ab’s review published on Letterboxd:
If one word could describe Gummo, it would be ugly.
Gummo is so horrifying, disgusting and sickening that you'll want to take a shower for at least an hour before you return back to the TV screen, and that's not a bad thing.
Gummo is more than mere sickening imagery. In fact it is less than that. It is just something that's just completely... anti...
Anti film, anti art, anti everything. Gummo is the antithesis of life itself. We humans love to look at things that are pretty, but what Gummo offers is a completely new perspective. It offers a completely new world view. It shows us the ugly side of humanity. And it works beautifully.
Stark, raw images slather the screen in a chaotic mess of dirt, grime and hate. Gummo is a very hateful film.
I think the best way to sum up Gummo is to imagine The Tree of Life and distort everything until it's the complete opposite. Then you have Gummo. In fact, the film is indescribable. It has a mind of its own. It's whatever it wants to be. The whole idea of it is just chaotic. And that's what makes it so interesting.
Gummo is so anti it becomes art, which in turn is what it isn't, and so the whole thing spirals out of control. I don't think you can ever fully get Gummo, and that's what's so great about it.