A great compilation featuring some of the greatest films in No-Wave cinema’s greatest auteur, Richard Kern, packs a punch to say the least. This collection is a time capsule of a time in filmmaking that will never come again, a time that is often duplicated and imitated by the fans of the films, but it will never have the grain nor the balls it had at the time. Here are some of the better ones:
- You Killed Me First: A film about the insanity that belongs in your typical nuclear American family. Lung Leg plays Elizabeth (call me Cassandra!), a pretty damn insane punk rocker of a daughter who just can’t get along with her parents. And her parents are pretty much the reason she’s nuts, killing her little rabbit, criticizing her boyfriend and telling her she’s not as good as their other daughter. In the end, she goes apeshit and shoots her family down, telling her mother, “You killed me first!”
-Submit To Me: Not exactly a movie, but a really awesome bondage-influenced gallery of people doing crazy sexy shit for the camera. Lydia Lunch writhing naked, Lung Leg and her lizard, Tommy Turner, etc. It’s all good.
-The Right Side Of My Brain: Probably his best film, this is basically a performance piece to show you the talents of Lydia Lunch, and her spoken word work. An excellent soundtrack, a true piece of beautiful underground filmmaking as she goes around from man to man, each one worse than the next, until the end where she takes control in her own little bondage scenario. Look out for a young Henry Rollins.
-Fingered - Pretty much a realistic bonnie & clyde type of film. Lydia Lunch plays a phone sex operator who shacks up with a sleazy asshole on a cross-country violent fuck trip where all sorts of perversions ensue, from fucking while shooting a gun to the kidnapping of Lung Leg. Must be seen to be believed.
-Sewing Circle: Not much to say here, just Kembra Pfahler getting her vagina sown shut. Hooray for puppies.
-The Bitches: Want to see two women fuck a guy with a strap-on and make it look artistic? Here’s the movie for you.
There are a lot more, but these are the ones that stood out for me. He also made some very good music videos for Death Valley 69 for Sonic Youth, Lunchbox for Marilyn Manson and Detachable Penis for King Missile. Sadly, Richard Kern has sort of slowed down his filmmaking and concentrated on many great books of young college-aged beautifies in the nude. Still, he’s a great talent and worth checking out.