I write without fear that I will be accused of hyperbole when I claim on behalf of its twisted authors that this might be the ultimate new school mondo video. Anyone out there who’s actually seen this disc will concur, muttering to himself as he left clicks away from these words, “Film Threat sure does employ some crazy sick bastards.”
“Dick Stone” and “John Trouble” roam streets urban and suburban, in Las Vegas, Tiajuana, and elsewhere, looking, in the broadest sense, for trouble. Sometimes they devise an amusing pretense for starting fights, as in the ‘sports’ called ‘mullet hunting’ and ‘Mormon Tackling.’ Sometimes they don’t really bother with pretenses, though; sometimes they just start shit with their friends, acquaintances, or one another. In one sequence Trouble is attacked; Dick films the fight, yelling encouragement; then Dick himself is attacked, and passes the camera off to Trouble, who then videotapes Dick swinging on the same guy he was just scrapping with himself. In another sequence a collaborator, being mercilessly pummeled on the sidewalk at the time, memorably yelps, “Put the camera down and help me!”
Dick videotapes himself being blown by a pregnant whore, while shoving his fingers up his nose; later he picks up a strange crippled woman in a bar, gets her stoned, then takes away her cane and makes fun of her defects until she attacks him. These guys are animal lovers; other highlights include shooting pigeons, and videotape of both horses and dogs fucking. Trouble pays a drunk friend to put his scrotum in a mousetrap (it costs $140), and, terrifyingly (or encouragingly, depending on your point of view), our heroes talk their way through the Mexican border without getting searched in a car full of passengers wearing Mexican wrestling masks. (As the car speeds off, someone says, in a stupid Mexican accent, “Our stupid American accents fooled them!”)
“F.U.T.V.” is not only laugh out loud funny a good deal of the time, it is often sociopathic, and assaultive in more than one sense, a nerve-wracking combination. After the third or fourth time violence erupts from the heavily edited narrative, things seem to sort of seethe with potential menace in a uniquely disturbing fashion. It’s as if Alex and his droogs have a video camera with them on their rampage, and think they might use their video to get themselves on the Comedy Channel, so they keep making weird jokes, for the dubious benefit of an audience which may not know how to appreciate their “humor,” whether or not the filmmakers know or even care that this is so. (The copy on the box brags of the number of arrests that went on behind the scenes!)
This pure descent into madness from a new and precarious direction creates a pretty unique cinematic effect, and one I figure places “F.U.T.V.” in rare, refined company. It made me laugh, and it made me cry, both under circumstances, which consistently prevented me from knowing which reaction was appropriate. This leads me to suspect that Dick and Trouble, who, attempting to continuously both shock and amuse, get exactly what they want out of camera and hapless subjects, may well be manipulating the audience with just as much facility as they do every other variable in the filmmaker/audience equation.
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