We call them filters - filmmakers who take their entire life experience, both entertainment and otherwise, and channel it in a way that is both creatively novel and artistically new. For those unfamiliar with the numerous references and homages being tossed at the screen, these individuals seem unique and inventive. For anyone in touch with their particular muse, however, the reinvented callbacks and insular asides are nothing short of genius (or a joke). Quentin Tarantino is such a motion picture sieve. So are Brian DePalma and John Waters. Perhaps the most outrageous and talked about examples of the cinematic sifter were brothers George and Michael Kuchar. Combining their love of old world Hollywood with the growing underground scene, they forged a oeuvre so original that, even today, their “anything goes” approach rivals anything attempted by their peers.
As infamous in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s as Kenneth Anger and Andy Warhol, the twins are today regarded as the godfathers of the trash punk aesthetic, a campy combination of genre jumping designs and outsider imagination that cherry-picks apart various filmic archetypes to deliver a masterful reinvention of already established elements. In layman terms, their films are the very definition of a fever dream - pitched performances, megalomaniacal melodrama, and brilliant procedural shortcuts necessitated by budget, narrative, and scope. They are perhaps best known for their insane sci-fi riff Sins of the Fleshapoids, a witty emasculation of every Flash Gordon serial and big screen soap opera ever attempted. But with hundreds of movies in their individual and collaborative canon, the men remain perennial name checks for a myriad of savants synced up to their iconic idiosyncrasies.