Totally F***ed Up

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Totally F***ed Up
TFU Cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byGregg Araki
Produced byGregg Araki
Andrea Sperling
Written byGregg Araki
StarringJames Duval
Roko Belic
Susan Behshid
Jenee Gill
Gilbert Luna
Lance May
Music byMarston Daley (song)
Al Jourgensen (song)
Frank Nardiello (song)
CinematographyGregg Araki
Edited byGregg Araki
Distributed byStrand Releasing
Release date
  • August 19, 1994 (1994-08-19)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$101,071[1]

Totally F***ed Up (also known as Totally Fucked Up) is a 1993 American drama film written and directed by Gregg Araki. The first installment of Araki's Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy, it is considered a seminal entry in the New Queer Cinema genre.

The film chronicles the dysfunctional lives of six gay adolescents who have formed a family unit and struggle to get along with each other and with life in the face of various major obstacles. Araki classified it as "a rag-tag story of the fag-and-dyke teen underground....a kinda cross between avant-garde experimental cinema and a queer John Hughes flick." It premiered at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.[2]


The plot is concerned with six teenagers, four of whom are gay men, the other two a "traditional" lesbian couple. The plot is episodic, spliced with segments of other material and occasional tangents not central to the plot, but it mainly follows a linear structure. Araki has constructed the film in 15 parts, which is described in the opening titles.

The film details the lives and romances of the six characters, before ultimately culminating at a climax at which there is an epilogue-like reaction from five of the characters before the film ends and the blue font credits appear.



Araki has said they shot on 16mm film without permits and that the film had "virtually no crew" and that he operated the camera himself, accompanied by only a sound person and producer/PA, and the cast.[2]


The film makes extensive use of a handheld video camcorder, which one of the characters uses to provide insight into the lives of other characters through interview-like discussion. The technique became popular throughout the 1990s, evident also in such later films as Reality Bites (1994) American Beauty (1999) and The Blair Witch Project (1999).[3] Araki himself revisited the camcorder idea in his 1997 film Nowhere.

DVD release[edit]

The film was released on Region 1 DVD on June 28, 2005. The film also has a region 2 release in the UK and Germany. These releases feature a commentary track with Araki, Luna and Duval.

Year-end lists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Totally F***ed Up (1994) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 2021-03-19. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  2. ^ a b Hernandez, Eugene (1 July 2005). "5 Questions for Gregg Araki, Writer/Director of "Totally Fucked Up"". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  3. ^ Lukenbill, Mark (8 January 2020). "Totally Fucked Up". Screen Slate. Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  4. ^ Turan, Kenneth (December 25, 1994). "1994: YEAR IN REVIEW : No Weddings, No Lions, No Gumps". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2020.

External links[edit]