Saturday, November 10, 2012

Totally Fucked Up (1993) Review

Totally F***ed Up poster
Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: James Duval, Roko Belic, Craig Gilmore
Genre: Drama, Queer Cinema

This is the first film in Araki's Teenage Apocalypse trilogy, the next two being The Doom Generation (1995) and Nowhere (1997). There's something that always appeals to me in Araki's films; maybe it's the apathetic, indie, queer culture he portrays that I like, or maybe it's just the sense of despair he manages to capture.

First off, awesome soundtrack, as with nearly all Gregg Araki films. A great mix of shoegaze and industrial; including: My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Coil, Ride, Pale Saints, Red House Painters, This Mortal Coil, Ministry, His Name is Alive, and a bunch of other bands you've probably never heard of. So if you're a fan of any of those bands I'd recommend watching it simply for that. 

The plot isn't much. The film essentially serves as a look into he lives of six teenage homosexuals in brief snippets of their everyday lives. It works, and it has a kind of mockumentary feel to it. We get to know all the characters pretty well.

There's some impressive cinematography here and there are some cool angles and scenes, e.g., when all the kids were sitting under a road sign that read "END". Gregg Araki is a good director and there is a lot of talent in here. 

James Duval, a regular in Araki films, steals the show here. His acting here is great (and I must say, so is his fashion). It's cool to see what hip T-shirt he'll put on next!


James Duval in Totally Fucked Up

The intertitles were also pretty amusing. With text that reads: "It's my party and I'll inseminate if I want to" or "The decline of stupid fucking western civilization" or "Tom Cruise: Rock Hudson for the '90s" among many others. 

Sometimes it can get a bit annoying hearing angsty teenagers whine about life and stuff, but it's not so bad. The film is pretty slow and can be boring at times. It's short (at only 78 minutes) but perhaps it's still a little too long. 


James Duval in Totally Fucked Up

Gregg Araki is the director that introduced me and sparked my interest in Queer Cinema, and a lot of his films I consider to be some of the best in the genre, and though I wouldn't call his films cinematic genius, they definitely are enjoyable and very cult. Totally Fucked Up isn't his best, but it's worth the watch.

Recommended for: fans of Queer Cinema, fans of any cast or crew, fans of industrial/shoegaze/dream pop

3.5/5 stars

Purchase Totally Fucked Up on Amazon: DVD 
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