Monday, March 26, 2012
The Oregonian (2011)
Holy mighty mindfuck Batman! The Oregonian is one wild, acid trip of a ride. I can only recommend this film to those who enjoy more experimental, art house type of fare. Whereas a lot of films of this nature are mired in way too much abstract imagery, there is somewhat of an intelligible narrative here, no matter how bizarre and fucked up it is.
Lindsay Pulsipher plays our title character, a woman who seems to be on the outs with someone in her life. Living in rural Oregon, she comes upon this man (we're not quite sure if it's husband, boyfriend or father), drunk and passed out in a barn which neighbors (presumably) the farmhouse they live in. One look of disgust and a hop into the car later, we're quickly taken to the scene of an accident no far from the home. And it's balls to the wall crazy form here on out.
Exiting the car and bleeding profusely from her head, the car blaring to the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance via the radio, she comes upon a man and what appears to be his young son, dead and only feet away from her smashed front end. Clearly dazed and with a look of shock, she walks off and heads down the road which is lined with trees on either side, stretching for as far as the eye can see.
She eventually makes her way into town and meets a strange man who has a penchant for stopping off, getting out of his rape van, and pissing all the colors of the Skittles rainbow. Seriously. He offers her a ride and then stops to pee and the scene plays out what feels like forever as different colors are spewed out of his peehole.
He then takes her back to his place where it's revealed that he has a love for omelets. And I can only describe that what transpires next as a complete acid trip as the woman moves from place to place and comes into contact with a masturbating guy in a fat Gumby outfit, a gang of hippies that look creepy as fuck and like to make daiquiris with gasoline, with interspersing flashback scenes of trouble at home which further paint the picture of a life in turmoil and a girl looking to get out. Has your head exploded yet?
Despite the weird, difficult to make sense of interactions, it's the imagery and sounds that you piece together which ultimately gives the film somewhat of a coherent point. The blaring of the car radio at the beginning coupled with the leaving of her home suggests the start of something new. The omelet obsessed, weird peeing guy, cracks some eggs and discards the shells, with prolonged attention being paid to them. This signifying (in my mind) that in order to start anew, well, sometimes you've gotta crack some eggs. The Gumby outfit guy and the gang of daiquiri loving hippies and their purpose is anyone's guess. Maybe they're just a part of the nightmare of trying to get out of her rough and tumble life or represents the chaos that comes with uprooting things. What to make of the man and son at the beginning, well, like other aspects, it's anyone's guess.
Again, I can only recommend this to folks that like their horror left of center with a heaping scoop of crazy. For me, it works (for the most part) because of the fact that it's just coherent enough to have a purpose without being completely mired in abstract imagery which leaves you feeling cheated or that it serves no purpose. For those that have seen it, what say yous?
Cortez the Killer