A hairdresser (Bruce La Bruce) stumbles on a skinhead (Klaus von Buecker) in a park. The skin obivously isn’t doing too well and the hairdresser has a thing for skinheads (their style and look, not their political stance), so it’s in both their interest when the hairdresser invites the skin home. But the question is whether there will become more of their relationship.
No Skin Off My Ass is a charming and frankly just extremely funny film. Pretty much all of it is very tongue in cheek, with a little provocation thrown into the mix. I enjoyed it a lot.
Of course there is something inherently transgressive in looking at Skinheads (homo-)sexually: skinheads chose their looks in reference and reverence to Nazis, who famously put homosexuals in concentration camps and killed them. The look is meant to inspire fear in homosexuals (and other minorities), it is not meant to give them an erection. By the hairdresser’s reading the skinhead look as (sexually attractive) fashion and not a political statement, said politics are completely dismantled, especially since the skinhead gives into the hairdresser’s desire and feels it, too. With that the film shows an excellent subversion tactic that leaves skinheads – should they happen to watch it – not really many defense strategies.
But for me, the subversion actually took a backseat to the wonderful sense of humor of the film that had me laughing out loud several times. Starting with the general set-up and ending with the hilarious sex scene at the end (and many, many other scenes in between) there were many delicious moments in it, though none as delicious as the montage of photos of Skinheads, with the camera panning over them in almost a slow caress, over and over, while “My Favorite Things” (yes, from Sound of Music) is playing. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.
The music was generally really cool, even though personally I don’t really care for punk music. But it fit the general punk attitude of the film very well, that was frank, open, not too serious but not unpolitical and very much in your face.
It probably wouldn’t have hurt the film if it had a little more budget, especially for the technical stuff. But I thought that La Bruce’ decision to deal with the problem head-on, at least when it came to sounddesign, and just re-dub everything obviously out of sync with the images, managed to be charming rather than irritating. And I suspect that with more money, the film wouldn’t have been made in all its cheeky glory. And that would have been a shame.