Appalling, amateurish 'Gummo'

November 21, 1997|By Frank Scheck | Frank Scheck,THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

This directorial debut of Harmony Korine, the screenwriter of the controversial "Kids," makes that film look like a musical.

A close-up portrait of disaffected youth in Middle America, "Gummo" is one of the most repellent cinematic efforts in recent memory. Whatever small audiences it attracts -- and they will be drawn mostly by the prospect of watching something "shocking" -- will wind up leaving the theater in a state of disgust.

The largely structureless, seemingly improvised script follows a group of teen-agers as they wander aimlessly around a small, tornado-devastated town in Ohio, spending their time engaged in such charming activities as torturing cats, getting high by sniffing glue and removing the life support from a dying old woman.

A largely amateur cast includes Cole (Max Perlich, late of "Homicide: Life on the Street"), who pimps his mentally impaired sister; Bunny Boy (Jacob Sewell), who skateboards around town half-naked; and Dot (Chloe Sevigny) and Helen (Carisa Bara), two sisters who, when they are not obsessed with their nipples, are attempting to raise their younger sister. The film mainly centers around the adolescent Solomon (Jacob Reynolds) and his older friend Tummler (Nick Sutton), who keep themselves financed by selling the dead cats to a local restaurant.

'Gummo'

Starring Jacob Reynolds and Nick Sutton

Directed by Harmony Korine

Released by Fine Line Features

Rated R (violence, sexuality)

Sun score: *

Pub Date: 11/21/97

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