The Doom Generation (1995)

the doom generation

“Life is lonely, boring, and dumb.”

The Scoop: 1995 R, directed by Gregg Araki and starring James Duval, Rose McGowan, and Johnathon Schaech

Tagline: Sex. Mayhem. Whatever.

Summary Capsule: Three really messed-up teens go on a metaphysical ride to hell.

Kyle’s rating: Noooooooo! I paid to see this!

Kyle’s review: There is only one good reason to ever watch The Doom Generation: because Rose McGowan shows off her naked breasts. That’s why I saw it. I couldn’t finish this movie. I rewound it before I returned it, but to this day I remain blissfully unaware of what actually happens to the three kids in the film, who apparently are on a trip to hell or something. Hard to tell when you’re fast-forwarding through it.

You may not think that it’s proper for me to review this movie when I never finished it and saw a lot of it at fast forward speed. Mention my review to anyone who actually saw the film, and they will probably envy me. This film hurts you. It ruined my day when I rented it, just because it did succeed in catching the events in depressing lives of people scraped from the bottom of the scum barrel. Gross people doing gross things, conceived by people who should have never made a film in the first place.

Here’s my review in a nutshell: DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE! If I can save one person from seeing it, then I have done my job. Thank you for not seeing this film!

Clare’s rating: This movie is a cinematic masterpiece… master piece of CRAP!

Clare’s review: So is The Doom Generation supposed to be a cheeky comedy that just fails miserably or is it supposed to be a serious look at the tangled web we weave when at first we practice to explore our sexuality while simultaneously killing bystanders indiscriminately?

My quick and dirty answer? Who cares?

I think this was attempting some sort of low rent homage to Natural Born Killers since there’s lots of murdering of convenience store workers, swearing, and sex. But where Natural Born Killers is interesting, well-acted and provocative, The Doom Generation is just flat out nasty, eye-rollingly boring and SO badly acted I actually kept getting up to go to the bathroom just because peeing was more engaging a phenomenon than sitting in front of this train wreck of a movie.

Some guy named James Duvall plays Jordan White, the single dumbest human being to walk the Earth. He’s somehow managed to land a really hot, foul mouthed and constantly annoyed girlfriend in Amy Blue, played by the very good looking and very bad acting Rose McGowen. They meet Xavier Red (Jonathan Schaech), who turns their world upside down by getting them into a lot of trouble while at the same time saving their lives and then seducing both of them.

Are you still awake? Because at this point you’re five minutes into the movie and what sort of junk has collected under your sofa may be more interesting than what you’ve seen so far. I’ve decided that I found this movie somewhat bearable (or at least found the pain of watching it manageable) because it appeared to me to be a harmless failure in movie making.

But then I watched the ending, which includes among other things, skinheads, rape, the Virgin Mary and castration all in about a five-minute time span. So while the rest of the movie was just kind of lame and unfunny, the ending was really horrible, deeply disturbing and really, completely changed the entire tone of the whole movie from being silly and stupid to being repulsive, repugnant and irredeemable. I’m not an easily offended human being. But I don’t really think there’s any way a sane person could watch the ending of this movie and not be stirred to feel something akin to horror. And not good, oh scary movie, things jumping out at you horror, but actual honest-to-God, I can’t watch any more of this without getting really angry or upset horror.

So yeah. I hated The Doom Generation. And I’ve finally concluded that there isn’t any way I could endorse someone seeing it just because it’s so bad. Because it’s the kind of bad that shouldn’t be rewarded with notoriety. It’s the kind of bad that should be avoided.

PoolMan’s rating: How many Hail Mary’s do I have to say again?

PoolMan’s review: One of the highlights of the Mutant Summit 2000 was the almost funeral trudge to Justin’s local video store to rent the most unholy of movies, The Doom Generation. At first, I thought it was quite funny that I would only touch the cassette with my leather gloves on, but that was before I found out that Justin had burned off his fingerprints on the tape months before.

I would like to again point out that despite my razor-thin escape from my self-inflicted PoolPoll (in which I won my freedom from seeing TDG by one vote), one of Justin’s stipulations for a week’s worth of free room and board in the Bachelourpad of Doom was that I would have to watch this movie. Frankly, if he hadn’t sat next to me for the whole thing, I wouldn’t have agreed. As it is, I’m preparing a nice mailbomb for him for thinking of me.

So, here’s the gist of it. Don’t eat while you watch this movie. Seriously. I nearly vomited twice watching The Doom Generation, and I am in no way kidding. I do not barf easy, but there were two scenes where I choked big time, and I know that one of those times I didn’t hide it too well. Justin was very understanding though. I think he was too busy keeping his own lunch down to laugh at me.

The story of three sex-crazed morons speaking in nonsensical platitudes on a trip to hell is not nearly as appealing as one might think. When you do it like this, it’s downright horrific. Not one lousy minute of TDG made any sense whatsoever. One minute you’ve got two kids fooling around in their car, the next you’re treated to a severed head speaking in tongues and spewing relish. Just when you’re laughing at dialogue that’s meant to sound deep but reads like a fortune cookie written by a monkey, you’re treated to the tough guy enjoying a… snack. Of his own creation (and how many different substances can the male body produce? And which is the worst? Yep, you’ve got it). And that’s where I really started retching.

No amount of absurd dialog, naked Rose McGowan, or admittedly kinda cool set decoration justifies your eyeballs ever catching sight of this movie. Despite the fact that there were scenes where Justin and I laughed and tore this thing apart like hungry dogs chewing on a Cabbage Patch Kid stuffed with raw beef (which actually, sounds like more fun), the socially redeeming value is in the negative numbers. Big time.

I know Clare, among others, really wanted me to see TDG in the hopes that I would write a scathing review worthy of a really good laugh. I wish I could stay so lighthearted. Sadly, my brain now has a little black spot on it where the memories of this god awful piece of celluloid reside.

I hate you, Gregg Araki.

Intermission!

  • Cameos through this film abound, including a couple scenes with comedian Margaret Cho and Parker Posey. They are now blacklisted from my parties. Sean: Since Margeret Cho’s a good comedian, and Parker Posey was in both Party Girl and The House of Yes, they are still invited to come to my parties. Rose McGowan still needs to redeem herself. Rose, if you’re listening, the quickest way to do that would be to dump Marilyn Manson, and donate heavily to the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

If you liked this movie, try these:

  • Freddy Got Fingered
  • Going Overboard
  • Showgirls

15 comments

  1. […] was funny are lying to you and probably receive some kind of royalty for each viewing. It’s not Doom Generation bad, but it’s quite mind-kickingly bad. Don’t bother; rewatch Tommy Boy instead. It’s […]

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