Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

torsdag 15 mars 2018


Directed by: Richard Kern
Written by: Richard Kern
Stars: William Rice, David Wojnarowicz, Robin Renzi, Montanna Houston

Country: USA
Style: Arthouse | Short
Runtime: 10min

One of four short films by Richard Kern released as 'The Manhattan Love Suicides', Stray Dogs is in my opinion one of the best Kern shorts, if not the best.

Different from standard Kern fare in that there’s almost a faint sign of structure, Stray Dogs tells the story of an obsessed fan who will do anything to get the attention of his favorite artist. Even if it means tearing himself apart.

Stray Dogs stars No Wave legend, painter, filmmaker, AIDS activist, David Wojnarowicz (Check out Where Evil Dwells!) as the aforementioned obsessive fan and artist Bill Rice plays his aforementioned favorite artist. Wojnarowicz follows Rice around in a way that starts off like a stalker but slowly devolves into a pathetic, lost puppy way. Pleading for his attention with every move he makes while Rice ignores him and brushes him off. Rice’s character is a good sport about the overwhelming fans behavior for the most part but it wears thin on him and he eventually tells him to fuck off. Wojnarowicz doesn’t comply. They end up at Rice’s studio, where Wojnarowicz lets himself in.

Wojnarowicz’s character really begins to unravel when they get to Rice’s studio. He almost looks pained by the way that Rice reacts to his pleas for attention. It’s around now that you start to get that Wojnarowicz wants more than to just be noticed. He tries to hold Rice’s hand and met with a look of disgust. But this doesn’t stop him from trying to get more, and every time he tries to touch Rice he is pushed away and scoffed at. Rice sits down and begins painting.

Unable to contain himself, Wojnarowicz takes a seat on a couch and begins masturbating. Rice notices but, again, just brushes him off and continues about his business. Wojnarowicz can’t take it anymore and tries to kiss Rice. His rejection is too much and Wojnarowicz bursts a vein in his neck and spends the rest of the short spraying blood everywhere. This finally gets him Rice’s attention, albeit negative attention. Rice mocks him while he lies on the floor bleeding out before returning to his painting.

The possibility of bleeding to death doesn’t stop Wojnarowicz from begging Rice for attention, but this final rejection turns out to be his last. Wojnarowicz begins to tear himself apart at the seams. Still unfazed, Rice continues painting until the film fades to black and Wojnarowicz is presumably dead. The end.

Set to a chattering and whirring score by industrial legend J.G Thirwell, Richard Kern’s Stray Dogs is a great example of the link between cinema of transgression and horror. Packed with grit and a strange, nihilistic tone, this film delivers in everything it aspires to. You have to sit through seven minutes of awkward stalking with very little dialog (about ten lines in the first minute), but once the gore starts it’s pretty impressive for something as low-budget as this is.

If you haven’t checked out Richard Kern’s work, this really isn’t a good example of what the rest of his filmography has to hold. But as a stand alone film, this is great and worth checking out for any fan of no budget gore.


Produced by: Richard Kern
Cinematography by: Richard Kern
Editing by: Richard Kern
Special Effects by: Richard Kern
Music by: J.G. Thirlwell
Language: English
Color: Black & white

DistributorRaro Video


Writer for Twisted Minds. Crazy American guy, collaborates together with his homebro Crack Sizzlack and Four Twenty Film Reviews. Have a great knowledge about movies and music and has been on the track as long as he can remember. He has a huge VHS-collection and is responsible owner of the underground movie distribution label King of the Witches and has written and directed the feature film In Furs (2016).