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Totally F***ed Up [1994] [DVD]

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Product details

  • Directors: Gregg Araki
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Millivres
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Nov 2004
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000621PAG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,888 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Greg Araki's hard-hitting film about six gay teenagers trying to keep it together in the face of AIDS, homophobia, gaybashing and infidelity. The friends rely on each other for support, sex, drugs and artificical insemination.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Son of Nietzsche on 1 May 2006
Format: DVD
I'm a huge fan of Gregg Araki's work (The Living End, Mysterious Skin) but freely acknowledge that it is not for everyone. The brief Amazon synopsis has the potential to mislead, since it describes this film as 'the tale of six gay teenagers in LA'. This is not a 'Broken Hearts Club' or a gay 'Sex and the City'; it's not even a teen angst coming-out movie. Rather, it is a bleak portrayal of the disenfranchisement of an unwanted generation. 'Totally F***ed Up' is actually the third in a trilogy (The Doom Generation, Nowhere) in which Gregg Araki is highlighting the nihilism and decline of American youth. Each of the trilogy can be viewed as a stand-alone film, since there is no continuation of characters or storylines; the commonality comes from the exploration of the central themes: ostracism from society, HIV, homophobia, persecution, suicide and despair.

'Totally F***ed Up' is the most mainstream of this trilogy. There is the usual eye-catching assortment of characters roaming around in the background: crazy homeless women, BDSM couples, etc. but it is certainly less surreal than, say, Nowhere. The film takes the form of '15 random celluloid fragments' in the day-to-day lives of six gay teenagers, interspersed with occasional messages to the viewer ("Can this world really be as sad as it seems?"). It is filmed in part documentary-style - one character interviews the others about their feelings regarding society, love, sex etc, because he wants to "show the way things really are"). In between these interviews we observe aspects of their daily lives: taking drugs, anonymous sexual encounters, homophobic attacks, infidelity, fights with the family. Hence this is not a fictional story, but a caustic portrayal of reality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Clare on 24 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Totally F***ed Up" is not a movie for everyone, and rather for those who are interested in an insightful yet jarring personal analysis of the disenfranchisement of our youth. In fact, I suspect that many a young man and women will witness with this movie to the point of empathy, as it angst will reflect and mimic their own. Fraught with teenage anxiety and fear, the movie jars the senses forcing one to see the damage inflicted upon our young men and women, by a society either unwilling or incapable of intervening on their behalf. Despite its original date of 1993/4, the story has lost none of its relevance, especially after 2010 having seen an unprecedented number of gay young men and women committing suicide. Whilst suicide is not a central theme to the story, it opens and ends with such, almost as if the message of consequence needs to be re-emphasised for the audience. We are after all beneficiaries of such consequence, if not participants through our apathy and omissions.

Greg Araki can be described as a modern seer for this genre, and his movies (of which there are several) have become somewhat prophetic and revealing. His call to action which loudly pronounces itself throughout this film, is a pronouncement that if nothing is done to save this generation, then we are all nothing more than purveyors of its destruction. Indeed "Totally F***ed Up" shows a generation in decline, caught up in a pervasive nihilism that rejects the normative 'order', finding identity in their peers and temporary fixation with carnal gratification. Sex is tool, used in the manipulation of others, and the mere satisfaction of self.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
i love this film. i had it on vhs and watched it at least once a week all through my late teens, something in it or about it really got to me, it's pretty raw and thats not somethiing you saw in alot of films back then.
the one really sad thing about the dvd copy is that it isn't the best quality, infact i'd say my old VHS copy, even after all the plays it's had, still has better image quality. I really hope Gregg Araki takes on a re-master of this like he did with The Living End
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ben Whitehouse VINE VOICE on 6 Mar 2008
Format: DVD
What a stinker! Badly made, badly written, badly acted. A shocker but not in a good way!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Seeds of Gregg Araki's Genius 18 Nov 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: DVD
Tracing the progress of innovative filmmakers is a pleasure for movie buffs. Gregg Araki developed a unique voice in film in the early 1990s (this film dates back to 1993), a voice that maintained a sense of immediacy with his actors who he directed with his hand held camera in a manner that gave the illusion that the 'script' was extemporaneous. Careful not to assign controversial roles to inadequate talent, Araki gathered a group of young actors and pulled the very best from them. Many of these early actors still maintain presence in Araki's prolific flow of films.

As is so often the case with Araki's stories, TOTALLY F***ED UP deals with gay sensibilities in a way that displays the entire spectrum of positive and negative response to his characters. He does not preach: he simply voyeuristically reveals lifestyles as though he were a hidden personage who just happened to fall into private moments and turbulent emotions. In this film Araki divides the examination of six teenage gay kids (four boys and two girls) into 15 dialogues, each representing an aspect of what faces his characters and how they cope with being on the fringe. The 15 episodes are related because the characters remain the same and it is this unique manner of making his story that has continued to be a trait of Araki's later, more linear films.

