Sunday, February 12, 2012

THE TAINT (2010)

Great news, guise, the gender dichotomy inherent in the horror genre has been upended!  You know how almost every horror film after NIGHT OF THE LEPUS has been bejeweled with exposed and exploited lady breasts?  Well, thanks to THE TAINT and its 2.5 million engorged penises, it's not an issue anymore and we can all be separate-but-equals.  At the very least, the meatsword damage in this film checkmates the stone phallus lady-vexation in CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, so it's off the table from now on, K.

Science goes awry again as a male stimulant that inadvertently causes violent misogyny gets dumped into the water supply.  Heads get smashed and hideously erect beef whistles spout gallons of paintlike semen.  For the duration of this film, we'll follow sunglass wearer Phil O'Ginny (it's Irish) and badass squirrel-slaying park ranger Misandra(!) as they navigate the post-Taint apocalypse.  There are flashbacks aplenty and the film skips around like an eight-year-old girl playing hopscotch in front of a movie theater showing PULP FICTION.  But it works.  

It doesn't surprise me that Troma just picked this up.  The massive number of man bananas on display aside, TAINT recalls the best of Troma: profuse gore and ridiculous and hilarious purposeful camp.  The effects in this are pretty impressive, as in the applaudable decision to not make this a 2-and-a-half hour thing.  TAINT clocks in at just over an hour, which is plenty of time for this sort of exercise, so please tell every other horror filmmaker in existence today, okay?  The effects are GREAT except when they're not supposed to be, like when yogurt guns are shot and giggle sticks sliced by knives.  But the head-crushing, oh my, it's immaculate.

There's no reason to get too intellectual or whatever.  But obviously this movie is playing with gender roles deep-rooted in our society.  BUT here is what I want you to take away: THE TAINT is not boring!  This is NOT the movie equivalent of being lectured at by some chubby professorial type in a sweater with cat hair all over it.  It's fun, it's outlandish, and if you watch it and just get head-crushing and mutilated winkies out of it, I'm sure the film's makers would say, "Fine, bro."  It's also not part of the burgeoning gay-horror scene, like those BROTHERHOOD movies, 99% of which are horrible.  And why is American minority-horror always horrible?  Like, is there A single good black-American horror film? (PS: If this is not the most offensive part of the review, I am quitting)

I liked this so much that I forced my co-workers to watch it on my birthday (yesterday, THANKS FOR REMEMBERING) and, I don't want to give away my identity, but we work in a pretty conservative and staid field and they all laughed and were mortified immensely.  So that is a recommendation of sorts!  If you dig the seemiest side of genre stuff, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not obtaining this.  It's a good watch with your non-church or riot grrrl friends. 

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