Hey, whore, how's
the whoring? This week, the honor goes to:
(who the hell are
Slackers is "A funny, raunchy comedy
with a great cast!"
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
Filthy says: "There're
few better ways to waste time."
"We've bottomed out!"
Years ago, I saw a great movie that portrayed the slacker
ethos. It did it so well that my roommate was moved to tears.
For the first time in his life, he was motivated to pursue a
dream, and that was to do nothing. Up until then he had done
nothing with the intention of eventually getting around to curing
cancer or writing the great Americna novel. After seeing the
movie, he realized that doing nothing with no pretension to ever
change was what he needed. He stopped talking about law school,
started passing out watching television late into the night,
waking up in a stupor and pissing in the fireplace. He dropped
out of school and dedicated himself to becoming the world's foremost
expert on soap and shampoo commercials featuring hot chicks lathering
up in showers. He figured if he watched long enough that eventually
the camera-men, editors, advertising agencies and network censors
would all slip up and show a tit or pussy.
The movie that inspired my roommate was Slacker. Now,
a fucking disaster of massive proportions, the eleventh plague
upon the Earth, has been released by the greedy pigs at Screen
Gems. It's a miserable ripoff of the bankrupt genre of gross-out
teen comedies. This movie is called Slackers. The extra
S is for shit: hot monkey shit full of blood, corn and glass
shards. It's dirtier, more unpleasant and foul than anything
Rosie O'Donnell's ass could produce, even after her typical breakfast
of eight bowls of Wendy's chili and a side of pork. Unlike Slacker,
Slackers will inspire nobody. All it will do is make you
want to punch someone in the gut. What a fucking mess; the cinematic
equivalent of the Harelip's scabbie lips after she drunkenly
picks at her cold sores.
Please rent Slacker instead. It's Richard Linklater's
first and best film, a journey through the barely-there subculture
of layabouts in Austin, Texas. There is no plot that directs
you from A to B. That would be counterproductive to the entire
idea of slackers. They aren't trying to get anywhere. In fact,
the beauty of slacking is that you're perfectly content to sit
at A and think about it. Slackers are people whose lives are
suspended forever in a post-college haze. Each day is a ritual
of achieving nothing but talking a lot about it. Like the movie's
characters, the movie drifts through the city, latching momentarily
on to bums, curmudgeons, anarchists, conspiracy theorists and
philosophizers. As you leave one person, you join another, and
so on, each with something interesting to say. As one character
so eloquently summarizes, "Hey, I may live badly, but at
least I don't have to work to do it." Those are words to
live by. Slacker is simultaneously amateurish and clunky,
seamless, flowing and a pure celebration of unique lives. It's
about the pure joy of having nothing better to do than fart around
with old cars, rationalize that the Smurfs are part of a Krishna
conspiracy, or linger in bookstores.
By contrast, Slackers celebrates the idea that sex
can be dirty without being fun. Really, it isn't a film at all.
It's just someone taking a dump on celluloid. It's also not about
slackers. Hell, if they can call this Slackers Peter
Pan can be called The Big Tittie Bonanza and
be no less misleading. Where Slacker tells a story and
saturates you in a directionless world of thinkers and tinkerers,
Slackers is a guided missile pointed at an oversized and
worn out target as wide as Dipshit Suzanne's ass. And still,
it misses over and over. It misses worse than me trying to piss
into the Harelip's purse at two a.m. The only thing we learn
from the story is that the screenwriter and director are immature
creeps who probably giggle uncomfortably when they hear someone
say "boobs" or "vagina."
Three asshole college kids are supposed to be lovable because
they cheat their way through school and then celebrate by drinking
beer and watching a big-screen TV. How cool. They're just like
frat guys without the social acceptance. The jig is up when they
are caught by campus weirdo Jason Schwartzmann. In exchange for
not ratting them out, they have to help him bag the girl of his
dreams, the weird-looking James King (yeah, that's a girl but
she sort of looks like maybe she was an elf who had a sex change).
