Kuso is the much talked about mental mindfuck created by musician Flying Lotus. The somewhat surreal film is being labeled as a body horror film I guess to explain why it’s on the horror app Shudder. The quickest way to sum up Kuso is Garbage Pail Kids meets pretentious arthouse filmmaking. I stopped watching halfway through not because I was grossed out, but because I was bored by the repetition. This is a perfect movie for white males ages 18-24, but for most this will either be too gross or too boring regarding how hard Flying Lotus attempts to disturb you.
The film’s introduction is perhaps the reason I stuck around as long as I did. The musician Busdriver interrupts a news broadcast with a jazz spoken word number which was great. Then, the film takes a downward spiral and a guy is being choked on what looks like a vomit or shit stained bed by his girlfriend while he masturbates. He then rubs his cum all over the girl’s face and they kiss. This sort of bizarre gross out body stuff happens throughout the film. Another point in the film a Gummo meets Tunneler from Puppet Master character feeds feces to an unknown creature.
Given I know longer feel a need to prove I’m cool by praising anything bizarre and fucked up, Kuso doesn’t do anything for me. For a majority of it I was yawning and checking the running time.
At its very core Kuso is the type of thing people will label as “the film that makes Eraserhead look like a generic television sitcom” or “the film that makes David Cronenberg’s films look like playing Operation.” While it’s more bizarre and disgusting than the former, Lynch and Cronenberg’s films are well crafted stories that happen to dip into weird while Kuso is best described as something made by someone who just read Naked Lunch and whose favorite film is ABCs of Death. Lynch and Cronenberg are the rarities of people who do weird film that are very watchable while Kuso feels like something made by any generic weird hipster during their freshman year at a liberal arts college.
Throughout Kuso I felt like the parent of an art student trying their best to be edgy, wanting nothing more than to pat Andy Warhol Jr on the head, mutter “that was great sweetie” and go do something worth my time.
If you enjoy the film Gummo, Kuso might be for you. If you’re the kind of person whose personality is a mixture of bizarre shock humor and Manga comics, Kuso might be for you. For the average viewer, Kuso will either be too gross or feel like an Aristocrats joke they’ve already heard.