It Came from Kuchar

Movies
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Since the 1960s, twin brothers George and Mike Kuchar have been incredibly prolific filmmakers (“I don’t think anybody even knows how many works George has made,” muses Anthology Film’s Andrew Lampert). Their works, and especially those of the more prolific George, form the ultra-low-budget bridge between the glossy melodramas of Douglas Sirk and the trash aesthetic of John Waters. A typical Kuchar film might mix a love story, a horror plot and some family melodrama. In this enjoyable doc, director Jennifer M. Kroot shows enough clips that even a newbie can get a sense of the Kuchar aesthetic, but she places the clips in a traditional doc framework (interviews with friends and fans, a clear chronology of their lives and clips are doled out in equal measure).

Kroot also gives us a sense of ultra-gregarious George and more introverted Mike. Raised strict Catholics in the Bronx, the Kuchars both bring a strange mix of fascination and guilt to the subject of sex, which comes up in all their films in one way or another. But what doesn’t come up in a Kuchar film? For them, it’s not enough to include the kitchen sink; they have to throw in the toilet too, if only to violate Hollywood’s decorum. While capturing the weird mix of awe, amusement and boredom that any Kuchar film can evoke, Kroot gives these godfathers of the underground film movement the respect they deserve.

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