I really was excited to finally watch what I sincerely thought would be, a film that would find it's ability to subvert, in the strength of its perversion. I thought I found something that was more than its surface pegged it to be - a vapid exercise in "edginess" this wasn't - for sure, a boundary pusher in all the right ways!
It's clear now, I was simply bored.
Let me just quote myself, from a conversation I started with another reviewer of the film:
I hate to say "try hard" , but damn if the thought didn't cross my mind multiple times. I'm definitely disappointed given early impressions, and the only reason I got close to walking out, was because I felt exhausted by some of its stupidity. That said, it was visually interesting enough to keep me watching to the end
Anyway, the story goes:
The big one hits Los Angeles. We then get to see the aftermath played out - in vignettes - through the lives of multiple inhabitants overcome with disease, fear, scat-fueled nightmarish visions, and incestual lust. They don't particularly mean anything on their own, but rather serve as a canvas with which artist Flying Lotus can paint on, by perpetually spewing forth every bit of nasty curiosity that's ever come across his mind; some of which include: an aborted fetus used as a bong, literal asshole-crabs with the power to heal, a horny neck boil with a British accent, human sock-puppet conjoined twins, paternally powered shit-eating anus well, breast milk showers, penis mutilation, fuzzy monsters with color TV's for faces, and lots and lots of oozing sores. My penis has never been softer.
So yeah, it's pretty obvious I was disappointed by Kuso, but that doesn't mean I hated it. The creative vision for the film as far as actual visuals go, was mostly a success, with many segments weaving a tapestry of crazy so far out there, I often times found myself in sheer disbelief. I'm not surprised either, if you've seen any of David Firth's previous work (Salad Fingers comes to mind) then you have an idea...just take the wildest bit of it, and crank it to an 11. But visuals, no matter how mind bending they are, can only take you so far, and 90 minutes of pretty colors can grate very fast. If there's no real narrative to tie them together, some kind of story that we can latch on to that takes us from mind vomit set piece to mind vomit set piece, then shock value disappears fast...
...Right, so now that Flying Lotus and David Firth got this out their system, let's hope they give feature-length film-making another go, and back their eye for psychedelically twisted imagery with some kind of substance (cum and shit don't count).
Kuso is a visual stew overflowing with slime, puss, asshole crabs, vomit, fecal matter, and even a cum guzzling talking neck boil. As appetizing as all of this sounds, the biggest setback Kuso has, is its execution. The random adult swim like narrative has no consistency to keep you engaged. By the time you start to get bored or distracted something crazy will happen to pull you in until the next gag. It's really shame because when Kuso shines (especially in the later half) it's some of the best b-movie trash I've seen. A lot of this material would have fit perfectly in the ABC's of Death series instead a being stretched out into a 90 minute feature.
You can catch Kuso for yourself on Shudder.com today