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Deep within the bowels of modern cinema, there dwells a sub-genre of the comedy film category called gross out comedy. Director John Waters was popular for contributing his works to this sub-group by including elements of gross out to most of his films, as did directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly with their films. What qualifies as a gross out comedy film is whether there are scenes and sequences involving characters who vomit, refer to excrement, or have any other inclusion of awkward and/or visually unsettling activities or functions involving various body parts or the natural reactions to visualizing these functions. Generally, if a comedy film makes you sick or repulsed it’s probably a gross-out comedy. There has been a market for these types of films for decades. Unfortunately, many of these films are not known for presenting meaningful content meant to inspire or enlighten. Instead, much like with the horror film genre, the entertainment value of these films is purely based on how much it can shock its audience. Assholes is clearly the newest entry into this group.

Adah Shapiro (Betsey Brown) and Aaron Mark (Jack Dunphy) meet and discover they have similar interests – namely their preferences toward unsavory fetishes and their knack for being obnoxious. They celebrate their new bond by sharing a bong, infecting each other with progressive lip herpes. They spend much of their free time fornicating in a number of creative and unsettling ways, and they show their affection to each other while defecating on matching toilets. After inhaling a substance called Charge, they become overstimulated and decide to roam Times Square, spitting on pedestrians, causing outlandish scenes, and creating disturbances with the vendors. After wandering a few blocks, the pair head in to an AMC theatre, then into a nearby mall, causing  additional unwelcome chaos. Adah’s brother, Adam Shapiro (Peter Vack), and parents Anne (Jane Brown) and Anthony (Ron Brown), attempt to stage an intervention but are clearly unsuccessful. Patrick (Patrick Labella), the family therapist, is equally as ineffective in his treatment of them. Halfway through the film, Adah defecates a demon in the form of a mucky elderly woman, whom they name Mephy (Eileen Dietz), which is short for Mephistopheles. All of this chaos eventually leads the pair to literally transform into assholes.

Assholes is directed by Peter Vack. This is Vack’s first feature film as a director, as he has mainly been an actor in nearly fifty films to date. His latest film attempts to be witty, perhaps even irreverent (to the extent of a John Waters film), but it fails miserably and rather translates into an annoying and obnoxious experience.

Other than as an aid to ruin a marriage, relationship, or friendship, or to become an entertainment centerpiece for a keg party, this film should probably never be viewed. Go try watching something else.

Assholes is streaming now on the following services:
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Guest Contributors consist of writers not currently on-staff and are currently under evaluation. Movie Reelist staff writers have shown the ability to cultivate a dedicated readership through a unique voice and social strategy. If you fit this description and would like to be considered, please reach out through the contact link located at the bottom of this page.

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