What the "Fuck"?
The school-massacre comedy "Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes" won a top award at the Fringe Festival, but it's so painfully bad we're still trying to figure out why.
By JOSHUA TANZER
Before we get started, the creators of "Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes" would like to announce that the reviewer is a dumb ass. (See comments.) That's because at the beginning of the festival, I wrote that titles like theirs always lead me to assume that the show will be bad, that it's trying to gain through outrageousness what it lacks in intelligence. I expect the worst.
Surprisingly, though, the Fringe gods blessed this most unpromising of all concepts with the festival's top award and the show was extended for a month and a half. So, expecting to be pleasantly proven wrong, old dumb-ass here went to check it out.
|FUCK YOU OR DEAD PEE HOLES|
|Written by: John Bowman, Adam Hardman, Tanya Ritchie.|
Directed by: John Bowman, Adam Hardman, Tanya Ritchie, Raymond Sanchez.
Cast: Adam Hardman, John Bowman, Jeff Dickinson, Marc Landers, Tanya Ritchie, Nicole Marshall, Vanessa Meryn-Cohen, Jodie Fletcher, Raymond Sanchez, Kellie Starowski, Joel Freidrich, Rob McDonald, Rigo Irizarry, Jae Henson, Nick Nace, Diane Langan, Johanna Buccola, Brion Vytlacil, Brian Corr, McCready Baker, Ann Enzminger.
Music by: Ann Enzminger.
85 East 4th St. near 2nd Ave.
Sept. 1 - Oct. 13, 2001
| RELATED ARTICLES|
Fringe Festival 2001|
21 Dog Years
Debbie Does Dallas
The Elephant Man: The Musical
Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes
Gene de Tueur
L'Hiver Sous la Table
Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries
A Piece of My Heart
Two Girls from Vermont
Break the Floor
Other Fringe Festivals
Oh, my god.
This has got to be the dumbest-ass show in the whole festival. By the end, I felt dirty just for having participated in the humiliation of the actors.
The idea is, we're peering into a classroom with 15 students when three of their classmates come in with guns and terrorize the place. Amid an hour and a quarter of everyone jumping around and screaming, they manage to kill a fair number of the students one by one. Each student gets a little two-line monologue before being gunned down, in a token effort at establishing character. A sample: The class jock assumes a quarterback crouch and confesses, "I've always wanted to fuck my mom. She's fucking hot for a 40-year-old."
This is not in any sense a real high-school massacre story if it were, there would be adults, there would be cops, the killers would have a plan. Rather, it's a high-school massacre fantasy, seemingly inspired by teen exploitation movies, that tries to make the whole experience eerily fun with musical numbers and jokes. (Sample joke after a girl is killed: "Don't worry, you can still smell her pussy. Want me to pull her pants down? I'm sure it's still fresh.")
Yet, the biggest problem with the play is not that it's tasteless but that it's only one layer deep. Why are the gunmen killing everybody? We don't know. There's one line at the end that hints at a motivation, but there is not one line of character development up to then. (One killer does mention that he's traumatized by the jelly soaking through the bread in his sandwiches, a burden that all of us have borne without snapping.) Who are the students and what are the classroom dynamics that led up to this point? We have only flimsy stereotypes the jock, the cheerleader, the lesbian, the dumb girl, the stoner, the kid nobody likes.
So what are we left with? An unfunny play about caricatures of high-school students killing other caricatures, and it doesn't have anything in particular to tell us about this phenomenon. It's an empty exercise in mayhem.
The Fringe Festival had several shows about school massacres, at least one of which, "Doing Justice," made a real contribution to understanding the phenomenon through interviews with the people who lived through it. Earlier this year, a daring show called "Hyperreal America" painted a movingly impressionistic picture of this kind of high school life. "Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes" is neither of these plays. It's a show made by people who think that because they've littered the stage with dead bodies they must have made "Hamlet."
|SEPTEMBER 5, 2001|
OFFOFFOFF.COM THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK
Reader comments on Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes:
WHAT? from Kellie, Nov 25, 2004
Post a comment on "Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes"