'Grossest movie ever made' sparks mass walkout at Sundance

New movie <i>Kuso</i> has caused controversy at Sundance. Photo: YouTube
New movie Kuso has caused controversy at Sundance. Photo: YouTube
Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, at last year's Grammy Awards. Photo: Jason Merritt

Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, at last year's Grammy Awards. Photo: Jason Merritt

As far as movie poster critic quotes go, "grossest movie ever made" should eagerly entice a certain set of filmgoers.

Kuso, the controversial directorial debut of hip-hop producer Flying Lotus (real name Steven Ellison), reportedly sparked mass walkouts at a press screening at the Sundance Film Festival, currently being held in Park City, Utah.

According to reports from trade publication Variety, audience members began walking out after just "10 minutes of boil-bursting, pus-oozing revulsion."

In an instantly viral review, The Verge critic Chris Plante called the film "the grossest movie ever made" and detailed scenes of  "a woman chewing on concrete until her teeth disintegrated", "a man having sex with a talking boil", "abortion sight-gags" (yes, that's plural), and a doctor (played by septuagenarian funk freak George Clinton) who keeps a "toddler-sized cockroach" housed in his anus.

"Some gross-out films are one-note, but Kuso finds new ways to test viewers' fortitude," Plante wrote.

Sounding like it was made by an Altman raised on internet snuff gore, the film reportedly follows the semi-connected stories of men, women and children in a dystopian Los Angeles, variously mutated in the aftermath of "the earthquake to end all earthquakes".

Among its cast are comedians Hannibal Buress and Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric), and actor Anders Holm (Workaholics).

In an evocative description, Ellison – who cited Chilean avant garde hero Alejandro Jodorowsky and Japanese shock master Takashi Miike as inspirations – compared the film to "that feeling when you know you made a glorious poo and low key wanna show it off".

He also replied to the hoopla on Twitter, saying media reports have been somewhat exaggerated.

"It was only like 20 people out of like 400 who walked out. Wasn't as dramatic as they make it out to be. I tried to warn folks," Ellison wrote.

"I don't think it's that crazy tbh," he added. "It's just a tame climate these days, in film."

Unlike much of Sundance's fodder, the film – which is yet to receive a cinematic release date – probably won't be the subject of a Harvey Weinstein prestige bidding war (although who knows, he has been involved in a lot of Jay & Silent Bob films).

Audience walkouts are not uncommon at Sundance - perhaps since many are there as much for celebrity skiing and schmoozing as the movies.

In 2015, Canadian auteur Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room reportedly saw 1/3 of its audience flee from its impenetrable (and admittedly hilarious) scratchy film stock and deadpan flapjacks gags.

Daniel Radcliffe's notorious "farting corpse" movie Swiss Army Man had a similar reception last January, with one attendee counting "at least 30 walkouts within the first 30 minutes". It went on to win the festival's Directing Prize and was a sold-out favourite at last year's Sydney Film Festival.

This story 'Grossest movie ever made' sparks mass walkout at Sundance first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.