Review: 'The Misandrists' a low-brow sexual-political romp

Director Bruce LaBruce takes aim at the patriarchy in this crass comic commentary

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

Picture "The Beguiled," but if the wounded soldier had been brought into a radical, militant separatist group that aimed to spread its anti-male messaging through hardcore lesbian pornography. Then you'd have Bruce LaBruce's "The Misandrists."  

Til Schindler and Kita Updike star in "The Misandrists."

This campy romp carries on the spirit of puke auteurs like John Waters who serve to needle the establishment and thumb their noses at convention, all in the name of a titillating chuckle. "The Misandrists" isn't particularly well acted or well plotted, but that's beside the point. It's trash-art shock-satire that serves to glorify its own outrageousness, and those looking beyond that outrageousness need not apply. 

It's Germany -- identified as Ger(wo)many -- in 1999. In the countryside, two students, Isolde (Kita Updike) and Hilde (Olivia Kundisch), come across Volker (Til Schindler), who is on the run from police. Volker is hurt, so Isolde and Hilde bring him back to their school, which is, in fact, the headquarters of the Female Liberation Army, where their headmistress Big Mother (a delicious Susanne Sachsse) strictly prohibits any contact or canoodling with males. They stash him in the basement and keep his presence a secret. 

Meanwhile, the FLA is charging forward with their plan to topple the patriarchy, which they'll fund through the sale of homemade pornography. Conflict arises when one of the liberators is outed as transgender, which upsets the ruling order and threatens the group's sexual-political power balance. 

"The Misandrists" is a bad taste manifesto with an extreme feminist agenda. You're either in on the joke -- and that joke includes graphic scenes of XXX gay porn and genital surgery, it should be noted -- or it's not for you.

(313) 222-2284


'The Misandrists'


Not rated: Extremely graphic sex and scenes of genital mutilation