crap, that post was filled with amazing lines.

"t straddles the prevously-undiscovered line between misogynist exploitation and feminist allegory…"

"our mom foreshadows."

"who delivers all her lines with the same jerky flow most people use when trying to name every state."

"and generally Freuds the shit out of her dinner…"

LOL!!! Major props, TC! I, too, appreciate the break from the horror genre. Ooh, and agreement on the bloopers. I've never understood why watching snippet shots of people forgetting their lines & then throwing their heads back to laugh is supposed to be funny.

Stephanie said...

oops. copying & pasting cut off some of the first letters... that, obviously, was "Your mom foreshadows." not "our mom foreshadows."

Meg said...

This had me crying:

"'I ain’t one of those queer-ass dickless faggots. I didn’t come here to redesign your living room. I’m here to fuck you in the ass!' Word for word, my college match.com account profile."

I mean, wow. Just -- thanks.

eeps said...

Chris, may I suggest a gem I discovered on Netflix instant? Please, please, please review The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. It is AMAZING.

terri said...

haha awesome!

i would also like to recommend a film, an old Sean Connery classic, I've not seen it but based on the google images alone it has to be amazing, it's called Zardoz:
http://www.google.ch/images?q=zardoz&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1024&bih=653

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