Archives / 1995 Sundance Film Festival

The Doom Generation

Director: Gregg Araki

Screenwriters: Gregg Araki

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival

Description

A hallucinogenic journey into the unknown marks acclaimed independent filmmaker Gregg Araki’s fifth feature and follow-up to last year’s Totally F***ed Up. Although he continues to explore some familiar themes here, The Doom Generation is a real departure for Araki. For a start, this is his first feature shot in 35mm with a full crew and SAG actors, but don’t expect anything that comes close to winsome studio fodder—this is unbridled, grossed-out mayhem with a reading off the shock-o-meter, definitely not for the faint of heart. Don’t let that discourage you, however, because there is a lot of cool stuff going on here.

The Doom Generation traces two young lovers, Jordan White and Amy Blue, and their run-in with Xavier Red, a sexy and coldhearted drifter. Easygoing, angelic Jordan doesn’t see a problem with having Xavier along for the ride, but acid-tongued speed freak Amy thinks he’s a creep. When Xavier inadvertently decapitates a Quickie Mart clerk, the trio are suddenly on the lam and face-to-face with an ultrabizarre, ultraviolent world, roamed by bloodthirsty fatheads who all seem to recognize Amy. As the trio get comfy in their renegade lifestyle, they start to open up sexually to each other.

“There’s no cinematic equivalent to the alternative music that’s popular now,” explains Araki. ” The Doom Generation is for and about what I call the Lollapalooza Nation—disenfranchised kids with an attitude who don’t normally go to the movies. This movie speaks to them in a language that’s theirs and doesn’t condescend to them.” And, like it or not, this is a language of mosh pits, Quickie Marts, warm beer and Cheez Whiz, a hyperreal, astro-turfed, Day-Glo, twisted nightmare of California suburbia.

So get ready for an amped-out joyride through a veritable house of horrors, where you may recognize some of the faces popping out to scare you—Perry Farrell, Skinny Puppy, Julie Tewes (Julie from “The Love Boat”), Christopher Knight (Peter Brady), and who-cares-if-she’s-famous diva Heidi Fleiss all have cameos here. The Doom Generation is an intravenous shot of pure youthful alienation and speaks volumes about where our trashy, quick-fix society is headed.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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