The Wet Ones is like The Mr. Bill Show on crack, and that is entirely on purpose. Using the tagline “a movie made by maniacs, for maniacs,” this psychedelic, action figure starring, splatterfest more than lives up to it. It is written and directed by musician/filmmaker Wigwolf, who plays guitar while wearing a werewolf mask, long, flowing wig, and a tutu. It features homemade sets with hand-mutilated dolls having adventures and stabbing each other in the p***y.
One doll featured prominently has a red shock wig and an enormous hard-on and goes by Doctor AIDS (Wigwolf). It also has a Katy Perry doll that gets into all sorts of peril. Her adventures include being attacked by one of the sisters from Jack Hill’s Spider Baby (Rachel Alig) before fighting against the evil corporate influence of Titanic Sinclair. There is also Bunnula the vampire rabbit, Elvis at the disco (Morris Slater Diamond), Joan of Arc (Lauren Barrett), and J.R. Jickenjacker (Jamie Robert MacDougall).
Bridging all of this is the great Andy Dick, looking very tired as the Bunny King. The Bunny King knows his way around a carrot sandwich, and the only condiment he uses is salt. If the Bunny King weren’t already tied to his bunny thing, he would be the Dry Sandwich King. Oh, and near the end, there is a sequence at a drive-in where Sid Vicious’ girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Rich Ayers) is wandering around stabbed inside the Brady Bunch house. Then the Brady kids (Babette Bombshell) aim their laser eyes at her to burn her up.
“…Nancy Spungen is wandering around stabbed inside the Brady Bunch house.”
As you have probably guessed by now, The Wet Ones is an experimental production that is not just an exercise in bad taste. It is a decathlon of obscenity. It’s a marvelous harkening back to the old days when cops would burst into theaters to shut down screenings of Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures; a tradition started in the 1960s that carried through the 90s. This movie is a cannibalization of pop culture, regurgitating itself with the fake blood flying all over Barbie dolls and mutant clay figures. Anyone still reading this review is, at this point, either sold or curious, as surely, the squares have left. So I will impart on you the parts of this two and a half hour odyssey of filth that are truly elevated.
Wigwolf shot The Wet Ones using old VHS and super 8 cameras, putting the already phenomenal color palette on steroids. There is a level of saturation that is intensified by the grain and artifacting. Colors pop hard enough to break blood vessels in your eyes. If you are looking for something trippy to watch because certain things are now legal, here is your first and last stop. It can almost be compared to The Naked Lunch in that it is made up of a series of boundary-breaking scatological sketches, but instead of dirty words, it uses colors and light… and plenty of dirty words. The film can either be consumed in small doses with the sound on, which will make this last several smoking sessions, or watched in its entirety with the sound off and music of choice playing over the unbelievable visuals because they really kiss the sky here.
To paraphrase David Byrne’s feelings about lyrics, the soundtrack here with its hysterical crassness is just a trick to make you watch the amazing visuals. There is an edge to the splendor that Wigwolf achieves with lost 20th Century footage formats. It isn’t hard to imagine that sometime in the future, The Wet Ones will be heralded for showcasing these forgotten formats’ visual powers.
"…will be heralded for showcasing these forgotten formats' visual powers."