I had never been to an “underground” film festival before making CUFF my first. When waiting for the first film to start I couldn’t help but try to think of what makes a film “underground”? All that popped into my head was the characteristics of a Ron Jeremy film and a Troma film. Well I’ll be damned if that’s not exactly what Wormwood is and the best part is that it was still good.
The movie follows our heroine Christina (Foster) into the underworld of Hollywood after receiving a disturbing message from her sister. Not knowing where to find her sister in Hollywood, she makes her way to a talent agency that had placed her in the adult field (this is where the blowjobs and the c**k hardening ærobics come into the film). The pornographers-in all honesty the most likable and respectful characters in the film- let Christina know that she was last given work at Wormwood Studios, home of the re-makes.
At Wormwood, we the viewers and Christina are introduced to characters that seem right out of the Devil and Ms. Jones (ask your parents). We have secretary’s f*****g themselves with guns, assistants with s**t on their noses from licking their bosses a***s, and more secretary’s with blood around their mouths from eating… I think you get the idea. From this point on, the film steps away from the adult aspect for awhile and in a Troma sense gives us a smart look on Hollywood and what happens to those that don’t feel the warmth of the bright lights or who make it to the big screen. It also takes a nice stab at the trend of re-makes filtering out: Travolta in Citizen Kane and Swarchenegger in Jaws are just two of the ones mentioned in Wormwood. One of the highlights is when Christine walks into the formula room where they have the mathematical formulas for every genre of film; westerns, comedies, chick flicks etc. Another nice highlight is the comatose Mr. Fairfax, who is Wormwood’s answer to God. He chooses which films get the green light or not by whether or not he gets an erection when his nurse reads him the synopsis.
Director Larry Foster and crew built all of the sets himself which to me is what gives it that homebrew porno feel. Shot with a Cannon XL-1, it’s color treatments were very well enhanced giving it one of the best looks I have seen from a digital film.
This is a total party movie, overflowing with hokiness and lurid nudity (don’t get me wrong, I love it) this film also has a strong look at the way Hollywood works and how it treats those who can’t make it into the system.