Final Flesh (2009)

Where do I even begin with this… thing? Well first off this was written by Mr. Vernon Chatman, a writer who worked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the creator of Xavier: Renegade Angel (if you’ve heard of that, you have an idea of the weirdness that is coming). Chatman split the script into four parts, sending each one to a different porn site–specifically the ones where the actors perform what you sent them, getting a tailored porn/fetish experience. But it couldn’t be a normal story! Oh no, this was a borderline dadaist drama about a family (a father, a mother, and a daughter) dying in an atomic blast and reincarnating over and over, or something. With a lot of bizarre, nonsensical sequences throughout.

Not all porn companies are created equal, as it turns out. Divided into four sections and performed by four different groups, the quality of acting is all over the place. We open with all black actors (the rest of the companies used only white people) and they’re… fine. The man and older woman are decent, but the younger woman (I don’t feel comfortable using the word “girl” in relation to porn) is not very good. After the bomb drops we start with the second company. They’re the fun ones, mostly because in addition to filming their weird sequences, they also submitted porn bloopers. I mean, at one point the father has spaghetti sauce spilling out of his underwear. Yes I want to see the entire process of that! Anyway, here the family is in Heaven, and they escape by spitting boric acid into God’s face.

The third group are the worst actors by far. You can hear the cameraman say “action” on at least three different takes, all in the most bored tone possible. The older woman does stand out from the rest, not because she’s good but because you can tell from her performance that she’d be great in a standard porn film. She’s not supposed to talk about the last happy atom in the universe! She’s supposed to moan while getting fucked! Anyway, the story is very hard to follow at this point, and we end with the best actors, by far. They read the script as some kind of art film (which it kind of is) and they went full force into that aesthetic. Black clothes, minimal lighting, emotion dripping with every line; at times I’d have to remember that they’re in someone’s house, not on a stage in a small theater. Too bad this is the part with blackface…

I’ve seen this movie a couple times now and I still don’t know what to make of it. But that’s kind of the point, right? It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s supposed to be funny watching porn actors try to perform a surreal fever dream. And… it mostly is. Just a weird movie to invite friends over to watch.

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