What to say about Jesus Christ Allin? And yes, that was the name he was born with. Well, the fact that I consider a documentary about him a horror film says a lot already.
But what is horror? According to the definition, it’s “an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust”. Well there you go. GG Allin was all of that. His shows consisted of him getting naked and pooping on stage (then eating it, or throwing it at the crowd), of beating up the fans and himself, blood and barf spewing everywhere. Ah… I think the most fascinating thing about GG Allin is not his nihilism and grossness, but OUR fascination with it. People like him bring out that weird, ugly, repressed part of human nature that is always there. That vibe people give off in the crowds at public executions, in traffic jams, at rallies… THAT. It has always been my opinion that it’s the followers, not the cult leader, that are the truly horrible ones. It is a common thing to say that GG felt he had no place in society, and neither did his fans. But there will always be a place for this sort of thing. This type of art is about the ugly side of human nature. We can be ugly, undignified animals. It is remarkably easy actually. And fascinating. That’s what’s the scariest part of this doc. Oh, and the movie poster was painted by John Wayne Gacy. Of course it was.
I remember a long time ago when I first watched Wings of Desire thinking “Oh so THIS is why people hate art films”. Tales From the Loop is like that. Beautiful and poetic to a fault, way more interested in providing a look and form to all your 3AM thoughts than following any sort of narrative. But we all have our moments of deep, thoughtful introspection, don’t we? So now imagine all your weird thoughts about the nature of life, time, love and reality all swirled into a painting of some rural town in Ohio where the landscape is covered with random robots that look like scrap metal. I swear I don’t know how else to explain this show. It was created from an artbook by Simon Stalenhag, and its this vision that anchors the show, makes it so beautiful and odd and very much OFF. If the uncanny valley was an actual place, this would be it. This is The Twilight Zone for the arthouse crowd. It even starts that way, with Jonathan Pryce’s face in full closeup providing the intro. He is so perfect for this sort of thing. Yeah, the show could a bit precious sometimes and slow, and I am not a fan of child actors, but that’s just knit picking. This thing is beautiful and unlike anything else on tv right now. If anyone else has watched let me know what you think. It’s a thoughtful show, and I would love to hear your thoughts.
First of all, what a thrill to get to see Walter again. I admit it, he holds a special place in my heart. This documentary goes behind the scenes of his final years, so it is gentle in its approach, and perhaps a bit more deferential than most of these types of films. It works though, because the effect gives it a Grey Gardens vibe that fits Walter’s lifestyle perfectly. It was fascinating to get to see him in his home with his faithful assistant,, surrounded by Walter paintings and books and jewelry and all those capes! I wish the filmmakers had dug deeper into his wild mysticism and philosophy, like how he’d been a follower of Osho, his dancing/acting background, and just a bit more focus on his younger years. But other than that, what a treat! Walter was such a positive force. I wish him well, wherever he is now.