The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

If you can only see one film this year about guys who skateboard on icy concrete with one arm in a sling, air their testicles out in open windows after slathering them in Extra Strength Ben-Gay, staple their nipples, throw dead mice at flamboyant peers' heads, and eat Hostess brownies out of toilets, then it might as well be You Can't Spell "Slaughter" Without "Laughter," Animals With Technology's feature-length paean to CKY and Jackass' self-destructive brand of docu-comedy.

Hosted by mustached suburban socialite Cornelius Mansbee (played by producer/director Aaron Hatch, whom some of you may know as the scribe for Something Like Tripe nee The Marked Fool), Slaughter anthologizes the irresponsible exploits of Hatch and select dorm floormates at Fordham University during the 2003-2004 school year. Also included is footage shot at Hatch's home in Connecticut.

The presentation doesn't stray far from CKY and Jackass: one shenanigan after another, a few Candid Camera set-ups that draw unwitting bystanders in for reaction shots, and plenty of male nudity (Hatch in particular loves to expose himself).

Highlights of the film include:

"Duel Somersaults"
Hatch and floormate Elliot Storey form a human wheel and "duel somersault" through the hallway of their dorm floor and down a flight of stairs. Then they head to Manhattan and duel somersault out of a New York City subway car, across a busy Manhattan street and down an escalator inside the Toys R Us store in Times Square.

"The Griptape Job"
Hatch scrapes his bare ass across a strip of griptape (a heavy abrasive material similar to sandpaper) and then douses it with salt and vinegar. After the stunt, Hatch looks down at white residue on the griptape and proclaims "oh that was my ass!"

"Loins Ablaze"
Hatch drops trou and squats over a small lit stick of dynamite in an attempt to blow up his guiche.

The best sequences involve Hatch and his 14-year-old brother Austin. Bam Margera subjects his parents to his antics; Hatch tortures his brother.

In "Banana Blow Job," Hatch awakens his sleeping brother by using a banana to simulate a forced blow job. Austin's reaction is priceless.

In "The Urination Coronation," Hatch barges into a bathroom after Austin just finished showering and pours a pot full of urine on him. Once again, Austin's reaction makes the bit, from his dread of the contents of the pot to his hilariously angry declaration of "it's not just yellow water!"

What goes around comes around, however. Austin disguises a taser as a cell phone and pretends to talk on the phone outdoors. Hatch approaches his brother and says in a disgrunted voice, "Hurry up, dude, we have to go." Austin finishes up his "phone call" and then Hatch says, "I thought you got a new phone. Why's that thing so fuckin' huge?" to which Austin responds, "It's not a phone," and sticks the taser into Hatch's neck.

Ahhh… Brotherly love.

Not all of the segments succeed. Hatch's attempt at "celebrity sightings" (as seen on Leno and Letterman) fails to draw much laughter, and costumed aerobics and acrobatics in Central Park can grow tedious. But these are minor complaints.

Chubba chubba chubba chubba chubba chubba chubba
I don't have any lines to go right here so…
Chubba chubba chubba

Hatch often appears in the film curled up in the fetal position on the ground in pain. The motivation for his (as well as the rest of the Animals') reckless abandon is unclear. Proper spelling, grammar and punctuation in his writing suggests that Hatch is fairly intelligent, so it can't be pure idiocy. Is it masochism? Boredom? What's the point of doing all this?

Many directors claim to make movies that they'd want to see. Hatch likes to watch the CKY videos, and thus, I think, he suffers for his art.

To purchase a copy of You Can't Spell "Slaughter" Without "Laughter," e-mail your name and address to hatch@fordham.edu.

windows media
trailer (doesn't do the film justice)
"get those wrinkles out"
"kool-aid shower"

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