Movie Review: 2002 NYUFF: In Our Garden
The breakout film of the 9th New York Underground Film Festival is a work of such staggering genius that I’m not even sure how I can write a review of it. Anything that I say about the film, whether it’s long or short, capsule or episodic, will not do the movie justice — it will sound like one of the worst movies ever made.
Every shot is over-exposed and so atrociously edited that I can only come to the conclusion that the director/screenwriter, Giuseppe Andrews, fed his non-actors their lines one at a time and then just spliced the dialogue together to sound like the characters were speaking in a coherent manner.
Yet, when In Our Garden was over, my brain was utterly fried from the constant over-the-top dialogue and my body physically exhausted from laughing so much and so hard.
Most of the film takes place in a trailer park and tells a basic love story between Rick, a drunk, who fishes for turds in his toilet using marshmallows as “bait” and Daisy, an old woman, who wears a plastic elf ear. As she explains to Rick, her real one got chewed off by her childhood pony after she whispered the recipe to pork chow mein in its ear. However, when Daisy meets the loud-mouthed, toupee-sportin’ Bill, she kicks Rick to the curb who then turns to drugs and smelling his own farts to soothe his broken heart.
But what really drives the film are the “performances” by the non-actors and the thoroughly disgusting, pornographic dialogue they spew that would make Larry Flynt wince, including memorable lines such as “You smell like you just ate a cum-filled burrito!” I don’t think innocent sex words like “cock,” “dick,” “cunt” or “pussy” are ever used in the film, but phrases such as “fuck bucket” and “Johnson juice” are used liberally to describe characters’ genitalia and bodily fluids. Oddly enough, under these conditions, Daisy’s acting abilities improve throughout the film.
And I just want to make it clear that the supreme raunchiness of In Our Garden is in dialogue only. If some of Daisy and Rick’s stories were sent in to “Penthouse Forum,” I think the magazine would deem them too obscene to print. But visually, the film is tamer than an episode of Teletubbies, i.e. if Tinky-Winky was a homeless crack addict, which I think Rick probably is in real life.
The only drawback to the In Our Garden screening was that the film’s director wasn’t in attendance because I had a million questions for him. I’m still dying to know how he got a nice old lady to spew such revolting dialogue, e.g. Daisy telling Rick a story about how she was infested with giant crabs is one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. I’ve also found it impossible to find any research on In Our Garden on the ‘net.
In Our Garden is the literal definition of what an “underground” film is. Without the NYUFF, I can’t possibly conceive where I would ever else see this movie, which is a shame because the film is also literally a movie that has to be seen to be believed and I’m afraid it’s not going to be seen by as many people as it should be — which would be a real crime.
Watch the In Our Garden movie trailer: