chewing gum | Movie Threat
At a time when politically correct and woke messages are stuck in our throats, we need stories that hit in delicious ways to cleanse the palette. by Jeffrey Garcia Chewing gum is cheap, offensive, indecent, and its lazy tale of racism, misogyny, and sexual deviance couldn’t come at a better time.
Teddy Bupkis (Thayer Cranor) is the “world’s biggest used car salesman” in a small town in Texas (of course, that’s Texas). Wanting to be with his 13-year-old girlfriend, Daphne (Shauna Nunn) — a very old 13-year-old girl, in case you were wondering — Teddy hires a killer to murder his future ex-wife Angela (Morgan Cooper). Angela plans to take everything from Teddy during the divorce because of his pedophilia.
You’d think hiring a hitman would be easy, but it’s not. Teddy’s friend won’t, but he knows a psychotic guy in Florida (of course, in Florida) who knows an even more psychotic guy to do the job. Before the deed can be done, Teddy accidentally kills the would-be assassin and, in a moment of tender reconciliation, kills Angela himself. Now charged with murder, Teddy and Daphne seek safe passage from some really bad people while being hunted by a sadistic serial killer…I mean…Police Detective Howard (Michael Nieto).
I appreciate Chewing gum because its main directive is to be as offensive as possible and looks for ways to be so in every nook and cranny, from dialogue to production design (which is a kind description of these incredibly cheap sets) . You name it, and it’s here: sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and more sexism. I think writer/director Garcia just decided that if he had to cross the line of decency, cross far enough that it could go back. Good try.
“…Teddy hires a killer to assassinate his future ex-wife…”
Let me give you a few examples of the “fun” of the film. First, Teddy describes his leisurely afternoon of golf as “violating the fruits of your labor. Second, thinking about his girlfriend puts Teddy in a “sp**ge mood.”
Chewing gum is Jeffrey Garcia’s sequel to his equally offensive Henrietta and her sad display of affection. I enjoy its storytelling and its constant drumbeat of indecency that effectively wears you down, much like Stockholm Syndrome. This was shot on VHS, and its narrative is set in the early 90s with cheap video effects, cheesy commercials from the era, and even more cheesy 60s music, including The Free Designs’ Kites are fun.
What hurts the film the most, aside from racism and sexism, is the lack of effort to improve or evolve the cinematography and plot since Henrietta. I know there will be a third feature in the Garcia universe, and it needs to show some growth from the filmmaker. Garcia must find ways to use camera angles and shot composition to improve the constant flow of jokes and rude moments. As for the offensive humor, I totally agree, but I wish it went beyond just being offensive, but more intelligent and subversive.
The film exists to connect with audiences and make us feel… anything. Being offended is just as valid a feeling as love, respect and outrage. You will definitely feel something after watching Chewing gum.
For more information, visit Chewing gumit’s official site.