Teenage Doll Reviews
Really it's about hot chicks and flashy violence. The "socially redeeming value" part is just some crap you stick in there to try and fool the censors, and maybe a couple critics. And Corman was/is brilliant at it. But he might not be a match for Larry Clark, maker of "Kids", "Gummo", and "Bully", the last of which I just watched today. Corman's movies played in drive-ins and dive theaters; Clark's films play in the art houses.
Both "Kids" and "Bully" (and to a lesser extent "Gummo", which was actually kind of about it's characters, and actually kind of rad) are about teenagers set adrift by complacent middle-class parents into a world all their own filled with drugs and kicks and many, many, many shots of Chloe Sevingy and Rachel Miner completely naked. And of course, how could one even begin to illustrate the complex, dystopian lives of pleasure-hungry rejects from the consumer superstructure without lots of bouncing tits and firm young asses? Checkmate, MPAA.
The only real difference between Corman's earliest work and Clark's is that forty or so years have gone by. You can get away with more ass in a movie now, but you've got to be sneakier. You can't just stick a lascivious
headline on a pulpy looking poster and call it a day. Now you need to base you movie on a "true" (or even a "really, really true") story (like "Bully") or add a warning to parents like at the beginning of "Kids". (Parents, of course, were the primary target audience for that movie. Uh-huh. Yeah.)
I've known kids as dumb as the ones in Clark's movies, kids whose only interests were the fullfillment of lusts, who seemed more animal than human in their single-minded determination to be high and laid at all times. I might be tempted to say that they were too boring to make a movie about, but of course everyone has their story. Some critics seem to think that Larry Clark is telling it, which is the only thing I'm objecting to.
If you want to see a good art movie about immoral stoners who kill somebody, watch "The River's Edge". If you want to see Brad Renfro humping about a million times, watch "Bully". Or, as my friend Ross is always saying about movies like this, you could just rent a porno.