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Trash Humpers

Trash Humpers (2010)

tomatometer

58

Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 38
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 16

It's oddly affecting in a deeply discomfiting way, but Trash Humpers pales in comparison with Harmony Korine's earlier, truly transgressive work.

40

Average Rating: 4.3/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 6

It's oddly affecting in a deeply discomfiting way, but Trash Humpers pales in comparison with Harmony Korine's earlier, truly transgressive work.

audience

45

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 909

My Rating

Movie Info

Americana goes rancid in writer/director Harmony Korine's tale of three elderly cretins who brutalize dolls, molest fauna, and force themselves on garbage cans. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Nov 30, 2010

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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (16) | DVD (1)

Imagine if you salvaged a grubby VHS tape off the roadside only to discover it contained outtakes from an amateur Jackass knock-off.

June 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This interminable piece of crap copped a big prize at the 2009 Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival.

June 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The crass, fuzzy beauty of VHS' defiantly crisp-free recording technology gives haunting visual power to both the empty-parking-lot dreariness of day and the harsh, lamplit hum of night.

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comments (2)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For the brave souls who make it to the end, there should at least be no question of the movie's sincerity.

May 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

However crassly delivered, Mr. Korine's warning against over-consumption is unambiguous: these savages are our future, our "true seed." The only surprise is that he didn't include a shot of one of them violating this film.

May 7, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's about as enervating a way to waste 78 minutes as I've ever experienced.

May 7, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Congratulations Harmony, you've just made the weirdest movie ever.

August 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Gordon and the Whale
Gordon and the Whale

A Dadaist delight, Harmony Korine's Trash Humpers is a direct descendant of Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures, perhaps the first and only.

July 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

The most shocking thing about Trash Humpers is that it's boring...at times, hellishly annoying, but virtually never offensive.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

In one scene of "Trash Humpers," the camera lingers on an abandoned toilet in the middle of a field, as voices cackle off-camera. The filmography of Harmony Korine, ladies and gentlemen!

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin State Journal

Viewers unfamiliar with Korine's alternative style of filmmaking may walk out in disgust. But if you're willing to broaden your cinematic expectations to include the utterly random, it's a must-see.

September 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out Sydney | Comment (1)
Time Out Sydney

Mostly it is just repulsive but occasionally it's beguiling, and at these points it feels like Korine is getting at something, showing us exactly what we don't want to see...

July 15, 2010 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

There's no plot to speak of, but the mayhem Korine captures is oddly engrossing, like a twisted piece of performance art.

July 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman | Comment (1)

Trash Humpers, far being an authentic expression of the American Id, is a nostalgic lament for an era in which Korine's films could be held up, rightly or wrongly, as transgressive. No longer.

June 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

There's no real narrative, just three folk in latex OAP masks snorting and cackling through a series of often noctural adventures with wheelchairs, hookers and undead-looking street poet types.

June 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4

It is an exercise in experimental provocation and in pure insolence, while sometimes being horribly funny and fascinating, reviving the spirit of Tod Browning's Freaks and the ice-cold vision of Diane Arbus.

June 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

It's a typical Korine move: gesture towards seriousness, and then undercut it in the name of puerility. Or is it post-political cynicism?

June 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

As funny as it is horrific, and as beautiful as it is repulsive, Harmony Korine has crafted one of the most fully-formed (and undeniably affecting) art movies of recent years.

June 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Ultra Culture | Comment (1)
Ultra Culture

A tedious slog that appears to have been made for the express purpose of annoying the audience. It succeeds at that, so I guess I have to give it a good review.

June 17, 2010 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

As close to unwatchable as cinema gets, Harmony Korine's latest stab at alienating his audience seems perversely designed to test the loyalty of those who stuck with the underground auteur through Gummo and Mister Lonely.

June 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This is counter-cinema at its best. For every insipid, corporate-led blockbuster that comes hurtling out of Hollywood, something as gross, coarse and provocative as Trash Humpers must counteract, if just to remind us of the power of film.

