I like features shot on DV in a trailer park for $1,000 with subtitles as much as the next person, but I just don’t like “Trailer Town”. I know I’m supposed to like it, everyone else seems to. I like Giuseppe Andrews (he has a “Smokey and The Bandit” mustache), it screened at The New York Underground Film Festival, it’s an “avant-garde comedy” (which sounds good), but as hard as I tried, I just didn’t like “Trailer Town”.
Giuseppe Andrews (who you may know from “Cabin Fever”, “Independence Day” or his brief cameo on “Beverly Hills 90210” in 1990), wrote, produced, directed and edited “Trailer Town”. The film stars actual residents of a trailer park outside of Hollywood, California- Andrews himself resides in the park. It’s not a documentary (perhaps it should have been), but it’s not a traditional feature either; the attempt to walk a thin line between the two is blazingly apparent. “Trailer Town” is made up of a series of fragmented scenes featuring trailer park residents discussing sex in rather vulgar terms, reading explicit love letters to one another or performing foul stand-up comedy-like routines. There is a hint of a plot, as apparently the residents are in fear of eviction from the trailer park, which escalates toward the end. The film contains crass subtitles mainly because the sound quality is inaudible throughout most of the feature. According to Andrews, “Trailer Town is the only American film subtitled in English”, perhaps there is a reason for that.
“Trailer Town” is somewhat reminiscent of John Waters’ early work, or at the least Waters appears to be an inspiration for Andrews. It could be said that “Trailer Town” is John Waters meets Andy Warhol plus 2% of Larry Clark, but I feel that’s a bit too complimentary and, after all, it is 2004 not 1972. There are only so many different analogies you can give for sexual intercourse and the human reproductive system before it just gets stupid. Andrews is fairly young (he was born in 1979), but at certain points “Trailer Town” seems like the handiwork of a twelve-year-old boy. The film screened at Cannes and won the Kodak Independent Soul Award at the Tromadance Film Festival. The jury is still out on whether or not it will receive recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records for the number of times the word “p***y” is used in a feature length film.
I will admit that I did laugh out loud at several points in the movie, mostly toward the beginning. Sure it has its moments, like a burrito being micro-waved while wrapped in a pair of skid-marked tighty-whities, but the biggest laugh I got was from reading the very serious summary on the back of the DVD box. “Trailer Town” does possess a level of authenticity, which actually makes it kind of creepy. Overall it seemed like a 15-minute joke that was stretched out to an hour and a half. It is literally like watching someone’s grandparents talk for extended periods of time and in the most vulgar terms about sex (“cum-box”, for example is a popular choice of words). Comments like “there’s a hairy hump hole for every c**k ” from a teenage boy is gross, but from a 75-year-old man it’s just downright upsetting. At first the over-the-top dialogue is funny, or at the least possesses a level of shock-value, but after a while it just seems mean-spirited and almost offensive.
“Trailer Town” is a film you have to watch for yourself (you have to see it to believe it)- just don’t say I didn’t warn you. By the way, it’s not a popcorn movie.