Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dumpster Baby

Dumpster Baby (2000)
Dir: James Bickert, Randy Hill

Every so often Troma strays from the norm and attempts a serious film approach, One instance of this being successful is the cult classic Combat Shock which was a gritty and dark look at Post traumatic stress syndrome, Drugs and the Vietnam War. Unfortunately for this film it will not achieve nearly the same following as that film and rightfully so. Although the idea and premise behind this film are interesting the way it was filmed and the acting and dialog just make this film fall short of greatness.
Once again The approach and story matter of the film is about as dark as you could get. As the film opens up with a couple of junkies in a crack den discussing random dirt bag things when one of the ladies goes into labor without even knowing she was pregnant. After giving birth to the child in the rat hole she decides the baby needs to be disposed of since she does not want her ex, The babies father to know they had a child since she has not been with him in over six months. The mothers friend decides to try and sell the child for drugs before eventually dumping it in the trash.After that we meet a business man who hits the bar after work and hooks up with a prostitute, while receiving a blow job in the parking lot he see's the newborn in the dumpster, and the two argue over what to do about the child. As they argue the hooker's ex pimp arrives on the scene and attacks the businessman stabbing him and leaving him for dead before the prostitute shoots the pimp then steals the unconscious mans wallet and hailing him a cab as he lie on the ground, she then puts the baby in the trunk and sends them off. The following morning we see the cab driver at a gas station where a young woman who is cleaning the cab finds the baby and takes it in attempt to benefit from it. She goes to a local college campus and tries to say that the child is hers along with a teacher she had an affair with, She guilts the professor into giving her some hush money and after she receives a check for 3,000 dollars she dumps the baby off in a park. Later that day while a mentally handicap lands keeper is working he finds the baby and takes it home to take care of it but, Has it stolen from him by his landlord and his deadbeat friend as they take it to a comic book shop where the owner deals with black market goods under the table. The baby is traded for a collectible book and some strange bondage gear the shop owner was keeping in his back room. After the two leave the shop owner makes a call to someone who apparently was expecting the child to show up. Moments later we see a Reverend and a member of his church discussing missing children in the area and a man who was convicted of kidnapping in their town in the past and how he believes the man is back to his old tricks, Then a strange man in all black shows up at the comic shop to pick up the baby after he kills the shop owner.

The mysterious man takes the baby to a abandoned shack in the middle of the woods and hides the child in a small trunk before leaving. then a couple of hippies show up to make out in the supposed haunted cabin. WHile they are getting it on the towns reverend has gathered a gang together to ambush the kidnapper in his shack, Without even looking the reverend Jim shoot the hippie guy as the girl takes off into the woods.After that we see a group of young men hanging out nearby in the woods to drink and share ghost stories before venturing to the shack where they find the baby. After taking the baby with them into the woods while they drop acid they debate on what to do before eventually putting the infant in an ice cooler and sending it down the river. The next morning the guys wake up and after his friends leave him feeling guilty, Matt finds the child and takes it to his ex girlfriends house in hopes of getting her to talk to him. She does not give in but she secretly follows him as he drops the kid off at a church. She takes the child home with her before running away from home and taking the kid with her. Matt and Lisa do meet up but she splits on him after a small argument and gets picked up on the highway by a couple heading to Florida. Lisa falls asleep in the van and wakes up to being rapped by the man driving the van while his wife videotapes it. She asks where her child is and the couple says they had thrown it away. The couple discuss what they plan on doing with this girl they have abducted but Lisa manages to escape and she jumps off a bridge.

Next we see the baby being found in an alley by a crazy homeless man who prepares to eat the child  but is detoured by a man masturbating in the truck stop bathroom. The crazy man then kills and eats the fry cook in the restroom. Police arrive on the scene to find the man and his leftovers along with the baby. Now again we meet up with the crack heads from the opening of the film as they are in a hotel. While the child's mother is getting screwed her friend gets high in the next room as the mysterious man in black arrives and kills everyone except the friend who manages to make a run for it. She makes it to a beach where she finds the baby in a cradle by the shore. She grabs the child and runs but the man in black follows close by. She sees the child out of it's wraps in the closing moments as the man slowly approaches and a shot is fired as the film fades out.

In the end it appears that the mysterious man in black is supposed to be death which follows the baby anywhere it goes as a sort of form of karma to those scummy people who have tried to benefit from the child instead of actually caring for it, but it just does not really come off as effective as the film makers would have liked.The film takes an interesting approach as it follows the child as it passes through several peoples possession as the film proceeds leading to the viewer to see different peoples points of view and beliefs on what they would do in the position of finding a lost child. Although it seems everyone in the film is a dirt bag much like in films like Street Trash, Combat Shock and more recently Hobo with a Shotgun, Portraying the human species as selfish and awful in general.Sometimes this approach adds to a film and makes the movie more intense but in this film it just does not unfold well as you begin to just hate anyone involved and know exactly what is going to happen next becoming extremely predictable very early in the film.I do however think that if the writing was better and the actors were as well this film could have really been something special and would have been able to achieve such a cult status as Street Trash or Combat Shock, But due to the lack of those two very valuable assets this one comes off cheesy , gross and just pretty stupid in parts.I would like to see the people at Troma perhaps remake this film with a better budget and perhaps a different set of writers/directors as I can see allot of promise in this film and the Slackers style approach to the drifting of characters did make for some interesting twists but there has to be a balance between good and bad so the viewer does not know exactly what is going to happen in the next scene as one starts up.All in all the film is not the worst I have seen especially considering most of the newer Troma stuff they put out but it just doesn't quite hit the mark they intended in this one and that is sad.
Overall: 5 out of 10

1 comment:

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