Monday, September 14, 2015

128. More video lies } from the Unfinished House.

The following is an excerpt from the column Video Lies, a regular feature in the 1990s ‘zine Kraken Farmer, edited by Lucy Kurtz, available at Tower Records and Flyrabbit.

Basket Case 3: The Progeny. Dir. Frank Henenlotter. Perf. Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, and Tina Louise Hilbert. MCA/Universal Home Video, 1992. Film.

If you have ever seen a severed hand or foot, or a head cut off and lying some way away from the rest of the body—analogous is what someone does to himself, as far as he can, when he will not accept his lot and severs himself from society or does some unsocial act. —Marcus Aurelius

Stacy, who has no forearms, is a bookkeeper. Her colleagues are impressed with what she can do, are repulsed by the knobs of bone that suggest fingers but grow from her elbows, imagine her limited life, would never suggest out loud that her life is limited, try to act as if they don’t notice, and feel keen gratitude for their own fully-developed limbs. Stacy is not homicidal, does not dwell in a rattan basket, and, while she knows other people shaped by phocomelia, they are not family, kept safe at Granny Ruth’s.

Belial, undeveloped and once-conjoined twin of Duane, a growth with a face and pointed teeth, finds a home amongst other creature-shop cast-offs, and no longer desires to be re-attached to his physically normal but psychopathic brother. Belial’s fantasy life reveals he is creepy, but in an ordinary way—he dreams of topless models without wants other than to serve, sexually and otherwise, their master. Belial’s lust is common; his brother’s love—mad Duane believes he is not whole without Belial—is extra-normal.

Belial and Duane are better off when not at odds.

What can't Stacy do?

Our freak show romantic notions take us nowhere.