The Nostril Picker
When I view this film I think, are there metaphors exploring the over-sexualisation of a society; which are hidden beneath the acts of murder, cannibalism and “morpho-synthesis”? But then I remove my head from my anus and I realise that this dodgy Z-movie may be entertaining; but it does not have much offer.
The plot is very thin yet hard to explain, the film itself is far easier to sum up by explaining singular scenes. Scenes like the “Schooling!” montage or the first murder really sum up the viewing experience in a whole. The “Schooling!” montage shows off the film’s dumb humour; while the first murder shows off the awful acting, as well as the mediocre attempts at throwing slasher and cannibal themes into the films mix.
The first scene of the film introduces our main character Joe Bukowski, as he stalks a young girl in the street (huh, I’m liking our protagonist already); but a police officer is close at hand to give Joe a telling off about stalking women. Joe walks off but is soon stopped by a homeless Vietnam vet (worryingly this homeless man commits the best performance of the film), this homeless man is willing to teach Joe the act of “morpho-synthesis”; saying how it will allow Joe to “look better” (allowing him to get closer to the girl seen earlier). All the man wants in return is a swig of Joe’s liquor, Joe accepts and he goes on to learn the art of “morpho-synthesis”.
We then see one of the most awkwardly un-funny moments to grace celluloid. We see Joe attempting to use his new powers; this involves a stupid and un-funny dance followed by a hummed rendition of “London Bridge is Falling Down”. But wait, it didn’t work! Oh, how the hilarity did not prevail when Joe poorly delivered his deep and meaningful line ”SHIT”. We then see Joe make his way to a local shop, where he buys the latest issue of his favourite porn-mag. But then the film pumps out a plot twist that is sure to make M. Night Shyamalan feel envy. The twist is that the “morpho-synthesis” worked and he is now a 16 year old girl; though on the downside Joe could not buy his porn.
Now fully knowledgeable of his new found powers, Joe makes his way to the local school; where he enrols and makes friends with a group of girls. Here is where the “Schooling!” montage comes into play. While I have been critical of this film, it does not mean I hate it, this montage is utterly brilliant; the humour balances wit and stupidity perfectly and it allows for some truly hilarious moments. The song “Schooling!” is easily one of my favourite montage tunes, its way up there with “Hearts on Fire” or “Push it to the Limit”; it’s repeated delivery of the word “Schooling!” is incredibly funny. If I listed the other gags in this scene, they will fall pretty short of funny; but much like the masters that are Karloff or Chaney - Carl Zschering acts very well with face in this scene. Though it may be near blasphemy comparing Lon Chaney to Carl Zschering, I do feel that it is justified, as the gags in this scene are hardly original (i.e reading a dirty magazine that is hidden inside his study book); but Carl Zschering makes these gags funny by portraying some great facial reactions.
The next scene features the first murder; again this is very funny; though in this scene it’s sometimes for the wrong reasons. On the T.V. we see “Attack of the Cannibal Girls” playing, this is a funny parody of other Z-movies (honestly it looks better than our main feature). After Joe gets acquainted with his victim, he takes the liberty of killing her. But this kill is very under-whelming, the kill is un-imaginative, the effects are poor and so is the acting (the poor acting seems to make effects even worse).
After that scene the film gets boring quickly, the last 20 minutes are repeated and we find out one of Joe’s new “friends” is the daughter of the police-chief. The only other notably scene is when Joe attacks a transvestite hooker in his apartment, the main reason why this scene is scene is funny, is due to manner it is directed; the scene is very cartoony and feels like a disturbed “Hanna Barbera” animation.
That last thing to say about the plot is the ending. After being chased by the police, Joe corners himself in a building. The father of the daughter attempts to arrest him but before we see this; the shot cuts away. We see the father return home, he walks into his daughter’s room and comforts her while she is sleeping, but wait! It’s really Joe and he used his “morpho-synthesis” to turn into the father, Joe violently stabs the daughter to death; the film abruptly ends. The ending shot is actually pretty well shot, the quick cuts between the knife, Joe’s face and his victim’s face is somewhat un-nerving.
When watching this film Troll 2 comes to mind; this film is so bad it’s good. While at times it drags on and some of the jokes are just plain awful, the film itself is very funny and entertaining. While The Nostril Picker has some major problems, it is a fun piece of cinema that’s worth a watch.