Thursday, April 23, 2009


MICKEE FAUST'S GIMP PARADE (dirs. Diane Wilkins, Donna Marie Nudd, and Terry Galloway, Mickee Faust Artistic Director; USA; Total Running Time: 65 mins.) is a compilation of videos from one of the most provocative, inspiring, outrageous and challenging performance groups in the country. This first DVD from Mickee Faust features their work regarding (dis)abilities, though I am most familiar with their work and submissions to lesbian and gay film festivals. I was first introduced to the work of the Mickee Faust Club nearly seven years ago by the opening short of the DVD.

The DVD is bookended by I KNOW WHY THE CAGED RATS SING (dirs. Donna Marie Nudd and Diane Wilkins, US, 2008, 3 mins.), which introduces us to the troupe, as well as a bit of a primer of what you are about to experience...

ANNIE DEAREST: THE REAL MIRACLE WORKER (plus APOLOGIA) (Dirs. Terry Galloway and Diane Wilkins, US, 2002, 9 mins.) When this screened at the 2003 Frameline Festival, I laughed until I had tears! I attempted to incite a protest when it did NOT win Best Short that year! I ordered VHS copies for all my friends for Christmas! I became friends with Ms. Wilkins and have tried to follow her work with the Faustketeers since! This short, in particular, is a hysterical reworking of the near legend that the relationship between Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan has become. It is a piece of slapstick brilliance! (It is followed by the APOLOGIA, which does not so much apologize for the work, but expands on the satire.)

LETTER TO PENTHOUSE (Dirs. Randel Shard, Diane Wilkins) is simply a visual presentation of a simply fabulous monologue in which a certain astro-physicist reads his provocative letter to Penthouse Magazine. It is just long enough to get the punchline without overworking the bit.

DIS(ASTER)ABILITIES: SPECIAL NEEDS FOR SPECIAL TIMES (Dirs. Diane Wilkins, Terry Galloway and Donna Marie Nudd, US, 2007, 6 mins.) An excellent satire of all those industrial emergency preparedness videos, plus an additional elbow-jab at the near dizzying and nearly unmaneuverable rules and regulations surrounding the American Disabilities Act. Though the slapstick is not as heavy as its potential might hold, the final frames are exceptionally effective, if not chilling.

THE SCARY LEWIS YELL-A-THON (Dirs. Diane Wilkins, Terry Galloway and Donna Marie Nudd, 2004, 13 mins.) Terry Galloway takes the performance reigns in this piece, which is at the same time, irresistibly laughable, but also possibly the angriest work from the group. Galloway plays a character similar to the exceptionally omnipresent recipient of this year's Jean Hersholdt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars, who also garnered a great deal of protest from his "benefactors". The skit exposes that terrible line between exploitation and then leaps across it! Galloway herself (in the pants role, as it were), is unabashedly caustic in her interpretation of Mr. Lewis, and by the final footnote, one can't help but to feel her community's anger. It is an exceptional piece of guerrilla/protest theater caught on video.

MR. HANDCHOPS (Dr. Diane Wilkins, US, 2006, 3 mins.) This is perhaps the most abstract and avant garde of the shorts included on the disc. In fact, after having watched it several times, I'm still not exactly sure what is happening - which is not necessarily a bad thing! But it is not the easiest piece to watch.

PROFESSOR RINGER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS ON: ETHICS (Dirs. Diane Wilkins, Donna Marie Nudd, US, 2008, 5 mins.) Well, who else but Mickee Faust could actually concoct a comic presentation about euthanasia?! You just must see it!

RATS AND ROACHES (Dir. Diane Wilkins, US, 1 mins.) "Everybody must get stoned." More or less. Hee hee...

DISABILITY FACTOR (Dirs. Diane Wilkins, Donna Marie Nudd, 2008, 15 mins.) As if PROFESSOR RINGER... didn't go far enough, this is an exceptionally pointed and provocative skit in which participants compete for the Grand Prize: the right to die. Hosted by a host with Tourette's Syndrome, the piece swirls into a giddy, yet angry maelstrom of satire.

The DVD is available at the GIMP PARADE website for the remarkable price of $29.99, and worth every penny! Mickee Faust will also be releasing a compilation of its Lesbian and Gay shorts as GAYPARADE later this year! I. Can't. WAIT!!

Maxxxxx says


Michael Guillen said...

You are a sick and twisted player. No wonder I love ya.

Anonymous said...

The links to the movies are dead....

Marchbanks said...

Mr. Handchops may not make a lot of sense by itself because it's a section from a much longer piece, Terry's 1993 Out All Night and Lost My Shoes. The Sherrie Loose character arose from Terry's experiences as a mental-hospital patient in New York.