We meet each of the six characters in an interview situation, with only the minimal amount dialogue conveying the maximum amount of information. The primary character is Andy (a superlative James Duval) whose view of life is bleak to say the least: Andy doesn't believe in love, in commitment, believes he is bisexual even though he has never stepped out of his same-sex playing out, grows to depend on his friends, falls in love with a sweet talking fellow Ian (Alan Boyce) only to discover Ian is not at all monogamous, and finally feels the pain of heartbreak and makes a decision about life that ends the film. The other characters include Michele (Susan Behshid) and Patricia (Jenee Gill) who are lesbian lovers and stable figures for the boys, desiring to have children and a wholesome life without the need for male penetration!; Steven (Gilbert Luna) and Deric (Lance May) who are coupled but come apart when Steven has an affair and Deric is gay-bashed; and Tommy (Roko Belic), the one who falls in love too easily with every one night stand he has.

The episodes deal with the characters' sexual attitudes, AIDS, life on the streets, drugs, parental alienation, loneliness, abuse, suicide, and the desperate need for extended family. With Araki's technique we come to care strongly for each of these disparate kids: by the end of the film they feel like close personal friends of ours.

The filming technique is choppy and slips out of focus and seems to idle like a malfunctioning engine at times, but in Araki's sensitive hands these aspects add to the tension of the story. Clearly Gregg Araki is a gifted artist, and his films subsequent to this successful one serve to prove his growth and increased power of heart to heart communication. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 05
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Love Duval 29 Sep 2005
By Jose A. Plaza Ferra - Published on
Format: DVD
Another crazy, sexy and funny movie from the terrible Araki. The only thing that was not really good about the DVD is that it doesn't have any subtitles. You can enter the mind of these youths and take a look at the homosexual feelings they share..the first love, sex and commitmment. And James Duval is adorable!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What A Movie 29 Mar 2009
By Gregory P. Washington - Published on
Format: DVD
This is a very provocative look at gay teens in America. It is very detailed and to the point but reflects reality to a degree for many. If anyone has a negative preconception of gay teens, this just may change minds and hopefully atitude.. Great movie.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Totally Bored 7 Feb 2009
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Format: DVD
Totally [title censored for amazon consumption] Up (Gregg Araki, 1993)

What gets me about Gregg Araki's movies is that same thing that gets me about a lot of movies that the world seems to embrace with such fervor: the shallowness of the emotions therein. (Most recently, viz. Twilight.) James Duval's low-rent-Keanu-Reeves shtick is a lot of fun for, roughly, ten minutes, but the one-note delivery gets really old really quickly. That his part is written that way makes it no less tedious to watch.

Duval plays Andy, the central character of an ensemble cast that explores the gay dating scene in the early nineties. Amusingly, while Duval is the only cast member who has gone onto notable success, he's probably the actor who stands out least here; everyone else around him is more interesting and more vibrant, despite everyone affecting a world-weary attitude that Araki's script takes pains to ensure we understand they don't really feel (though the actors never really get across the subtleties inherent in playing such a role in such a way). Either the film's many thousands of fans simply ignore the emotional disconnect of the film, don't understand that an emotional disconnect exists, or both; I don't see how it's avoidable. Worse, when the movie does attempt to connect with the audience on an emotional level, it devolves into mawkishness and melodrama, especially in the painfully over-the-top climax.

To be fair, in hindsight, Araki did get better; The Doom Generation is miles better than this (and much of that has to do with Duval, whose character there actually has some sort of animation). This is worth sitting through if you were part of the scene at the time (perhaps; I was, and I didn't find it so) and/or you're a fan of The Doom Generation, to which this serves as a sort-of prequel; otherwise, it's safely avoidable. **
Better Than Some of Araki's Other Films 2 Nov 2013
By Sierra Teran - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
I recently rewatched this movie, and I do have to say first off, Gregg Araki's movies are not for everyone. They all are a bit strange. To me, Totally F ed Up is one of his better films. To me, this has some plot line to it, as in comparison to The Doom Generation (don't get me wrong I do love that movie but it's random.) I don't want to be biased here, so I will point out some cons first. The flashing numbers/titles through out the film were a bit distracting and did confuse me a bit. And the end happened so quickly. Yes, James Duval's character Andy was cynical, and a bit sad throughout the movie but I didn't expect that to happen. I was yelling "NO" at my TV screen. This movie was good, but sad. I do love James Duval, and I enjoy that Araki uses some of the same actors throughout his films. However, it's a bit sad that horrible things always happen to Duval's characters, he's quite a good actor and adorable. (Especially in this movie.)
But on another note, if you liked this and you've never seen other Araki films watch Splendor and The Living End next, to me those have good story lines/plots to them. Then I'd say try The Doom Generation and Nowhere if you also liked those. And I'm saying watch Mysterious Skin last because to me that is my most favorite out of all the movies he directed, and has the best story line. It was based off a book, and was not entirely his own creation so I'm saying watch this last so you don't have too high of expectations for the other films.
I'm not great at explaining things, but I hope this helps a bit!
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