Wednesday, November 17, 2004

This Corrosion

Posted By on Wed, Nov 17, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Oh my goth! Remember way back in the day when goth was still a mysterious, relatively obscure subculture, not the fodder of SNL skits and Jenny Jones episodes? Back before Hot Topic opened, you couldn’t buy pre-torn fishnet shirts and you had to walk 30 miles barefoot in the snow uphill to find a store that sold blue hair dye?

Sadly, those days are now far gone — even grandma knows what goth is, and half of the little whippersnappers running around with green lipstick and vinyl pants bought on mommy’s credit card don’t even know who the fuck Andrew Eldritch is — it’s a goddamn travesty.

This Corrosion is named after the famous goth anthem by the Sisters of Mercy (the gothest band ever, led by the aforementioned Eldritch, who vehemently denies being goth, which in fact makes him all the more gother — are you following all this?).

Native Detroit filmmaker Mitch McCabe has attempted to make a film that muses deeply on death through a bunch of goth kids frolicking in the forest on winter solstice — but it just comes off as SNL’s “Goth Talk” meets Blair Witch.

Farrah is a stone-cold wacko goth chick (gee, big surprise there) who’s just been released from the sanitarium and heads out to a party in the woods to celebrate the solstice and her 30th birthday. On the drive up she chugs from her vampire flask (one can only assume it’s filled with absinthe), chain smokes (and they’re not even cloves!) and comes across a mute woman in a wheelchair, whom she decides to hijack and drag along to the party (never question the logic of a stone-cold wacko goth chick).

With new friend in tow, Farrah arrives at the party to greet her old friends, all decked in varying degrees of whiteface, poorly applied eyeliner and capes. The fete is then crashed by the arrival of Troy (played by longtime MT writer Hobey Echlin) who hasn’t seen the group in several years; during that time he’s traveled the world and grown out of goth (adopting the far more mature raver look).

As the night progresses, Farrah’s mental state slowly unravels and her mysterious new mute friend becomes even more mysterious. Who is she? Is she real, or a figment of Farrah’s imagination? What is the point of life? Is death the ultimate beginning? Are you even still watching at this point?

The film does have some introspective moments; Farrah is on the cusp of 30 and haunted by visions of herself as a “normal” woman, with long flowing hair, and two children by her side. Furthermore, Troy — now a “normie” himself — encourages Farrah to take hold of her life and push forward; but even Troy, for all his normalcy, is just another fuckup who had to pay a cute little Japanese girl to accompany him to the party. The best part of the film comes when the Japanese girl, who speaks no English, bitches about all the goth kids to the mute woman. It’s a lighthearted and witty moment in a film that otherwise takes itself waaaay too seriously. Just like a goth kid.

Showing at the Roseville Theatre, (28325 Utica Rd., Roseville; 586-445-7810).

Sarah Klein is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail her at


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