The Taint (2010) – By Emily Intravia

Within its opening five minutes, The Taint puts on prominent display just about every form of liquid that could potentially be emitted from a man: urine, defecation, semen, blood, and vomit. I’m guessing there’s a deleted scene that includes phlegm and earwax.
 
The Taint is, to put it mildly, an aggressive film, one eager to shock, disgust, and offend. Depending on your level of taste or manners, it may succeed at all these things. If on the other hand, your sense of humor is South Park ready, then The Taint is a surprisingly smart—but still very gross—genre treat. 
 
After the aforementioned body fluid attack, we learn that this ‘taint’ refers to the contaminated water supply  driving all the males in town to chase, rape, and brutally kill any woman in sight. Our plucky protagonists are Misandra (Colleen Walsh), a formidable survivalist and Phil (co-director and writer Drew Bolduc), a slacker high schooler with luck on his side and a permanent look of ‘duh’ on his face. Together, the pair faces murderous males and mad scientists, telling their own oddly humorous backstories along the way.
 
In no way is The Taint a film fit for general audiences. Considering some of the funniest jokes involve gang rape and abortion, it’s probably not fit for MOST audiences. But horror comedy fans with strong stomachs who know what they’re getting into might actually find it as hilarious as they do intelligent.
 
Less about scares than laughs, The Taint is almost deceptively clever in its writing and style. Bolduc’s script isn’t afraid to make its characters SOUND stupid in ways that betray the hidden brain behind the camera. There’s a hint of Idiocracy-like humor in how shallow characters toss around lines like “People who aren’t in love are gay” or “Look! A girl. Let’s gang rape her.” It would be easy to roll our eyes at what feels like juvenile backyard movie making, but Bolduc and co-director Dan Nelson are actually, dare I say it, satirical in their toilet humor. Even the violence toes a fine line between gross and cartoonish, keeping head bashings and castration…well, light?
 
Horror is often accused of misogyny, sometimes rightly so. A movie like Neil LaBute’s Wicker Man remake is essentially a 100 minute excuse to show women at their worst and Nicolas Cage drop kicking them for it, but others, like Lucky McGee’s The Woman or 2009’s brilliant Deadgirl, bravely explore chauvinism with such fervor that viewers misinterpret it as sexism. With its opening shots of bare breasts, The Taint sets itself up as pure exploitation but then cleverly emerges as something far more ambitious.
 
Misogyny is the disease of the film, and our hero (as dumb as he may be) ultimately fights against it as if it were the devil. Yes, women are brutalized on camera, but after that opening tease, most of the nudity belongs to the men, and it’s their insecurities and inadequacies that generate the true laughs and horror.
 
The Taint is being distributed by Troma, a natural marriage that calls to mind their previous collaboration with Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Cannibal: The Musical. You can find the film’s official website at http://www.taintmovie.com.