Sean Baker’s Red Rocket (aka ‘Dog Erection’) teeters on the line between mostly legitimate film festival-smarthouse cinema and relentlessly depraved and disgusting sociopath-porn.

“It’s ‘good’ in the sense that Baker isn’t afraid to show his lead character, Simon Rex‘s “Mikey Saber”, dive into gross and reprehensible behavior but most of the supporting players besides. We’re talking bottom-of-the-barrel Texas trash here. Nor does Baker feel obliged to deliver some form of moral redemption for Mikey, which I respect. Yes, Baker occasionally delivers slick chops and whatnot, and yes, Mikey has a sizable horse schlong (even when flaccid), but the scuzz factor in this film is REALLY rank. It was not a pleasant sit, but that’s the point, I realize.

“The Galaxy crowd totally hated it — a quick shattering of applause and then silence and hasty exits.” — posted from the Telluride Film Festival on 9.4.21.

The “naked Mikey wearing a huge red donut” poster is much more audience-friendly than any stand-out aspect of the film, although I should offer side props to Susanna Son, who makes an impression as “Strawberry,” Mikey’s gullible, up-for-anything girlfriend.