Vulgar (2000)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


Vulgar (2000) Poster

A man who performs as a children's birthday party clown tries to piece his life back together after being gang-raped.

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5.3/10
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  • Out take from Bryan Johnson's "Vulgar"
  • Out take from Bryan Johnson's "Vulgar"
  • Vulgar (2000)
  • Vulgar (2000)
  • Vulgar (2000)
  • Vulgar (2000)

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7 March 2004 | rwint
Interesting in a Very Disgusting Way
6 out of 10

Finally a movie that actually lives up to it's title. This is a film that cuts no corners and really doesn't particularly care if the viewer ends up liking it or not. In many ways the filmmakers seem to take a certain glee in just how disgusting and 'vulgar' they can make it. There is a different type of motivation here. It's a sort of assault on the viewers senses. It's a test at seeing just how much one person can take. It's crude and ugly all the way through. It's just one grotesque image or comment toppled onto another. Victory to these filmmakers seems to constitute how many viewers it can repulse. This seems especially evident on the DVD version where in the bonus section they proudly display all the rejection letters they have received from all the film festival organizations.

The story involves a hard on his luck guy who works as a clown for children's parties. He decides he needs some extra money so he decides to attend a adult party and pose as a male clown stripper, but it ends up all being a set up. Once he gets there he becomes accosted and eventually raped by three grown men.

The rape scene is actually not as disturbing as you might think. For one thing it is handled very well technically. It has some interesting camera angles and viewpoints. It also comes after so much other ugliness that by the time you get to this part it all seems very status quo. In fact the filmmakers become so obsessive in painting such a over the top tasteless and nihilistic portrait that eventually it all becomes darkly amusing. A good example of this is the protagonists mother who sits in a senior home and spews all every imaginable insult and put down that she can to her son. She seems so mean to her son, who otherwise seems like a nice guy, that at first you cringe at what she says. Eventually though she spews out so many that you just can't help but start to laugh.

There may actually be a message here somewhere. It may be saying that we live in a very mean and ugly world with no chance at defeating it or escaping it. Good guys and innocent people get raped by it all the time (Note how our protagonist is nothing more than an innocent children's clown.) You almost have to get ugly yourself in a way in order to deal with it because you can never really get beyond it. This is evident by the way our protagonist becomes rich and famous and yet his attackers just track him down and try to extort money from him by saying they have a videotape of the attack which they could send out and humiliate him with.

Overall this is a very cheap looking and grimy picture. It's excessively vile nature will be a test to just about any viewer. Yet it is well paced with a nicely compact structure. The dialogue is good and the three attackers are perfect enhancements to the mountain men in DELIVERANCE. If anything it has it's own vision. This is a viable candidate for future cult status.

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