Guess what? The best looking of the three assholes (sleepwalker
Devon Sawa) falls in love with her. Out of jealousy, Schwartzmann
goes nuts and tries to sabotage him. He tells King that Sawa
was using her to avoid being ratted out. Of course, she gets
angry and dumps him. Oh, shit, will they get back together? As
in all of these sloppy movies, he wanders around campus until
he comes to the realization that to win his girl he must denounce
his old ways. Fucking yawn. And like in every other shitty teen
movie, he wins the girl with a heartfelt, cornball and totally
out-of-place BIG SPEECH. I wonder if this type of crap felt original
the first time someone did it a thousand movies ago.
Slacker is like no other movie you'll ever see. It's
part Buñuel but mostly distinctly Linklater. You aren't
observing slackers, you're in their midst. It's not only about
people, it's also about their ideas that are tossed into the
air because their authors have no motivation to do anything else
with them. To the slackers, it's enough reward to just think.
The movie is smart because it treats the nutjob who claims the
astronauts found a spaceship already on the moon equal to the
old-man anarchist whose spent his entire life contemplating blowing
up the Texas State Capitol. And they both get the same respect
as the girl trying to sell a Madonna pap smear. Right in the
middle is a tribe of kids, running and shouting "Come on,
we're wasting time!" as though that were a bad thing.
Slackers is like every other crude teen comedy. Or
rather, it's a mimeographed copy; the edges are dull and blurred
and it's a cheap copy that smells like bad cheese. The screenwriter
and director do a very bad job of aping other gross-out comedies.
They mistake being weird for being funny, crude for shocking,
annoying for quirky. Most of the setups have no punchline, just
a weird sexual or farting situation that falls flat.
For example, a masturbating girl is "funny" to the
filmmakers because they think it's outrageous for someone to
jerk off. What fucking eunuch colony are they living in? What
normal adult thinks jerking off is twisted? And why is it funny
that she diddles her clitoris to orgasm. I wouldn't trust a woman
who didn't. Later, that same masturbating girl gets into bondage
because, as every fucked-up, sexually-repressed director knows,
masturbation is a gateway to sadomasochism and eventually autoerotic
asphyxiation. We're all going to hang ourselves. Fuck it, the
masturbation scene isn't even hot. Nothing is. It's all just
creepy and cheap. It's supposed to be a teen comedy, you Hollywood
assholes. Teen boys may see it and they will be much more likely
to tell their friends about it if we see big young tits swinging
and hot chicks acting normal. So would I.
Another scene has Schwartzmann inexplicably giving the ancient
Mamie Van Doren's tits a sponge bath. The gag is that she's old.
There's no other joke here. Tee hee. If old people having tits
cracks you up, go get yourself a copy of "Grannyfuckers
1 and 3" (skip "2", it's a downer) and piss your
There are many more scenes that may draw giggles from people
who have never seen the opposite sex naked and would die of fright
if they did. But the only truly funny thing is knowing the director
and writer have and never will get laid.
Slackers occasionally resorts to desperate "fantasy"
sequences so they can work in more fart jokes and lousy sex gags.
It's not the fantasy of any character just of the shitty director.
There's a scene that is shot to imitate the bad lip-syncing of
Kung Fu movies. Oh, shit, that sure is timely! Nobody's ever
done that before. In another scene that I think was not meant
to be fantasy, a character sings a song with his sock-covered
penis. His penis has a mouth and its own voice. What the fuck?
How does this tie into the movie? How was this supposed to get
a laugh? I admit, it's funny, but not funny-haha, more like funny-some-people-should-keep-their-thoughts-to-themselves.
It's the kind of sight gag and eight-year-old desperate for attention
might come up with.
Slacker is firmly rooted in the real world full of
broken sidewalks and vacant lots. Linklater's world is full of
imaginative characters that don't need a fantasy life. These
characters have different views of reality, but they are perfectly
happy rooted in this small, deteriorating corner of Texas. And
they are all interesting enough for the time we spend with them.
We may never agree with any of them, but what they say feels
natural and truly believed.
I could go on about how truly awful Slackers is. I
could write a page about Jason Schwartzmann fucked up all the
goodwill he built up playing Max Fischer in Rushmore.
It's the sort of betrayal you feel seeing your girlfriend humping
a fire hydrant. I could talk about how nobody involved in the
movie looks remotely interested or amused. But, I'd rather tell
you to rent Slacker and fuck going to the movies this
week. If there's one thing I've learned from these two it's this:
there's a right way and a wrong way to waste your time. Slackers
gets The Finger. Slacker gets Five.
to tell Filthy something?