While Juggalos have gotten a bad wrap over the years because of violence and mischief associated with the group (they even made the FBI listing of violent groups in America), Scott Cummings’ experimental flick Buffalo Juggalos attempts to expose the lighter side, along with the destructive side of this subculture.
The film is dark with snapshots of Juggalo culture. It almost embraces the misunderstood and terrifying status this group has with the general public to a truly chilling result.
Composed with some stunning cinematography, framed and juxtaposed behind western New York’s sometime beautiful, sometimes Gothic backdrop, many of the scenes come across as a staged study of Juggalo culture in the wild.
Using an experimental method to tell a story, Cummings presents his audience with a new visceral way to learn a lot about a subculture. Scenes depict only actions, sometimes havoc, sometimes passive, and tell their own story without any unnecessary dialogue or intentional narratives.
Cummings, who studied experimental film at the State University of New York-Buffalo, made more of an art piece than a movie, but it works.
With the scenes involving a bunch of kids in clown face steering a chaotic car, it felt like watching a real life version of the Twisted Metal, but then you have to realize, this could be real life. And it’s terrifying!
There is no question that many of scenes in this film are staged, and yet it is effectively allows an audience to engage with a subculture that still remains a mystery to most.
When all is said and done, Cummings’ film expresses a sentiment that people who dress up as Juggalos are much more than fans of Insane Clown Posse, as they are more than just a statement about the loss of the American dream and a self-reflexive commentary on the utter absurdity of modern life. They are just people trying to live life free and comfortable as they are.