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Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'Trashology'

Dennis King Published: April 22, 2013

This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:

“Trashology”

Trash cinema has a long and storied history, and one of its godfathers, John Waters (“Mondo Trasho,” “Pink Flamingos” and others), gets an off-handed homage in the down-and-dirty “Trashology” (due out on DVD Tuesday).

This gleefully tasteless anthology of aggressively lurid tales is the first feature film of writer-director Brian Dorton whose willingness to violate every taboo for the sake of a cynical snicker or a guilty laugh is downright breathtaking.

The film is framed by a fairly clever narrative in which college student Tracy (Laura Lee Black) goes to work on a film-class assignment and finds herself immersed in a book titled “Trashology,” containing a raft of sordid stories rife with sex, violence, perversion and an abundant flood of bodily fluids. From this, three chapters emerge.

First is “The Vat,” in which two elderly women are harassed by a religious fanatic. When, after a weird series of mix-ups, the hypocritical bible-thumper ends up dead, the two old friends attempt to bring her back to life with a Ouija board.

Chapter two is “Big Debbie,” which follows a rotund woman who is left at the altar on her wedding day and winds up in the clutches of two horny dudes. The vile events that follow lead to sex, murder, blackmail and even a spectacular beheading.

In chapter three, “Inglorious Bitches,” a sassy pair of female vigilantes devise a way to use a cell phone app to track down sex offenders and murder them.

All good, unclean fun, especially if you’re into shock for the sake of shock. It’s a tribute – complete with low-budget amateurishness – to Waters that seems intent on topping Waters for sheer tastelessness. But Waters was a pioneer, and thus far Dorton is merely an acolyte.

“Trashology” is not rated (although it would likely earn a hard NC-17) and runs 84 minutes. It’s being released by Slasher/Video.

- Dennis King