Bolduc Films // 2010 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron // March 25th, 2011
No, it's not what you think it is...though it is just about as crude...
It's the end of the world, and boy are the males of the populace pissed off...and aroused...and insane...and horny...and ejaculating...and...
Let's stop right there, for a moment. This movie is called The Taint, and it's basically 70 some minutes of the most scatologically surreal half-baked horror comedy crack you will ever enjoy feeling guilty over. Over the years, homemade auteurs like Chris Seaver and Justin Channell have made their outsider bread and butter out of combining the funny with the freakish (almost always revolving around slashers, sex, and sexuality) to create a confusing combination of Wes Craven and John Waters. For them, the gross-out gag is to be taken literally -- meaning that while your stomach is heaving from vomiting, your sides are splitting from laughter as well. Of course, the silly subgenre is extremely hit or miss, the disasters far outpacing the considered "classics." The Taint finds itself somewhere in the middle (get it???). When it works, it's a wacky wonder to behold. When it struggles, it's like listening to a group of 14 years olds giggle at their own baloney farts.
The main storyline has a group of basement-dwelling scientists developing a Viagra like substance. When a mutant strain of said drug is unleashed into the local water supply, the men of our sleepy little location suddenly turn into raging lunatics, their equally unhinged hard-ons spewing...well, you know what. Among the rare survivors of this water-based plague are Phil, a blond-haired himbo with about as much brains as brawn (and he's a wispy thin thing) and a lone female assassin, Misandra. She's out to wipe the worthless, semen-leaking guy scourge off the planet. He just wants to understand what the Wheaties is going on. They come across a gang of slightly more intelligent dudes who want to turn the destruction of the entire female population into a goofy gang bang. They are then saved by a masked marauder who has his own connection to the arousal apocalypse.
Back in the days before technology turned everyone into Eisenstein, something like The Taint would be dismissed as a mediocre amateur atrocity, the kind of "aren't we clever" conceit fostered by Kevin Smith and his skewed Askew approach to moviemaking. Cheap doesn't have to be childish, and yet that's what most people think of when they envision a lo-fi horror romp. Luckily, we've had about a decade to decipher the mad motives of people like Drew Bolduc (actor, co-director, and writer) and Dan Nelson (co-director). For them, this is not an attempt to mimic the mainstream. Instead, it's a heartfelt homage/hobby, a diversion that will hopefully entertain while, if all goes well, opening the doors to a possible career in cinema. Of course, no one expects a movie about psychotic men, fake plastic penises hanging out and squirting Miracle Whip, running around destroying women with relatively impressive gore effects to lead to a gig piloting the next Adam Sandler film. But in a world where indie wonders literally come out of the woodwork, stranger things than The Taint have happened.
In fact, one can look back to a similarly styled film -- Peter Jackson's sickening splatter delight Bad Taste -- as the guiding force behind films like this. The likable Kiwi geek went from blowing up brains and dissecting zombies to picking up Oscars (and lots of commercial praise) for his take on the Lord of the Rings. Similarly, someone like Seaver or Bolduc can see themselves walking down the same path, the viability of the nu-media making it much easier to get their bonkers blood feast off the ground. There are a lot of winning moments in The Taint. There are a lot of loose ends and unrealized potential, and there is only so far one can take a concept involving engorged genitals and grue. Still, The Taint is a tantalizing bit of gooch gotcha goofiness. It's not always polished, but it sure is perverted.
The DVD sent to yours truly at the Verdict contains what looks like a decent facsimile of what will be the final product (no box or cover art, however). The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen image is colorful and clean, though it still suffers a bit from a lack of contrast and detail. There is a muddiness to the picture that's often problematic. The Dolby Digital Stereo mix is nice, balancing the camcorder-captured dialogue and post-production aural elements (music, F/X) with ease. As for added content, there are a couple of trailers, a fun director's commentary (with members of the cast and crew) and a subtitles option. That's it.
While it's not ballsy enough to be brilliant, and is too obsessed with the wiener to be a complete winner, The Taint is a happy juxtaposition between jock itch comedy and half-assed horror. You'll like it, though you'll hate yourself for doing so.
Not guilty. Perhaps a bit too silly and sick for its own good, but better
than you'd expect.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Bolduc Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site