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Rental Unit: “Trash Humpers”



Even for those all too familiar with the work of Harmony Korine, the title “Trash Humpers” has the ability to raise an eyebrow. Korine has been something of an enigma during his career, emerging in his teens as a fully fledged screenwriter (of the notorious “Kids,” directed by Larry Clark in 1995), and then retreating ever further into his own head as a filmmaker.

The late '90s brought increasingly weird movies such as “Gummo” and “Julien Donkey-Boy,” which were impressively coherent compared with some of Korine's efforts in the following decade, including the recent “Mister Lonely,” about a group of terrible celebrity impersonators impressive only in their ability to irritate.

Yet nothing could prepare one for the limitless self-gratification and boundary-pushing found in “Trash Humpers,” an amusingly low-rent comedy shot in the style of “The Blair Witch Project” and “Jackass,” although more intended than either of those to look like something left for dead in a dumpster.

Less a documentary than an attempt to mimic a real document of antics, the movie follows a group of deranged vandals (played by Korine and friends) who drink and debauch their way through rural neighborhoods disguised as elderly people armed with a cheap video camera and a bunch of booze. Their unique shtick is, you probably guessed it, humping everything in sight, including the shrubbery and the trash cans of unsuspecting people.

Watching such footage at home, groundbreaking as it is, might prove disappointing. There's not much story to follow, and what arguable qualities “Trash Humpers” has to offer benefit greatly from a good-sized audience, who can laugh, hoot and holler along with the degenerates on screen.

Still, the movie is undeniably funny in parts and it contains some gratifying subtleties if you're willing to look for them, including self-referential jokes that prove it's not simply someone's idea of a YouTube channel gone wrong.

It also has the inherent class-clown charm of genius-level idiocy. The movie is the trump card of unique cocktail conversation. How many times in your life can you tell your friends about a movie called “Trash Humpers”?


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