Reviewbr> "It's where society locks up people who don't like Adam Sandler movies, or Australian Idol, or reading Supermarket tabloids" - Buddha Wilson.
J.D. Sebastian is a student film maker who decides in 2006 to make a documentary about webmaster Buddha Wilson, who runs Fulci Metal Jacket, Australia's home of cult and exploitation cinema. Buddha isn't quite what J.D is expecting, he lives in his mother's garage, drinks like it might be going out of business, and works minimum wage for a landscaper who can barely tolerant him. Actually no one can tolerate Buddha beyond his mother, a dedicated Neil Diamond fan.
Through the course of the movie we are introduced to the delights of the rural hamlet Blandville, Buddha's home town, how obsessed some people become with exploitation cinema, and made to wonder if we shouldn't just go for a walk rather than hit the internet. So just where does the pisstake leave off and where is film maker Linden Reko trying to make some sort of astute comment on the effects of the web? Let's dial up the Blandville chamber of commerce and find out.
If I had to describe Taber Corn it would be as the offspring of a meeting between The Blair Witch Project and Lloyd Kaufman, (founder of Troma Pictures and creator of the Toxic Avenger yadda yadda). Except Tabor Corn never claims to be fair dinkum and for sure doesn't set out to make the sort of monsters that Dr Who would reject. But there's the same unreality that Blair Witch brought to the screen and the wackiness of Kaufman at his best. Just about everything Buddha Wilson says is shown by the end of the movie to be ironically wrong or reflects back on his own obsessions. For example Buddha puts up a self made trailer on youtube.com for a forgotten exploitation flick, that actually sounded pretty cool, then apparently receives fourteen comments, all negative, and dismisses them by attacking people who have time to post on YouTube. Actor Blake Ryan to his credit keeps a blank face during this delivery that had my lounge room rocking with gales of laughter. Go into this one expecting to find a lot of humour and you won't be disappointed when the end credits roll kids.
The main problem with the documentary is it seems to spend its entire running time expounding on something we all knew to begin with, some people have found the internet the ideal medium for their obsessions. From pretty much opening frame to closing frame we meet a series of people who are incredibly unlikeable who seem to think the internet has some sort of ability to dictate the actions of the movie going public. Buddha is the chief fall guy for the approach, with a strange belief that his website will drive what he calls "internet geeks" to boycott the latest House of Mouse flick if Buddha decides to make the call for manning the barricades. Regardless of views on this, and you would be wrong if you think the net really has an impact on movie ticket sales beyond getting a movie's name into the public domain, the single issue for the documentary is no one is remotely interesting or builds viewer sympathies.
However while everyone is pretty unlikeable, including J.D who comes across as a smug twat, and Buddha's boss who's just a dick, there are enough ideas washing around the kitchen sink that will have you grooving along. Blandville, no prizes for guessing the reference, is just jack fill of bizarre eccentricities. The town has a giant Dinosaur turd as a tourist attraction, hell I'm booking my tickets as soon as the review is over, the Grand Bar and Brassiere has an exploitation night showing Buddha's movies, which drives patrons out of the bar - and we're talking Aussies here, and of course the town boasts two internet movie site owners, dubious honour though that might be. Yeah not much happens in regional Oz.
Take nothing as serious in this mockumentary, a send up of people who get way too internet involved
There's some clever writing involved in the movie that is going to force you to listen to some at times rambling dialogue, must have been the inspiration for this review really. Best line for mine involved the closure of the local Bowling club happening a couple of weeks after the release of virtual lawn bowls for Playstation. Maybe that's a good enough example of how this mockumentary really has a good swing at a lot of things, don't take anything serious folks, Taber Corn is an excellent modern satire in the mode of Jonathan Swift's broadsides at his contemporary society.
The mockumentary is broken up into sections via quotes from various people, and if you were still wondering if you should take things seriously, any movie that involves a quote from Harry Knowles isn't working on anything approaching reality. The movie needed this breakup, and to be honest it comes at exactly the right moments, there's only so much Buddha Wilson anyone can take in one serving, the guy really is as thick as a fence post. I actually quite liked the quotes which managed to mix in the likes of Oscar Wilde, Ed Gein, and Leonard Maltin, you getting the idea here?
While the mockumentary isn't for everyone, if you have never experienced the diverse nature of horror or exploitation movie sites then a lot of the obsessive nature of things the movie touches bases with may escape you. It's still worth dialling into for a study, albeit fictional, of someone who has found the internet as an escape for their otherwise dreary and mundane lives. The question that Taber Corn left me with was whether or not this is a good thing. There's not much optimism to be taken from the movie, everyone is pretty much a loser using pseudo celeb status to somehow justify their anti-social lives, so don't expect an uplifting movie experience of the Sound of Music variety. Taber Corn dials into the darkest recesses of the "B" grade universe, showing exploitation happens in more directions than the fans of the genre might be comfortable with. I'm recommending Taber Corn to all the readers out there that might need a reality check on their internet involvement. Don't take it so seriously kids, end of day even the ScaryMs are just another bunch of idiots with opinions. Final thought is this movie should be required viewing for anyone who runs or works on a movie website, add it into your library right next to your copies of Trekkies and Ringers.
If after a copy of Taber Corn then you are probably not going to find it up the main street, might take room from the sales bins containing copies of Twilight and The Hangover , once again Amazon is your friend. The DVD copy of this movie is listed at $9 which pretty much presents what the movie is worth.
Damn almost forgot to mention the music, absolutely brilliant tracks from some mob called The Holy Soul, another pisstake? - anyways if you like Tex Perkins you are going to like these guys.