First of all: they did make a sequel to The Human Centipede, and it did get banned in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I’m going to go to Norway next month, stock up on copies, and try to smuggle them in on a fishing boat. Meg will stick some in her brassiere and take the Channel ferry from France, and the ever-loyal Kevin Yang is going to fly helicopter sorties from the Isle of Man. Don’t worry, British readers. We’ll make sure you get all the butchery and coprophagia you can handle.
I’ve missed doing Worst of Netflix, but I’ve had a bear of a time finding the right movies to use for it. It’s a delicate balance: you have to find movies that aren’t very good, but that tried to be good, and are also eventful enough that you can actually write about them. I had high hopes for the homoerotic Japanese samurai drama Taboo, but most of the movie was aching glances and bland intrigue, all with the grainy color of a 1970s BBC drawing-room sitcom with a title like “Her Majesty’s Loyal Breeches.” The Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust knew it was terrible and loved it. You can’t really make fun of a movie in which a haunted dildo fights a haunted gingerbread man. Horror of the Blood Monsters was actually too bad to review, although God willing they’ll bring back MST3K and do that old dog up right. With commentary, it would be funny, but written it would just be “And then for some reason we’re looking at stock footage of baboons through a red filter…” over and over again. Jefftowne, a Troma documentary (yes) about an alcoholic with Down syndrome who sexually harasses women, was too depressing to review; ditto I Think We’re Alone Now, a documentary about two dangerously obsessive Tiffany fans. (I do, however, totally recommend that you watch I Think We’re Alone Now, especially the special features.)
Thank God for The Corndog Man.
I have a special history with this movie. My freshman year of college, I spent a lot of time with “Sue,” a girl who ultimately had a The Da Vinci Code-themed nervous breakdown in which she realized that she was a direct blood descendent of Jesus, despite being almost as much of an overbred WASP as I am, and needed to have a baby with her friend’s boyfriend, also a descendent of Jesus, in order to… something. She had a conversation with the color green, according to the hospital orderly. Anyway, before all this happened, Sue was good friends with The Prisons, a trio of guys from Maryland who had gone to jail their first night at college. This group of people was a lot of fun, and actually came up with the best idea for liquor marketing I’ve ever heard: “Russe face.” Crown Russe is a brand of plastic-bottle, college-cheap booze that makes Scotch, gin, and vodka. They insisted everyone who came around them take a shot of the Scotch, because “everyone has a Russe face!” Madison Avenue couldn’t have done better.
Another of their obsessions was The Corndog Man.
Sue: “Oh, God. Chris. Oh, God. It was awful. Ugh. There’s all this… ugh.”
Me: “I WANT TO SEE IT.”
Sue: “I’ll watch it with you, just not… yet. I need to heal. It’s very… much.”
Prison Joe: “Hey, Sue! I’M THE CORNDOG MAN!”
Sue: “Oh God.” (vomits in trash can.)
I finally saw it, and it was. Very. And now I’ve watched it again for you. I feel compelled to say that The Corndog Man isn’t objectively bad, really. It very much is what it is, like mayonnaise-based fruit salad or Star Wars. You’re either into it or not.
The first line of the movie is “I’ll sell a colored man a boat faster than a cat can lick its ass,” and you better believe I’m embroidering that on a sampler. We then cut to a “new guy in town montage,” in which a man in dingo boots rents a room, hooks up his phone, and unpacks a couple of photographs. His car has Florida tags that read C DOG MAN. He then calls Buford, the boat salesman of colored man/cat ass fame, to ask about buying a boat. Gradually, we become aware that ninety percent of the movie will be increasingly ominous phone calls between these two men.
Summarizing a phone conversation is about as boring as retelling a dream, so I’ll give you the high points. C DOG MAN calls Buford over, and over, and over again, harassing him to the point of lunacy. Buford lives on a houseboat with a long-haired white guinea pig and drinks a lot. He also has a black transsexual girlfriend about twenty-five years his junior who calls him “Daddy” and has the best line in the movie: Buford gets falling-down drunk and tries to piss against a wall, causing the girlfriend to shout “You are in front of a lady!” Alcoholism, star-crossed romance, whatever: just don’t let women see you urinate. Later, Buford and the girlfriend pull over by the side of the road to dance in the light of the car headlights; Buford projectile vomits, causing the girlfriend to fling up her hands in an oh-it’s-one-of-those-nights-God-damn-I’m-wasting-my-life gesture and walk off.
C DOG MAN continues. He tells everyone about the black girlfriend, sinks the houseboat, and one night when Buford is insensibly drunk paints him in blackface and sets his unconscious body in front of the store where he works. There’s also an odd little scene where C DOG MAN tricks Buford into smashing up a pink Cadillac with a hammer, and all the while calls Buford a dozen or more times a day.
I won’t go into details in case you want to watch it, but as you may have guessed, C DOG MAN is deliberately driving Buford mad in revenge for Something Terrible That Happened Long Ago. Ain’t that always the way in movies about the South? We don’t get good satellite reception, so we spend all our time doing Terrible Things so that we can entertain ourselves by waiting for them to come to light – and, of course, discovering Terrible Things other people did and bringing them to light.
Oh, and you never find out what the corndog thing is about. Either that or it’s too subtle for me.