Rectuma (2003)

Starring Bill Devlin, Dani Leon, Jen Black, Rachel Morihiro, and Hiromi Nishiyama

Directed by Mark Pirro

A giant ass terrorizes Hollywood. No, it isn’t a Harvey Weinstein biopic. It’s Rectuma, the latest movie from cult filmmmaker Mark Pirro. Some of you may be familiar with Mr. Pirro’s other flicks including Nudist Colony of the Dead, A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Deathrow Gameshow, Curse of the Queerwolf, and Buford’s Beach Bunnies. Needless to say, he’s a director that specializes in making oddball films, particularly off-the-wall horror movies. But none of the films he’s made before are anywhere near as gonzo as his newest ultra low budget opus.

Waldo Williams is having a really bad week. Not only does it appear that his wife is cheating on him, she also seems to be plotting his murder. She may not have to kill him herself because he comes back from a vacation to Tijuana with a severe pain in his ass. A trip to a wacko proctologist reveals that he fell victim to the dreaded Mexican Butt Humping Bullfrog and it has left a lethal dose of venom in his prostate. Diagnosed with only days to live, Waldo’s only hope is a mysterious Japanese scientist, Dr. Wansamsaki (as in “Want some sake?”), who has an experimental cure that involves inserting a nuclear rod up the rectum. The procedure saves Waldo’s life but before long his ass begins to glow green. Soon, his ass develops a mind of its own as well as the power to detach itself from Waldo’s body while he sleeps and heads out to commit murders before returning and reattaching itself before he awakes. The only evidence from the murders it leaves behind is the fecal matter – which looks suspiciosly like gelatinous beef gravy – and a fecal trail leading right to Waldo’s house. Waldo’s the prime suspect and obviously nobody believes his killer ass story, at least not until it finally breaks off once and for all, grows to Godzilla-size proportions, and rampages through Los Angeles. The only hope for humanity lies with Dr. Wansamsaki’s giant monster fighting cousin, an awful lot of spicy food, and a goofy Islamic suicide bomber.

After reading that you’re probably thinking to yourself right now that this is either the absolute worst idea you’ve ever heard in your life or a concept so gleefully demented it smacks of brilliance. Either way, it is a concept with comic possibilities. I had first heard about Rectuma not long after viewing the similarly veined Monsturd, which God help me, I found to be surprisingly clever and a good deal of fun. After reading a couple of positvie reviews for Rectuma I decided to check it out for myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much in Rectuma to be all that amusing. The problem with reviewing comedies is that it’s so objective. You either laugh or you don’t. For the most part, I didn’t.

That’s not to say that Rectuma didn’t provie me with any laughs. I laughed out loud a few times. Pirro takes a page from Mothra’s book by having two singing Japanese fairies serving as the greek chorus and regardless of what they’re singing, it’s sung in the same key as the Mothra song. They’re constantly popping up throughout the movie, their funniest appearances being when they materialize in a urinal only to have their song interrrupted by, well, I think you can guess what happens and during the closing credits when they basically begin taunting the audience. I dare say the funniest stuff in the entire film comes at the very end when we’re given a teaser regarding a possible sequel involving another delicate part of the human anatomy.

I think the biggest problem is that it’s nearly an hour into the movie before we finally get around to the ass on a killing spree – a very fake looking prosthetic butt that’s novelty wears off fast – and the Godzilla-sized rear – brought to life through very crude computer animation – doesn’t come into play until the last 15 minutes or so. Frankly, the giant monster ass proves to be a big disappointment. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write! Rectuma itself doesn’t really do much of anything. The notion of a gigantic ass terrorizing a city Godzilla-style seems to be one of those things that sounds funnier than it actually is when you see it.

If Rectuma were a short found on iFilm it would probably be really amusing, but dragged out to 95 minutes requires adding quite a bit to pad out the basic premise. There in lies the biggest problem I had with the movie. Much of the humor is based around an assortment of wacky, mostly one-note characters that Waldo has to deal with, most of which are either unfunny or what is funny about them gets run into the ground to the point that it becomes not only unfunny, but annoying. For example, take the Japanese monster fighter who we’re told has a speech impediment, which turns out to be that his voice is badly overdubbed in English. It’s funny at first but after awhile it becomes apparent that he isn’t saying anything even remotely humorous so apparently we’re supposed to just keep laughing at the dubious dubbing. It gets old fast.

And I just got to say, it’s the year 2004, Silence of the Lambs came out over a decade ago, parodying that movie just isn’t funny anymore. It wasn’t funny when the spoof Silence of the Hams came out and even that was back in the 90’s. One of the characters in Rectuma is a female cop who literally thinks she’s Clarice Starling. Entirely way too much time is devoted to this one-note character, culminating in a flashback scene involving a Hannibal Lektor type played by director Pirro himself. This scene feels like it goes on forever and the impending punchline can be seen from a mile away. Oh, Richard Gere/gerbil up the ass jokes – also not funny anymore.

And then there’s the sequence involving the recruitment of an Islamic terrorist that like far too many of the gags in the film just feels forced. It’s like a “Mad TV” skit that just falls completely flat.

I’ll give Pirro and his cast credit. He certainly tried to load every scene with one joke after another and they give it their all, but for the most part I only found myself perversely entertained by the sheer amount of jokes that came along in rapid succession only to completely bomb. After awhile, that wore off and I just started getting bored waiting for something that struck me as genuinely funny, moments that were few and far between. Maybe I made the mistake of watching Rectuma sober? Maybe it’s just one of those movies you need to see with a crowd, preferably not sober?

Ultimately, Rectuma reminded me of a parody movie poster that would appear in Mad Magazine only someone actually tried to make a full length movie out of it but forgot that there’s a reason why the joke was only intended to be a single panel cartoon.

1 ½ out of 5

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Jon Condit

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