It took me a mere week to get off schedule with this weekly column, but I’m still here… and so is Dorty! In this week’s edition of our Brian Dorton retrospective, we actually decided to forego the chronological order of his catalog and stick with a theme – Trashology. While there was another film in between the first two Trashology installments, it just feels right to talk about this trilogy from front to back before heading into Brian’s other works. And, with this sequel, Brian once again pairs with Douglas Conner and a host of familiar faces from the first film to create a more fully realized and developed version of the Waters-esque trash they served up a just a few years prior. Without further ado, we bring to you the “kinda/sorta sequel to the kinda/sorta cult comedy Trashology” – Preexisting Conditions.
This film came after a difficult period for Brian, who’s mental health took a turn in 2013:
I couldn’t leave the house without having a panic attack. My anxiety level was so severe I had horrible physical symptoms. I thought doing movies for myself had come to an end. Long story short I began seeing a doctor that changed everything…
With the help of a good doctor, a proper diagnosis, and the common MH drug Lexapro, Brian was able to get back into film with his good friend and partner Doug. With a great crew, more life experience, the knowledge gained from doing Trashology and working on The Horror Network (which we will feature in a future Tuesdays), and some upgraded equipment, the dynamic trio of Dorton and Conner, along with Gerica Horn, dove head first back into the filthy lives of Katrina, Melissa, and a host of deviants old and new.
With the same tone and style at the core, Preexisting Conditions is certainly for fans of the first Trashology. Yet, the actual filmmaking craft certainly shows some improvement, much in the same way that Waters moved from Mondo Trasho and Multiple Maniacs to Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble – retaining his filthy, DIY aesthetics while improving as a filmmaker in terms of storytelling, cinematography, and most of the technical aspects of filmmaking.
While Brian admits he may be leaning towards the yet unreleased third and final chapter being the best of the trilogy, the team all say Preexisting Conditions is their “favorite of the Trash trilogy”. With Gerica playing at least 5 roles in each installment, as well as Doug and Brian in multiple roles themselves, the trio’s creative talents are imprinted all over the films. In PC (which is literally the opposite of being “PC”), we experience everything from nonchalant murder, gratuitous sex played for laughs, and the graphic tale of a lover who uses one of the main characters’ genitalia as a personal microwave to head up nacho cheese. The humor is lewd, effective, and clearly not for everyone. Yet, even if this style of lewd humor and lower budget aesthetic isn’t your typical “bag”, this film is highly watchable and quite entertaining.
Like the Trashology Blu-ray, the Preexisting Conditions Blu is packed with shorts, features, and extras that will make fans very happy. Released by the Slasher Video imprint of Olive Films, the release is readily available on Amazon and most other online retailers.
Next week, we’ll have the honor of discussing the yet unreleased finale of this trilogy, before diving into some of Brian’s works outside of the Trashology films. So stay tuned if you you enjoy John Waters, Troma films, or likeminded raunch such as other schlocky Farsighted faves Fags in the Fast Lane and Calling Nurse Meow. And if that’s not your thing, come back for Brian’s horror films and other genre work the week after next – once we wrap up this glorious trash coverage.