Troma // 1999 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 23rd, 2006
On second thought, don't.
I knew I recognized this guy from some place! Giuseppe Andrews, who's apparently a real underground sensation, was the cop from Cabin Fever. Granted, that's not terribly interesting to you, but for me it's like snapping an obscure puzzle piece into place. Anyway, here's one of his first flicks and it's pretty @#$%-ed up.
Andrews plays Coney Island, a naïve, confused young man who hails from a ridiculous family. He's just trying to find his way through the world. To negotiate many of life's challenges he turns to the people most important to him: his mother and father. Both older, Coney's parents are...different. His mother berates her son while talking about how much she enjoys sleeping with black men. His father, Daddy Bill (Bill Nowlin) is an over-the-hill gigolo, flush with life advice.
This is essentially Daddy Bill's story, as he unloads the information he's garnered from years of debauchery on his unsuspecting son. How to satisfy a woman? Romancing a girlfriend? The downsides of alcoholism? He's got answers to all of Coney's inquiries, and he spills them, laced with extreme profanity and often completely naked. Eventually, Coney will have to decide if it's worth sticking around home with his parents or head for the blue yonder.
That is pretty much it. The film jumps between extended dialogue pieces between Coney and another character (mainly Daddy Bill as he ad libs away), pausing to inject a few shocker moments into the proceedings, notably Daddy Bill's birthday party, which takes a turn for the depraved when a homeless woman shows up for some group sex and one of his friends defecates into the sink.
I can honestly say I've never seen anything like Touch Me in the Morning. Shockingly vile, profane to the extreme, and often belly-laugh-inducing hilarious, this film is an unflinching exercise in stream-of-conscious insanity. The packaging and the extras are quick to throw around the term "genius" when referring to Andrews. While I wouldn't quite go that far, he is obviously talented.
Playing kind of like a perverse (and infinitely funnier) version of Napoleon Dynamite, Touch Me in the Morning is similar in that it surrounds this goofy kid searching for his purpose in life with some truly bizarre characters. It is the interaction between Coney and these characters that propel the film, and from where the humor flows. Andrews has made himself the straight man, and acts as the portal through which we see the crazy crap that is his life.
Much of the reason the film is so funny is the juxtaposition that Andrews has crafted. He's got his mother, who at first glance looks like she could be a sweet old lady, farting, murdering her neighbor with a shotgun, dancing to a F-bomb-laden rap song (I think Andrews did the vocals himself), and letting fly with language that would embarrass the Coast Guard.
Which provides me with a nice segue into Bill Nowlin. What this guy comes up with defies reason! This flick is owned by Nowlin, a regular dude on the street Andrews happened to meet and was immediately wowed by his talent for his off-the-cuff verbal meandering. The scenes where Coney and Daddy Bill talk are length and outrageous. I guarantee you haven't seen the stuff this guy has cooking before. Worse, he does it naked most of the time. He'll dance in the shower wearing his socks, give his son advice while taking a dump (which was for real), run around in a thong, and let loose with the most colorful vernacular you can think of. And don't get met started on that birthday party. Shudder.
Stylistically, this film is just Andrews or his pal holding a camera and shooting. The presentation is amateurish and the editing is sloppy, and a few moments find the actors breaking character. But substance-wise, this movie will knock your socks off -- unless you're in the shower. Just be warned: this is not for the squeamish! Lots of old man full-frontal nudity, graphic bathroom wiping scenes, a castration sequence, and a bare-ass skanky prostitute dancing on the table await you.
Troma's loaded this disc with extras: an interview with Andrews, a 20-minute discussion with Bill Nowlin, who proves he's just as out of his mind off-screen as he is on, and three Giuseppe Andrews short films (one hour runtime) -- "Wiggly," "Ants," and "The Laundry Room," which are just as over-the-top. A pile of trailers finish the disc off.
Touch Me in the Morning does whatever it wants. It doesn't care. Andrews ignores all boundaries of "taste" and puts together a shocking, offensive, nasty little indie film that also happens to be one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.
Someone go pick up Bill Nowlin. That guy has to have an outstanding bench warrant out on him somewhere!
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interview with Giuseppe Andrews
* Interview with Bill Nowlin
* Short Films "Wiggly" and "Ants" and "The Laundry Room"
* Make Your Own Damn Movie