June 17, 2010
Little White Lies

A often grim vaudeville parade of Nashville's oddballs and ne'er-do-wells.

June 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A gang ofelderly morons have sex with garbage. What more can I say about Trash Humpers?

June 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Demented, juvenile and utterly pretentious nonsense that comes across like a senile version of Jackass crossed with white trash performance art, yet it's also strangely enjoyable and has future cult hit written all over it.

June 16, 2010 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

a painful and deadly dull slog that tries to approximate the outrages of early underground cinema without bringing anything new to the table.

June 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Critic Doctor

Audience Reviews for Trash Humpers

Korine believes to be making something provocative and artsy by refusing anything similar to a plot and shooting in VHS endless unrelated scenes of abhorrent scum, but all he does is bore us to death with an interminable, painfully unwatchable load of crap. (Zero stars)
March 17, 2014
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Backing to Korine's earlier transgressive work, Trash Humpers also bring that old charm by VHS and show a brutal critic to American society.
November 24, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

A gang of rednecks in wrinkled masks that make them look like escapees from a nursing home for the criminally insane engage in random acts of vandalism in empty suburbs. A dull, pretentious slog through the rubbish: your bourgeois sensibilities may or may not be offended, but they'll almost certainly be bored.
November 30, 2010
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Harmony Korine is not backing down. Just when you thought he'd start toning it down to curry favor with American critics, Korine brings us "Trash Humpers," his most radical project yet.

"Trash Humpers" is a failure, but it's the most interesting failure since Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales" (2007). In these profoundly unoriginal times, it's heady tonic to encounter Korine's creativity. How many American filmmakers today can you say are one of a kind, completely unlike anything that has come before?

The best parts of "Trash Humpers" are the first half-hour and last 10 minutes. In between is some of the most random, shallow, repetitious, infantile, unwatchably bad cinema you'll ever see. However, I appreciate Korine's courage in including footage like this. American culture desperately needs more filmmakers willing to take huge risks. It behooves everyone who cares about American culture to see "Trash Humpers" in a theater or rent it on DVD. We need to send a message with our dollars that we value brave, extreme art even when it is not a complete success.

"Trash Humpers" could be interpreted in a million different ways, as of course is the case with all avant-garde art. I saw the most interesting parts of the film as a cross between horror and parody, with Korine depicting humanity (or at least a subset of humanity) as a worm-like or vermin-like species traveling in packs and randomly vandalizing and humping everything around them. A recurring image has a pack of these creatures humping large plastic trash cans. This was such an important part of Korine's vision that he made it the title of the project. I actually found the vandalism sequences much more engaging and disturbing than the copulation with trashcans, which gradually became more silly and repetitious than anything else.

Most interesting of all was that Korine fitted the four main actors (one of whom was Korine himself, it appears) with gruesome masks, making them appear like a different species. He also develops a new approach to cinematography such that everything was blurry. This enhanced the feeling that this subhuman race was so disgusting that it was difficult to look at them. The camera itself seemed to be squinting, both drawn to and repelled by what it captured.

I couldn't quite make out what Korine did to get this effect. At times it appeared that he had first shot on a cheap videocamera and played the footage back on a cheap TV. Then he set up another videocamera to film the images flickering on the TV monitor. Footage of footage. I found this experimentation with form for the most part creative, innovative, and conducive to further reflection on the film's repulsive and strange content.

At times, however, Korine self-consciously made it seem like we were watching a very old VHS tape, complete with some passages that appeared to be going in rewind. I didn't find this homage to VHS either innovative or interesting. I am surprised that Korine would stoop so low as to traffic in nostalgia. But mercifully these faux-rewinding sequences were few and far between.

Other radical aspects of the film/video include a complete break with narrative and a near-complete break with dialogue. What we get is a series of vignettes strung together in pretty much random order, with little to no dialogue in each. Korine is conveying an overall impression rather than telling a story. Surprisingly, when dialogue was used, the film was at its weakest. I wish Korine had remained wordless throughout. The horror aspects, at least, would have been conveyed more effectively without dialogue. --unfinished--
August 1, 2010
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

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