Boy, do I feel like a quarterwit. Oblige my rhetorical question for a moment; have you ever been duped by a cool VHS box cover and a bitchin' synopsis? Of course you have. We all have. In a way, 1990's Shredder Orpheus transported me back in time. This shit happened constantly when I would rent from Video World or Community Video. The lesson I learned from this flick? Some nostalgia isn't warm. I can't think of a case where the movie in my head was so far away from the movie I actually watched. Not this fucking far. And the plot! Get a load of this load. In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a dingy menagerie of skateboarders try to help a local "rock star" retrieve his girlfriend from a nefarious television station that proselytizes its viewers.
The station is called Euthanasia Broadcast Network (EBN). It's Hell. No, literally. It's supposed to be Hell. The EBN tower is unmistakably supernatural (doors disappear, replaced by brick walls), but the denizens of The Gray Zone never bat an eye at these monkeyshines. Oh, The Gray Zone. It's...not important right now. At any rate, EBN doesn't air shows per se; it airs an endless freshet of in-studio musical performances. The base of operations is run by Hades, a powdered schlemiel straight out of a new wave act (imagine a more effeminate Gary Numan). NOTE: It's not clear if Hades pulls the strings for this one locus or the entire corporation. Matter of fact, nothing is clear.
Our Mad Max-style conurbation isn't given a name, but Shredder Orpheus was shot in Seattle and influenced by the surrounding art scene. Unfortunately, none of the good music seeped into the production. If I could chat with writer/director/star (yes, star) Robert McGinley, I'd be all, "Bro, Chris Cornell was willing to do a cameo in Singles. I'm sure he would have contributed some of his band's songs to your soundtrack." Then I would stop talking before I felt compelled to wring his spine. Sweet Dionysus, where do I start? I can't sentence. Hey, I know! I can list!
FUCK ~ Shredder Orpheus takes itself too seriously. Pretentious is an understatement. The "skate-rock adventure" has an official website, and it contains an interview with McGinley. The auteur answers the first question as each of the main characters. Naturally, he waxes esoteric on the themes and how they're relevant over 25 years later. Yeah, they're relevant because they're platitudinous and dumbed the fuck down. Sorry, man. Your movie didn't say anything new or profound, not even in 1990. And your metaphors are as subtle as Marsha May gaping for Lexington Steele's guided missile cock. That thing is a booster!
FUCK ~ I empathize with low budgets. I do. But McGinley was overambitious here, and his ideas needed money. The only special effect that works is the beheading. I don't know what Shredder Orpheus was filmed on, but I doubt that it was film. I bet it was film. It probably wasn't film. Film.
FUCK ~ When people die in post-apocalyptic Seattle, they deliver their souls to EBN. Basically, they are brainwashed into erasing every trace of their existence in the form of shredding paperwork. Shredding! Get it? Fuck off.
FUCK ~ At Orpheus's wedding (he's the radical rocker), his greaseball manager gifts him a bizarre instrument that - according to mythology - was invented by Jimi Hendrix. It's stupid. Fuck you.
FUCK ~ Shredder Orpheus is narrated by an exasperating fiftysomething who is paralyzed from the waist down. He comes across as...well, the old dude who hangs with the younger crowd to make himself feel kewl. First of all, my impractical legs are ten times kewler than his impractical legs. Fourthly, he just shouts generic punk bombast that doesn't amount to nadir diddly. You can use that expression if you want. Free of charge. Where was I? The narrator expatiates over several events that he couldn't have possibly known about in detail. Why the hell is he the narrator?
FUCK ~ The acting isn't bad.
FUCK ~ It's based on some Greek bullshit.
Whatever, I'm done. I hated Shred Her Orifice. You will be shocked to learn that I recommend this feature presentation. Yeah, that's right. It would appear that I'm in the extreme minority on this one. Most of the reviews that I've been able to find are glowing. It's regarded as a cult classic, so you might as well give it a whirl. Heh.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 7:42 AM