Nowhere | Chicago Reader

Nowhere

Try to imagine a Russ Meyer porn movie about LA teenagers crossed with an early scatological John Waters opus and punctuated with outtakes from Natural Born Killers; you'll have a rough idea what Gregg Araki is up to in this hyper, scattershot movie, whose own publicity compares it to a Beverly Hills 90210 episode on acid. Even if the compulsively kaleidoscopic visual style (ten times too many close-ups for my taste) and scuzzy dialogue are such that only one moment out of seven makes much of an impression, there's still plenty to be amused or nauseated by: phrases like “Whatev” (a reductio ad absurdum of west-coast verbal sloth), “Dogs eating people is cool,” and “You smell like a wet dog”; a face getting beaten to a pulp by an unopened can of tomato soup (making one wonder if Campbell's paid for the product placement); blood-spattered walls color coordinated with a tacky floral bedspread; flashes of kinky straight sex and tender homoeroticism; periodic appearances by the Creature From the Black Lagoon; and so on—adding up to loads of flash and minimal substance. The cast includes James Duval, Rachel True, Christina Applegate, Debi Mazar, and Chiara Mastroianni, and there are loads of guest appearances.

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