Hair High Is All Spray and No Style
Looking forward to writing a glowing review, I sit at my computer, stare at the screen, and think “this ain’t gonna be it.” Hair High is 78 minutes of disgusting images and gross jokes that are occasionally punctuated by funny moments. Those moments, alas, are few.
Bill Plympton’s animated film is highlighted by someone coughing up his intestines, someone else reaching his arm deep into his nose and pulling out…well, you know, and lots of it, and yet another dude torturing a willing victim who thinks it’s fun to have his fingernail ripped off. Plympton has created beautiful landscapes peopled by unattractive characters (voiced by a surprising array of well-known actors and illustrators).
Without a doubt, there are people who are going to find Hair High hysterically funny. Those are the same people who find Beavis and Butthead and South Park to be the ultimate in sophisticated comedy. Sophisticated? No. Sophomoric? Yes.
The plot is simple. The new boy in town meets the most popular girl in high school (the Prom Queen) who happens to be the quarterback’s girlfriend. It’s hate at first sight; then they fall in love after experiencing excruciatingly predictable situations. On Prom Night, the quarterback (and King of the Prom) forces them off a mountain road into a lake where they take their time drowning. Skeletonized, they show up at the next prom, much to everyone’s horror. Anyone who has seen Carrie knows how a prom-gone-wrong movie should play out. Maybe Plympton hasn’t seen Carrie.
Ya’ know how a joke isn’t funny at all when—early on—you’ve guessed the punchline? In Hair High, there’s no guessing involved—without thinking, you know every punchline. So much of the humor is based on crude sexual references and nauseating visuals that viewers don’t get a chance to appreciate the witty and intelligent because they are overwhelmed by the juvenile. In fact, the audience that would most appreciate Hair High is one that shouldn’t be allowed to watch it.
DVD release: November 30, 2010