John Waters, the self-proclaimed king of bad taste, filmed a 300-pound cross-dresser named Divine eating dog doo for Pink Flamingos and gave Selma Blair huge breasts to play the stripper Ursula Udders in A Dirty Shame. To Waters, those are in "good" bad taste. So what would the tyrant of tastelessness consider in "bad" bad taste? Meet Joe Christ.
Christ is likewise a sultan of sick humor whose short film credits include writing, directing, acting, narrating, scoring and editing works such as Communion in Room 410, which shows a goth girl slicing her arm with an X-ACTO blade so another woman could drink her blood (both actions were real, not faked), and Sex, Blood & Mutilation, a "shockumentary" about body modification that goes beyond piercings into full castration (again, real).
Christ's film career started in Dallas, where he lived from 1983 to 1990, playing in bands such as Joe Christ and the Healing Faith and stirring up publicity by interrupting a 20th anniversary commemoration of the Kennedy assassination with his band's own re-creation and unofficially running for Texas governor in 1985. He moved to New York and continued making short films such as Acid is Groovy...Kill the Pigs and Amy Strangled a Small Child.
Christ returns to Dallas this week with a new film in hand--the feature-length That's Just Wrong!. He directs and stars in it but was otherwise assisted by Dept. 13 Films. "It really looks slick compared to any of my earlier work," Christ says. "See, a lot of what my earlier work is known for is not just tasteless subject matter but the almost home movies-ish, low budget quality of it."
Despite the plot--Christ plays a stalker who moves into the home of his victim--That's Just Wrong! is tamer than previous works. "I have to say that I don't quite feel the need so much now to shock people like I did when I was first starting out," he says. "But I still like to disturb people to the point where they're thinking about what they saw for a good time after they're finished seeing it." He clarifies: "Don't get me wrong: There's plenty of silliness and gross humor and complete tastelessness."