|Dumpster Baby (2000)
| Troma (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 80 minutes
The Dumpster Baby DVD opens with
a preview for Troma's upcoming opus Poultrygeist.
I want to see this movie!!! I've downloaded
the theme song and have been playing it non-stop!
Killer zombie chickens? That's only the best
idea of all time!
|Director: James Bickert,
Starring: Angela Benjamin,
Akasha Sjolin, Jeffrey Charlton, Thomas Alan Beckett
Screenplay: James Bickert,
Once starting the actual movie,
we get the usual intro by Lloyd Kaufman, President
of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger. He's
got a black eye, which raises the question: Who
could possibly have any reason to hurt Lloyd Kaufman,
President of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger?
Anyway, Dumpster Baby begins
with a basehead giving birth. She doesn't
want the kid, so makes her smoke buddy deal with
it. The friend tries to sell the baby for drugs,
but when that doesn't work, she dumps the
baby (hence the title). A business man getting
head from a Kiwi hooker hears the baby crying
in the dumpster, and tries to rescue the child.
He ends up getting knifed, and thrown in a taxi
like he's just imbibed too much. The hooker
also puts the baby in the boot of the cab, and
the film continues to follow the child's
journey into and out of the lives of many different
people. Kind of like 20 Bucks,
but with a crack baby instead of a $20 note. Or
even Forest Gump with a slightly
less handicapped version of Tom Hanks.
Dumpster Baby is an odd, odd
film. It starts with promise, but eventually it
gets bogged down in bad sound. The film is very
dialogue heavy, and it became really hard to pay
attention and follow the story threads when it
was hard to understand everyone. The acting skills
on display are across the board, and that also
makes some of the stories hard to watch. The baby,
which no one ever thinks to feed, is played mainly
by a bundle, and becomes virtually irrelevant
most of the time.
The film has some artistic visuals, and a very
specific nod to Der Todesking,
which should give you some idea what the filmmakers
were trying to do. I'd say the works of
David Lynch and Troma's own Combat
Shock (AKA American Nightmare)
were also influences. The film takes place in
a surreal world where a cloaked gunman walking
down an alley while firing his piece doesn't
even turn heads, and I won't even pretend
I understand what the movie was ultimately about.
I don't know what I think of Troma using
an IMDB quote on the slick, either. Might as well
grab someone off the street and ask their opinion,
for all that's worth. But, I guess if Columbia
used an Amazon.com quote for Happy
Birthday To Me, what's to
stop Troma from going slightly lower? The slick
also compares Dumpster Baby to Saw, but I think whoever drew
that comparison must've gotten into any
crack leftover on the set.
|The film is presented at 1.33:1, and looks okay
given it probably cost $5 to make. There are some
video glitches, along with some specks and halos.
There is also grain, which can get heavy at times.
|Audio is presented in a two-channel mix. The score
is the only thing that comes through clear, as we're
treated to a melee of wannabe soundalikes mimicking
Alice In Chains, Isaac Hayes, and Ozzy Osbourne.
As I said in the main review, the dialogue can be
hard to decipher, and is a bit muffled. There're
some "s" hisses, wind can mess with
the sound, and there is distortion. The audio is
REALLY bad, and prevents enjoyment of the film.
|Most of the extras are actually trailers. However,
they're not listed like trailers, and I know
some trailers got by the OFLC on some recent Troma
DVDs by doing this. I don't know whether Troma's
main branch are modifying this on their initial
releases to make it easier to get R4 releases, but
they did seem to abandon the T.I.T. shortly after
that got refused classification here. The trailers
include: Make Your Own Damn Movie, Slaughter Party (which features
a midget murderer, so it may be right up there with Ratman), Touch Me in the
Morning, Beg!, and Lollilove (which looks very, very funny). There's also
an ad for the website; Korable's "Wild
Man" video featuring Lloyd Kaufman, President
of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger, playing
a blind man like in Terror
Firmer; and, you knew it was coming,
the Radiation March short.
The only specific extra is a commentary with
writer/directors James Bickert and Randy Hill,
cinematographer Bill Burton, and the AD, who chimes
in occasionally. It's not a particularly
helpful track in terms of explaining some of Dumpster
Baby's strangest points. The guys
joke a lot, but I didn't find it funny,
but that may just be because I didn't like
the film. Far more bizarre than anything found
in the actually movie, is that these guys compliment
the sound! What audio track were they listening
There's also an Easter Egg to be found. Select
the "Dumpster-Diving Derelicts" from
the Tromatic Extras menu to see the DVD credits.
Press left to make the words "Media Relations
Emirtus: Marie Le Claire" appear. Hit enter
to see Marie's final few moments of work at the
Troma studio, which was filmed at the same time
as the DVD intro to Dumpster Baby.
|The best thing about this disc is the Poultrygeist preview. Dumpster Baby is too slow
and arty for my tastes, so I wound up frustrated
with the effort it took to even view the film due
to the horrid sound.
23 Guests, 1 User
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