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Monday, January 29, 2018

PREEXISTING CONDITIONS -- DVD Review by Porfle



If John Waters' "Pink Flamingos" is just too classy and highbrow for you, you might want to give writer/director/star Brian Dorton's PREEXISTING CONDITIONS (Olive Films/Slasher Video, 2015) a try. 

Actually, those who do like the John Waters anti-classic might tire of this film's dogged efforts to be as outrageous. The cast features male actors in bloated, big-haired drag interacting with various skid-row characters and engaging in shocking or just plain dumb activities while incessantly yakking away or screaming at each other.

When Waters did this kind of stuff there was a sort of jittery, renegade style to it as we could almost see him trying to glue cheaply-shot footage of sordid urban insanity together into a projectable film while avoiding Baltimore police and riding herd on some of the weirdest characters in cinema history.


Here, it's just some people goofing around playing dress-up with a digital camera. The script has its moments of mildly amusing, oddball humor but without any aura of the dangerous or subversive.  Still, those who prefer their off-kilter comedy a little more on the blander side may find this to be a plus. 

Not that PREEXISTING CONDITIONS is a Sunday afternoon cakewalk, however.  A full-figured black woman named Clitty Hyman (played by actual female Ayana Moore) suffers a drive-by bombardment of fried chicken by some cackling skinheads before picking it up off the street and eating it. 

She's on her way to see her gal friends, conservative Melissa (Douglas Conner) and wild-girl Katrina (Dorton), as they go about their white trash lives, dealing with both infidelity (Melissa's boyfriend of six months cheated on her just as she was about to cook them a lobster dinner, so she threw his TV set out the window) and the threat of being murdered by a gang of vengeful yokels over a past offense from the previous film, "Trashology." 

Amidst much running and driving around (it's pretty much a shaggy-dog story) Melissa and Katrina meet Ms. Green (Gerica Horn), an eye-patched old lady in a wheelchair who comes off as the film's most endearing eccentric, a guitar-playing nun (also Gerica Horn) who helps the girls fulfill Ms. Green's wish that they poop on the grave of the late pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, and various other wacky lowlifes. 


The best thing about PREEXISTING CONDITIONS is its gender-fluid and rather versatile cast--with several of them playing multiple characters of both sexes, you never know who's going to show up as who next.  This leads to some of the film's most revolting images, namely the softcore sex scenes with guys in drag pretending to be actual women getting pounded and some of the least appealing naked bodies since "Pink Flamingos." 

Things finally start to get moderately more interesting in the final act when stuff starts to happen that actually resembles a plot.  It still meanders to a bland conclusion, after which I didn't really feel as though I'd just spent the last 90 minutes or so as productively as possible. 

The DVD from Olive Films and Slasher Video is in 1.78:1 widescreen with stereo sound and optional English subtitles. Extras include the short film "A Handsome Dick", deleted and alternate scenes, bloopers and outtakes, Katrina's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a photo gallery, and a trailer.

PREEXISTING CONDITIONS is the very definition of a "time-waster."  How fondly you regard its scattershot efforts to cheerfully gross you out depends entirely upon your generosity as a viewer and your tolerance for fart, barf, poop, and gross sex jokes that might even make Shane Dawson queasy.


Order it from Olive Films



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