Image from: Totally F***ed Up (1993)

Delete Comment
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Delete Reply
Are you sure you want to delete this reply?
A moderator has been alerted
Reviewed by Jacobharrison84 AU / Joined Jacobharrison84 2014
Totally F***ed Up
Totally F***ed Up
Totally F***ed Up
USA, 1993, 78 minutes, SD Drama, LGBT, Coming of Age, US Indie, Arthouse
Totally Fucked Up is a must see for anyone with a passion for Queer Cinema, and is the first instalment of Gregg Araki's Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy (followed by The Doom Generation and Nowhere). Totally Fucked Up follows the lives of a group of gay and lesbian teens trying to get by in an apathetic, hostile Los Angeles. We are introduced to the group and their thought processes via direct to camera interviews or confessionals, Andy (James Duval), our protagonist, is particularly angst ridden. Andy doesn’t fit in hetero culture and remains somewhat on the peripheral of his group of friends. When loan wolf Andy meets kind and patient Tommy (Roko Belic), suicide no longer seems like a foregone conclusion.

Of any era I care to think of, I believe late 80’s-early-90’s teen angst smells best. On the surface, one could call this a queer Breakfast Club, but that would be a disservice to Totally Fucked Up – there is much more going on than privileged white teens spitting the dummy. Yes, it smells like teen spirit, but Totally Fucked Up has so much more going on; it is a critique not only of how Queer people are treated, but how Queer people treat each other; exploring race relations, confronting stereotypes, and challenging a certain heteronormativity often imposed by queer culture itself.

There is clear homage paid to past cult and queer film makers Maya Deren and John Waters, but the influence of Kenneth Anger is felt most strongly – particular visual references are made to Fireworks. The dialogue is certainly of its time and place, but clever, heartfelt and humorous. The soundtrack is brilliant as can be expected of Araki’s films and plays a major part in the teen’s lives, the cinematography captures the grunge aesthetic of the early 90’s exquisitely. Totally Fucked Up is a gem of New Queer Cinema; instead of watching The Breakfast Club or Ferris Buller for the 80th time, why not try something new – well, you know what I mean. 4 out of 5.

Director: Gregg Araki
Screenplay/ Writer’s name: Gregg Araki
Not for me
Your Comment...