Bruce La Bruce … The Hairdresser
Klaus von Buecker … The Skinhead
LaBruce’s seminal first feature is a low-rent semi-remake of Robert Altman’s That Cold Day in the Park, with LaBruce himself taking the Sandy Dennis role (you can make the comparison yourself when we screen the original this season as part of our Altman retrospective). A punk hairdresser with a skinhead fetish (LaBruce) encounters a handsome, troubled young skinhead sitting on a park bench and manages to lure him back to his apartment, strip him naked and draw him a bath filled with Mr. Bubble. In what would become the basic LaBrucian template, explicit sex and offbeat comedy intertwine with radical politics, here espoused by the skinhead’s sister — played by G.B. Jones, co-founder of LaBruce’s fanzine J.D.s and an original member of punk legends Fifth Column — who is shooting a movie within the movie titled Girls in the SLA (a reference to the notorious 1970s left-wing terrorist group the Symbionese Liberation Army). Shot on grainy Super 8 blown up to 16mm, with LaBruce’s exaggeratedly emotive voiceover scoring the action, No Skin Off My Ass is “sweeter than Warhol, subtler than Kuchar, sexually more explicit than Van Sant” (Amy Taubin, The Village Voice).