George & Mike Kuchar    

An underground film-making factory consisting of two brothers who have been making hundreds of 8mm, 16mm and camcorder movies for over 50 years. The Kuchar brothers love high-camp, cheese and kitsch, seeing the world through warped filters of old Hollywood and b-movies. A typical Kuchar movie involves highly dramatic and loud music while friends dress in two-cent costumes and act old-school Hollywood style in their homes, the movie choppily edited together from one improvised melodramatic scene to another. There are usually no plots, with images, dreams, homosexual themes and sometimes abstract symbols thrown into the montage as well as some voyeur Warhol-style scenes where people are filmed in their homes doing nothing particularly interesting. Sometimes a narration provides a cheesy epic background for such mundane scenes and often the films feature film-makers as protagonists making a film. Other types of Kuchar films include campy sci-fi and horror with pocket-change budgets (e.g. friends at home with drawings of UFOs and film-negative manipulations), and shorts that are basically soundtracks accompanied by images based on a simple single idea or theme. The Kuchars mostly have whimsical fun with their campy film-making obsessions and almost never get nasty or overly trashy.

Such films are obviously only going to appeal to underground circles, gay and drag-culture fans and some film schools that talk about pop/camp culture as art, and use convoluted sentences to describe what even the Kuchars often don't take seriously. Due to the improvisational nature of this prolific and often whimsical output, the effect of these movies can be confusing or annoying, but most of these creations are simply counter-culture cult items for circles that enjoy freely creative outrageous camp and kitsch over formal film-making and narratives.

The Kuchars started filming in New York at age 12 and soon became part of the underground film circles consisting of Anger, Warhol, Waters, etc. influencing them with their use of 8mm and melodramatic camp. Their most famous movies are "Hold Me While I'm Naked", a morose, sexually frustrated short about making underground films with actresses who refuse to get naked, and "Sins of the Fleshapoids", a sci-fi flick where humans are served by 'robots' who start to feel emotions and where humans have fetishes for cheap jewelry and dress in Roman costumes and football outfits. George was also involved in the insane pornographic film Thundercrack! George later moved to San Francisco where he teaches film-making, gradually making more improvisational and confusing shorts, and releasing dozens of class projects and diary-like shorts.


Ascension of the Demonoids  
One of the most insanely confusing longer creations by George Kuchar during the 80s, just before he switched to video. This was made after a collection of movies on UFOs and George was looking to "make a spectacle" and "wanted to get off the subject". So the film wanders between scenes of cheap effects, insanely colorful and psychedelic montages, discussions between UFO nuts and a woman who shares her recipes, angelic visitors from outer space, religious hallucinations, big-foot and a couple playing a flute, an Arab massaging a woman, a woman beating up a walking blonde doll in her bathroom, and scenery of Hawaii. I'm lost.

Craven Sluck, The  
John-Waters-esque short about ugly people having affairs and abusing their cross-dressing wives. It's all high melodrama until the flying saucers appear.

Eclipse of the Sun Virgin  
A more extreme and confusing short by the Kuchars with a seemingly LSD-inspired hodgepodge of images and symbols: Classical music, romantic love, self-love and narcissism vs. Catholic guilt and penance, fat women and pictures of mammoths, bodily functions, and gory footage of some surgery. What it all adds up to is anybody's guess.

Forever and Always  
A strange short commissioned by Hooray for Kids (what were they thinking?) about a philandering film-maker with a family, who dreams of strange movies and people in garish costumes and who fantasizes while playing with sexually suggestive props and dolls. His wife and children struggle on and are then run over by a doll. Symbolic isn't it?

Secret of Wendel Samson, The  
A closet homosexual grapples with his secret while his relationship with his increasingly suspicious girlfriend turns sour. Social anxieties give him surreal daydreams involving being caught in a spider web, sexual pressure and a social firing squad. Needs a little subtlety.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents