with Bill Nowlin, Giuseppe Andrews, Ruth Estes
Directed by Giuseppe Andrews
by Chad Van Wagner
Well, this is interesting… A “vanity” piece by one Giuseppe Andrews (who was one of the cops in Cabin Fever) released by those paragons of good taste, Troma. The “vanity” is in quotes, since despite the fact that it was written, directed by, and starring Andrews, it’s difficult to imagine this as anything that would boost someone’s ego.
Or maybe I’m missing something. Granted, Troma is not normally my ball of wax, but then, this isn’t a typical Troma film, in that it’s not simply there to justify a rather ridiculous title (i.e. Teenage Zombie Babe Mormons From Hell, or some such). No, this is actually a bit closer to assorted films of bizarre, sick, but nonetheless legitimate substance, like Takashi Miike’s Visitor Q, or if early John Waters got a bit serious for a moment.
The story concerns a guy named Coney Island (seriously), played by Andrews. His family/cohorts/whatever you wanna call ’em make up the Waters-esque universe that this film inhabits. That’s pretty much all you really need to know, context-wise. The Usual Suspects this ain’t.
Now, as a guy whose favorite film involves old people dying of cancer in a Godless foreign tongue, this is not exactly my cup of tea. However, the aging indie hipster dork in me has to own up to the entertainment value. Say what you will, there’s not one person on the planet who can legitimately call this “boring.” “Foul and unwatchable,” maybe, but not boring. Castration, shitting, and old man cock just do not a dull film make, even one with a budget that appears to’ve been slightly less than what I spent on lunch today.
Now, as hinted at before, the film is not simply schlock. Andrews’ Coney Island is a rather inspirational figure, and there’s a weird, kind of semi-intriguing thread of… well, not coherence, but SOMEthing is happening in these people’s gray matter.