GORNO: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY

GORNO: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY
2 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 81 minutes
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What I want to know is what the hell’s so GORNO about GORNO? The opening of this film clearly states – GORE plus PORNO equals GORNO. Welp, there’s quite a bit of gore here, but I’ll be damned if there’s any porno. Hell, there aren’t even any naked bodies. That’s false advertising right from the get go! I feel cheated, swindled, hornswaggled and if I hadn’t watched it in my own home, I woulda slashed the seats and squashed ketchup packets all over the ground.
“Gorno” isn’t about a bloodthirsty Sasquatch who humps his victims before beating their heads in with a rock, nor is it even some sort of mock snuff film exposé. “Gorno” is a Larry Clark / Harmony Korine type film mixed with a slasher flick. A film crew wanders about a Florida suburb, interviewing friends and cohorts of a man who’s locked in prison for murdering a girl at a BBQ. Meanwhile, someone is going around killing everyone who was present and witnessed the murder at the BBQ. It’s like Halloween with crackheads, uber goths and baby eating pitbulls. Oh my.
So, why the title “Gorno?” It’s all about shock value really…false advertising too, damnit…but mostly shock value. I don’t think a minute goes by without something completely unsavory going on or at least talked about. There’s hardly a single person in this film that isn’t a complete scumbag and the makers of “Gorno” aren’t shy about showing us just how low their characters really are. We’re shown a cop pissing in the mouth of a skinny gothic kid, a butcher accidentally chopping his fingers off while screaming at his girlfriend on the phone, a kid coming home to find that his gay father has hung himself, a guy accidentally having sex with his sister and so much more.
Now, all of these events are quite entertaining in and of themselves. My main problem is the tireless repetition of atrocities paraded before our eyes. The shock value starts losing its appeal very quickly here as there’s only so much evil that can be thrown in one’s face before it becomes comical. Yes, if you find yourself watching “Gorno” someday, you too will more than likely find yourself giggling and shooting beer out your nose midway into the feature.
My other problem is that this film follows in the footsteps of “Kids” and Gummo way too closely. The opening of this film should’ve stated Gummo plus GUMMO equals GORNO. The only thing setting it apart from Larry Clark and Harmony Korine’s films is the slasher element.
Still, no matter how derivative of Gummo and “Kids” this film is, it still has some entertaining moments to it and there are actually some pretty decent performances. For a split second, you may even forget your watching a work of fiction. But then something over-the-top evil happens and you’ll either start laughing again or you’ll hurl an ashtray through your television screen because of the hollow promise of gory porno.



Posted on July 14, 2002 in Reviews by
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