The Doom Generation

"A heterosexual film by Gregg Araki" according to the credits – an in-joke aimed at a former producer who teased Araki about how gay people hated his queer punk movies so he'd be better off making a straight one instead. And even then, as Araki says himself, the film is extremely gay – with very long smouldering shots between the two male leads, who flirt far more with each other than with Rose McGowan. The campy sensibility may be what saves the film from otherwise being a prurient exploration of nihilistic 90s teenagerdom. The outrageous set design, cartoony violence and deadpan humour add a lightness to the film's tone, which otherwise would make the whole thing rather gruesome and unpleasant to watch.

Araki doesn't want to go into the details of what inspired the film when he reflects on it all these years later. He calls it his Nine Inch Nails movie, made in the aftermath of the anger and anguish caused by the AIDS crisis, which created a "warzone" mentality where you didn't know which of your friends would die next. Araki drove his location scout crazy trying to find suitably apocalyptic places in which to shoot. The Doom Generation works within the couple-on-the-run genre (Bonnie and ClydeBadlands) where the rejection of social mores creates its own kind of twisted celebrity. But in Araki's film, the people around the lovers are probably more bloodthirsty and deranged than the lovers themselves. There's hardly any notoriety to be gained when the entire world is spinning off its axis.

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