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Directed by Clint Berquist
Written by Clint Berquist
Starring J.P. Moore, Billy St. John, Jacqui Olivas, Jessica Thornton
Produced by Clint Berquist
An amazing story of love, loss, and spooge cleaning comes through magnificently in “Swamper.”
So what we have here is, basically, the story of a man with a lousy job, an occasionally fantastic sex life and a few unnerving troubles for variety. Eventually, he becomes the Speed King of Seattle…for a while.
“Swamper” starts off in truly baffling fashion. A fella inserts a twenty into a slot and expects a peep show. What he gets is a girl with a bottle of Windex cleaning up from her side of the booth.
Folks, I don’t mind telling you—that’s just bizarre.
But when we find out WHY she’s cleaning the booth…well, it’s just even more bizarre.
And by the time they bring in the main character, within the first three minutes, you’ve really got to wonder what we’re in for here.
Especially since the movie gives an oh-so-savory explanation in dictionary format for our main character’s job:
“Jared, 25, ‘Swamper’ (swomp-er)-def. one who cleans the booths at porn venues. See also ‘Jizz Mopper’.”
Considering that our swamper also arrives in a “Got Milk?” T-shirt (and if the National Milk Advisory Board ever gets word of this Berquist and company are ever so screwed from the libel suit bitchslapping they will inevitably get for this) it’s especially ironic. And disturbing.
But man, this is some seriously funny stuff. Whether he’s mopping up the spunk or staring down the Gary Busey-esque drug dealer who sells him his pot, Jared is one implacable individual. And if Berquist put any more jokes in the script, Dave Chapelle would jump down out of the trees and scream that it belonged to him.
Plus, J.P. Moore reminds me in a vague, unnerving sort of way of Diedrich Bader from the old Drew Carey show.
But what, dare I ask, happened at the twenty three minute twenty six second mark? The screen just goes BLACK for maybe half a second, but it’s really very noticeable. Poor engineering, I guess.
And then they fire up the cartoon at the thirty one minute mark…and it’s a good one, besides. It reminds me of the same artistic style that Sucker Punch was using in the Sly Cooper series of games.
Around fifty two minutes in, there is an unnerving sequence between Jared and his dealer, in which every time the cameras change point of view, the video quality noticeably changes.
And at fifty five minutes, when Jared and two other guys are walking uphill to snowboard, there’s this really inappropriate blaring rock track in the background for three guys walking up a hill. At least it WAS inappropriate until the surprise happens about a minute later. Wow.
The ending is outlandish at best, featuring the long, rambling and largely pointless story of The Ster, who went from Rick to Rickster to THE Rickster to finally just The Ster (and even Ster, occasionally), more occurances of the word “fuck” in the space of six minutes than in any other movie I’ve ever seen. It beats the South Park movie, for crying out loud. And two truly, truly sad twists. Just really heartbreaking. Pathologically heartbreaking.
It’s like the Kevin Smith version of “Traffic.”
The special features include at the very least twenty solid minutes of bonus footage.
All in all, wow. “Swamper” is one of the single most unique movies I’ve ever seen, and at the very least, this uniqueness qualifies Swamper as some seriously impressive work. Featuring a fantastically crafted ending, and some solid performances, “Swamper” could easily compete with some of the big boys.
It’s that good.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
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