Trashology landed here at the homestead right around the time the my daughter was being born AND the dreaded holiday slowdown set in. So, it only seemed fair that we start off 2013 with it. The good news? It was worth the wait! Trashology is the type of dirty minded clusterfuck that makes me get out of bed every morning.
This independent anthology is woven together by the story of Tracy. Tracy is a college student who’s busy at work on a college assignment. Research on the project leads to Tracy’s discovery of 3 stories that are spun together: The Vat, Big Debbie, and Inglorious Bitches.
The Vat tells is a tale of 3 women, one of whom happens to be a bible-thumping reactionist. Her incessant attacks on their secular life choices reaches a fever pitch, and violence is threatened. This leads to a finale that has to be seen to be believed. The Vat is followed by Big Debbie, which tells the tale of a woman left at the altar. In her misery, she’s falls in with 2 men who make a sex slave of her. Following the death of one of the men, Debbie and her cohort are forced to get rid of the body…but they’re caught in the act. As a means to maintain their “innocence”, the witness blackmails the pair into killing off her unfaithful girlfriend. Inglorious Bitches rounds out the trio and keeps up the weird as well. 2 women set on doing some vigilante recon work do just that. The task at hand is simple: They utilize a cell phone app that allows the pair to track down sex offenders and kill them.
Where do I start with Trashology? It’s one of those films that you’re almost forced to fall in love with because it comes from such a genuine place. A movie like this isn’t loved for its technical achievements. There are none. In fact, while we’re on the topic of technical issues, I’d like to get that portion of the review out of the way. THIS IS NOT A TECHNICALLY EFFICIENT FILMGOING EXPERIENCE! It suffers from the usual micro-budget trappings of lighting issues, it’s not shot on a high grade format, and their are some audio faux pas that leave a bit to be desired. This makes a handful of scenes hit unnecessary highs and lows from a technological perspective. Here’s the thing: That’s not why you would watch a movie like Trashology to begin with. That’s not why I watched Trashology! You watch a movie like this because it’s filled with every oddball extreme one could possibly think of. If that formula sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Writer/Director Brian Dorton certainly evoked the spirit of a early John Waters while conjuring up the concepts that would become Trashology. In fact, this film could be seen as a love letter to Waters’ early films and the effect they’re still having on young filmmakers. I can’t say for sure, of course, but I think that was the point here. When a filmmaker and his band of weirdoes don’t have a lot of money at their disposal, they must rely on their own wit and ingenuity…and that’s exactly what happens here. Dorton and Co. aren’t working with millions. They’ve created this movie on a shoe string budget and it does show-that’s not to be taken as an insult, however. With that mentality, you’re afforded a certain level of freedom that you won’t find amongst the movies filling the racks of your local big box retailer. Instead, Trashology functions as a film knowing precisely what it is and doesn’t hold back. You won’t find a single character in this film who doesn’t work well outside the boundaries of normal human behavior. Everyone is a lunatic and therein lies the appeal of a movie like Trashology. It’s also what has drawn people to filmmakers like Waters, the Kuchar Bros., Harmony Korine, and the like: The inherent ability to make the most insane concepts endearing. Dorton delivers on that concept and as a result makes a good ol’ fashioned sleazy exploitation flick.
Trashology is a lot of fun. It’s a fairy tale made up of truckstop-quality drag queens, religious lunatics, absurd sexual fetishes, pudding, and everything in between. This is a group of friends having a great time and making some strange art. If that’s not the beating pulse of indie film, then I don’t know what is. If you fancy yourself a fan of the aforementioned filmmakers, consider Trashology in your wheelhouse.