DOOM GENERATIONGO 'TARD OUT OVER IT | Oct 21, 2003
***NOTE: This review was written about a month ago fer kicks so its on the 'stream of consciousness' side, but that fits this film. I love this movie and wanna share it with you. I also understand that some may take it for a flat-out gruesome action flick, but then they're missing out on damned-good 'Araki style'.. no matter, though, have fun with it.. if not, in the words of Amy Blue, fuck off "chunkypumpkinhead." LOL
HAVE YOU EVER KILLED SOMEONE? Okay, wait a minute, [[REWIND]].. Have you ever been at the local 7-11 or 'quickie mart' and hosed down some slushies, nachos, maybe some smokes? The cashier languidly taps the register keys, wishing you were her last customer and is secretly praying to god you don't have a handgun hidden. The total is the same as always: $6.66.
What does that MEAN?? Is it a sign that evil is following you or are they just a coincidental sum of a series of random digits? Besides using them for returns/exchanges or scrutinising them to make sure they got their discount, when has anyone cherished their receipts? Perhaps it would only humiliate and mock us for our consumer addiction. Like cattle in our perspective lines, waiting for the financial slaughter, the advertisements tell us what to buy, and we buy. Somehow, caught up in the process, we believe we have control over our own lives.
Throughout our short existence, we are thrown into each other, drowning in pop culture and these so-called "random" chain of events and chance encounters. But what if this ISN'T a spontaneous ride? What if everyone we meet, everything we touch, every moment we steal-- something is controlling it all.. and there will be no escape. That's how sardonic AMY BLUE (Rose McGowan, Scream), naively philosophical pretty-boy JORDAN WHITE (James Duval, Donnie Darko), and homicidal XAVIER RED (Johnathon Schaech, Splendor, he's also "Mr. Christina Applegate" BTW) are mixed around, biting and clawing through the reality created for them. They commit a few creative murders here and there and have lots of sex.
The mismatched trio jump out of their destinies, only to wind up right back at square one. The only constant is that the number 666 (so obvious, its funny) is peppered throughout their lives. And everywhere they go, some nutjob approaches Amy, mistaking her for someone who has jilted them +professing their unrequited love for her. Everybody has at least one doppelganger, but we never wonder what they are up to. It’s bad enough we have to worry about the stuff in our own lives, but we also have to worry about what our ‘ethereal twin’ is up to as well?!
The aforementioned concept is a little frustrating and frightening, but with the right company, DOOM GENERATION is an eye gouging, decapitating, katana-through-the-crotch rollercoaster-road-trip of fun! This movie is chock full of the ironic iconography of America: fast food, videogames, media hype... you know, the whole "convenient consumerism" dealie. As a treat, in humourous flash cameos, Gregg Araki [writer, director, co-producer, editor] combines pop stars with underground icons , i.e. Dustin Nguyen [21 Jump Street], Perry Farrell [Jane's Addiction *sigh*], Parker Posey [House of Yes], Heidy Fleiss [Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy].
Hilarious snap editing, character blocking + interactive placement within a frame set that combines intimate and severe close-ups with identifiable experimentations with depth-of-field are signature Araki style. Special effects are total camp-n-cheese, props are key [even the food looks hideous]-- so great, so great. The script is a delicious mix of witty slang, valley-girl sarcasm [“its just a belt, don’t ‘tard out over it”] and surreptitious reptilian domination which compresses the tides of brutal primal instinct [i.e: sex, speed, striking out in self-defense] and Jordan’s philosophies about love as a "concept" or "cure", sex as "alien", other people as "humans", heh. To add to the overall depth (in influence and in meaning) the background blazes giant posters and banners which scream "OBEY", "CHOOSE DEATH", etc.
Just as much attention was paid to the background visuals as the background music. As in every Araki movie, the soundtrack is FREEKIN AMAAAZING. CocteauTwins, this mortal coil, Lush, Medicine, Pizzicato Five, Slowdive.. Makes me goddamn pee my pants already.
GO SEE IT WITH SOME NUTBALLS: I totally felt that some of the people I saw it with (on different occasions) were headed in the way of the characters-- sarcasm drips and serendipitous sex.. happi goths and creative loons-- but that made it more exciting! You realise that even without these extreme circumstances, some ppl are just more receptive or "alive" than others. The proletariat will never be fully aware when they’re lost in commercial glibness. I mean, in comparison to the children starving in the street or women sodomised and beaten. But do you even care about those victims?
Sad to say, we cannot mention "common" and "empathy" together when discussing humanity. Does the collective ignorance equate social immorality? Do we, in turn, create "bad attitudes" which our impressionable teens such as Amy et al., replicate?
But these kids aren't evil, and to say that they are products of the evils of society would be too easy, but pretty much on point. Araki sums that up in five lines of dialogue [as introductions go around, following their second homicide].
Perhaps becos most of the murders in DOOM G are in self-defense, none of the characters feel remorse or are saddened by it. Initially shocked after the first slaying, Amy + Jordan give up their virginity in the bathtub later that night. When they accidentally hit a dog, however, they freak, bawl, and give a proper burial.
So, would you still say that murder is a conscious effort? What if you could kill anyone who pissed you off, didn't share your views, or threatened you? More importantly, are you going to be like Amy and bitch and whine about the “scumfucks” that surround you or are you gonna be like Xavier and [metaphorically, not literally, of course] DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
I suck at synopsis writing, so the back cover sums it up quite nice:
This is the story about this hot chick and her loser boyfriend that begins one night at a nightclub where they listen to techno music. So anyway, they leave the club only to have this bleeding dude jump into the back of their car. The chick curses a lot and they visit many fast food restaurants, rob a convenience store and meet up with people played by Margaret Cho, Amanda Bearse, Parker Posey, Perry Farrell and Peter from “The Brady Bunch”. Anyway, in the end, they all become way more than friends and wind up being chased by a bunch of crazy neo-nazi jocks who want to kill them when all they want to do is ride off smoothly into the sunset eating Doritos.
…FROM THE MOVIE:
-- i saw it on TV, so its gotta be true, right?
-- guilt is for married, old people
-- those cops, they're like goddamn savage animals
…FROM THE CRITICS:
-- [Araki] would be more honest and probably make a better movie if he got down in the trenches with the rest of us... Note carefully that I do not object to the content of his movie, but to the attitude. -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
-- It's a savagely funny ride fueled by Araki's insight and blunt compassion -- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
-- Ultimately, ‘The Doom Generation’ succeeds on its old-fashioned virtues - cinematography, acting, script, storytelling, individual vision. Plenty of films have dealt with teen isolation and many more will pile on the shocks, but few have a script this hilarious or a visual sensibility this developed. -- Barry Walters, SF Examiner
-- Admittedly, Araki's new feature may not appeal to all tastes, but that does not at all diminish its immediacy and wit -- Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
-- "Wicked sharp humor" -- Thelma Adams, New York Post