Saturday, April 20, 2013

Duck! The Carbine High Massacre (2000, William Hellfire & Joey Smack)

In essence, "Duck! The Carbine High Massacre" may seem like a total mockery of the Columbine school shooting and in some ways it IS a very insensitive and exploitive reconstruction of the 1999 mass murder. However, the magnitude in which young film-makers William Hellfire and Joey Smack (who were both arrested for hauling guns around schoolyards during the film's production) parodied the shooting is eminently far less severe than how the actual events and MANY tragedies that followed are 'exploited' and monetized by the mainstream media.

Derrick and Derwin are the two characters that represent Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - the troubled youths behind the Columbine killing spree. High school outcasts and best friends - sporting dark trench coats and finding themselves on the receiving end of many jock beatings and torment. They're obsessed with bombs and violence and after one of them is beaten severely in the school parking lot, the boys decide enough is enough and go on topurchase some fire arms from a shady dealer and go to work gunning down their classmates in a cold-blooded and systematic fashion...

"Duck!" was apparently released on the first year anniversary of the Columbine massacre (I'm currently writing this on the 14 year anniversary, by the way) and definitely doesn't pay a respectful 'tribute' in a regular sense. The film takes a relatively mean-spirited, "lampooning" approach by using a group of ridiculous, 'crazy' personality characters as students - including a Jesus-preaching church girl, a helmet wearing retard, a whitey-hating token negro, and a fat, Spam-loving jock. Despite that, the film vocalizes a few very relevant issues such as the student AND teacher-on-athlete ass kissing that goes on in school, regardless of how much of an imbecilic cocksucker the jock happens to be. Even in the end, they show some over-the-top fictional interviews with the parents of the murdered children who weep that their boy was "a great athlete" and "had a promising future ahead of him". Personally, I'm all too familiar with that type of simpleton mentality from my own high school years amongst the 'sacred' athletes. Also, the scene near the end of the film where a cop impulsively shoots some wimpy goth kid coming out of the restroom after the massacre has ended, shouting "Well, isn't that one of them?". If you were in high school after '99 you might recall some unjust profiling from panicky school staff. And a news reporter in the movie says on the air "... this is very exciting - I mean, TRAGIC"...

So, overall, I would say that "Duck! The Carbine High Massacre" is a bit more than just mindlessly exploitive and desperately "controversial" mush and that there IS a little shread of merit below the surface. Still, I would agree that a lot of it is in pretty bad taste and a little "too soon", if you will, but it's still not nearly as shockingly offensive as you might think. Hell, it's much, MUCH more pertinent than Gus Van Sant's hollow and masturbatory Columbine-inspired film "Elephant". I'd recommend this even though I'm sure most people would hate it.

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