Which was my response when I first watched this movie, in fact, when I first got this movie from “Vinegar Syndrome” and watched it, it kind of pissed me off, it was everything I hated in a movie, pretentious, trying to be weird, trying to be different, trying to be funny etc. Then after it ended at an hour and three minutes, my mind started to meditate on what I watched, the movie wasn’t long, to make the “Short (S)hit” list it has to be under a hour ten minutes, to me that is a short film, after the hour ten minute mark its a feature. Then an hour later I was still thinking about the movie, Cornshukker’s nasally refrain “I know” to any person who visited his sparse and rustic abode started to make me chuckle, then I meditated on the Cornshukker, a ghostly figure from folklore made up by the director/writer Brando Snider off of a painting he made, the Cornshukker is supposed to be a cryptid/nature spirit who lives on corn whose natural habitat is being in infringed upon by civilization. The Cornshukker’s skin is pale, he has no hair, black lipstick and eyeliner and wears a ill fitting suit with a wide tie, in other words he is a mopey 90’s goth kid.
He mainly communicates through telepathy and when he does this his head stretches and morphs via cheap 1990’s in camera digital effects, crawdads invade his property and make loud noises in his head so he smashes them bloodily in the carpet, and various visitors like a girl scout cookie seller, prancing flute player, traveling dead heads, a make up saleswoman, a crazy pastor, a drunk pizza delivery guy from “Smegma Pizza”, a Mexican Senorita, a bigoted person in a creepy old man mask etc. come to Cornshukker’s shack and almost all of them with weird lines they read stilted. If you got this far reading this your probably muttering or yelling in a anger “WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK”. That was my initial reaction but I watched it again, the Cornshukker is a movie that is dream like, the weird visitors the Cornshukker seem to me to be from some other dimension, I mean this was filmed in the Mid West so that would probably explain a lot of this vibe. The soundtrack is a whole other thing, the music is mainly ghostly lo fi country, something that one would hear on some radio signal from the ghost world, the segments and the “logic” in this short film drift on seas of the abstract. When (SPOILER AHEAD) Cornshukker kills the bigoted old man, a young guy in a weird old man mask, with a shovel, Jesus Penis’ “I Left My Body” industrial track drifts in, now this track sounded familiar to me, I had to search my memory banks, some burned out from all the substances I’d done in the past and some overloaded with underground pop culture effluvia, in the credits under the “soundtrack heading” the name “Bureaucracy of Hope” and a address to the record company popped up then I remembered the shitty, shot on video movie that tried to rip off “Necromantic”, the movie “Ghorewhore” and its industrial soundtrack which was the whole compilation album “The Bureaucracy of Hope” the title “Elephants Force-Fed on Stale Chalk” (which I will post on my bitchute channel and do a review of sometime), on that album is Jesus Penis’ ghostly “I Left My Body”, it gives the murder scene a nightmare quality. A hour and three minutes for a movie like this is perfect if the “Cornshukker” had lasted longer I would’ve literally “shukked” this film onto amazon or ebay. It has drawn comparisons to “Eraserhead” but “Eraserhead” it is not, both are black and white but that is where the similarities end, “Eraserhead” builds tension, a nightmare atmosphere of barely comprehended fear, you can feel “Eraserhead” vibrating in your bones, “Cornshukker” doesn’t mess with any of that, it bashes you over the head with its weirdness, some people will retaliate in anger and some will go down unconscious and happy, at first I was the former but now I am the latter. “Cornshukker” took some time getting used to, if you aren’t patient you will not like this film.
“Cornshukker” was made on a six thousand dollar budget, Brando Snider, the director decided to make this movie after he watched Robert Rodriguez’s “El Mariachi”, a precursor to his later bigger budgeted movie, “Desperado”. When Brando found out that Rob made his movie for as little as seven thousand dollars, he knew he could make a movie on his own. He said two thousand dollars went to the director of photography, Jim Tipperman, one thousand dollars went for film, and one thousand dollars to process it, he had no money at the end of it. He had to take out a loan through the Greenfield Banking Company, the loan officer who gave him his loan, Judy Gable, was in the movie she is one of the people in the (SPOILED MEAT AHEAD) torch and pitchfork ending. The mob with the pitchforks and torches at the end were people they asked in the local Fortville pub to play the crowd, so twenty to thirty drunk people showed up with pitchforks and torches. The police were actually called because they thought the film crew was a satanic cult, Brando’s mom and grandma tried talking to the police but were told to shut the fuck up at shotgun point, when Brando showed them he had permits to film they dropped the guns and said into the radio “Film Crew” and left like nothing happened. For the character of “Cornshukker” Brando almost got a professional actor to play the character and he found the perfect guy, tall, lanky and skinny, the only problem was the actor had long hair and the “Cornshukker” has a completely shaved head, and the actor wouldn’t shave his head, so Brando hired his brother Jason who shaved his head and in my opinion, is the “Cornshukker” nobody else could’ve played him, most of the cast of “Cornshukker” is family and friends. The only two professional actors in the movie was David Briggs who played the Reverend Lewd and Jack Rooney who played the ranger/cop. The acting of the non actors in this reminded me a lot of “Gummo”, Harmony Korine, the director of “Gummo” used some actors in his movie but shot actual people in their surroundings, this is called “Cinema Verite”, an almost documentary style of capturing moments on film. When Brando was filming out in public with the Cornshukker people would drive by and yell “Powder!” Which was a lamestream movie that came out back around when he shot his movie and it pissed him off because he thought his character was nothing like “Powder”. He did post production in a place that let him pay off the post production cost by shrink wrapping tapes which took six months, they allowed him two hours to edit his movie, an older guy, David Lister, helped him edit the movie, he said Lister was an ex hippie who loved “Cornshukker”. After the film was finished VHS copies were made and distributed they sent a copy to Sundance Film Festival but were turned down, they sold the VHS at twenty bucks a tape through various channels and for the longest time this movie was hard to find until its Blu Ray release. Along with Vinegar Syndrome this was put out in partnership with VHShitfest, a company that specializes in releasing little seen movies.
So do you want to get “shukked” well go here and pick up that “corn” before the whole field disappears: https://vinegarsyndrome.com/products/the-cornshukker-vhshitfest
Go luck, mothershukkers.