An amazing story of love,
loss, and spooge cleaning comes through magnificently in "Swamper."
So what we have here
is, basically, the story of a man with a lousy job, an occasionally
fantastic sex life and a few unnerving troubles for variety. Eventually,
he becomes the Speed King of Seattle...for a while.
off in truly baffling fashion. A fella inserts a twenty into a slot
and expects a peep show. What he gets is a girl with a bottle of
Windex cleaning up from her side of the booth.
Folks, I don't mind telling
you--that's just bizarre.
But when we find out
WHY she's cleaning the booth...well, it's just even more bizarre.
And by the time they
bring in the main character, within the first three minutes, you've
really got to wonder what we're in for here.
Especially since the
movie gives an oh-so-savory explanation in dictionary format for
our main character's job:
"Jared, 25, 'Swamper'
(swomp-er)-def. one who cleans the booths at porn venues. See also
Considering that our
swamper also arrives in a "Got Milk?" T-shirt (and if
the National Milk Advisory Board ever gets word of this Berquist
and company are ever so screwed from the libel suit bitchslapping
they will inevitably get for this) it's especially ironic. And disturbing.
But man, this is some
seriously funny stuff. Whether he's mopping up the spunk or staring
down the Gary Busey-esque drug dealer who sells him his pot, Jared
is one implacable individual. And if Berquist put any more jokes
in the script, Dave Chapelle would jump down out of the trees and
scream that it belonged to him.
Plus, J.P. Moore reminds
me in a vague, unnerving sort of way of Diedrich Bader from the
old Drew Carey show.
But what, dare I ask,
happened at the twenty three minute twenty six second mark? The
screen just goes BLACK for maybe half a second, but it's really
very noticeable. Poor engineering, I guess.
And then they fire up
the cartoon at the thirty one minute mark...and it's a good one,
besides. It reminds me of the same artistic style that Sucker Punch
was using in the Sly Cooper series of games.
Around fifty two minutes
in, there is an unnerving sequence between Jared and his dealer,
in which every time the cameras change point of view, the video
quality noticeably changes.
And at fifty five minutes,
when Jared and two other guys are walking uphill to snowboard, there's
this really inappropriate blaring rock track in the background for
three guys walking up a hill. At least it WAS inappropriate until
the surprise happens about a minute later. Wow.
The ending is outlandish
at best, featuring the long, rambling and largely pointless story
of The Ster, who went from Rick to Rickster to THE Rickster to finally
just The Ster (and even Ster, occasionally), more occurances of
the word "fuck" in the space of six minutes than in any
other movie I've ever seen. It beats the South Park movie, for crying
out loud. And two truly, truly sad twists. Just really heartbreaking.
It's like the Kevin Smith
version of "Traffic."
The special features
include at the very least twenty solid minutes of bonus footage.
All in all, wow. "Swamper" is one of the single most unique
movies I've ever seen, and at the very least, this uniqueness qualifies
Swamper as some seriously impressive work. Featuring a fantastically
crafted ending, and some solid performances, "Swamper"
could easily compete with some of the big boys.
It's that good.
GRADE: 4 stars ****
Billy St. John