Titles by Tommy Turner

Rat Trap

1985, 11:49 min, color, sound, Super 8mm film on video

A no-holds-barred portrait of addiction, Rat Trap (made with Tessa Hughes-Freeland) is an unflinching portrayal of a junkie injecting heroin, intercut with footage of rodents being tortured and maimed, all underscored by a fiery guitar rock solo. The unabashedly confrontational work is not only an unforgettably visceral portrait of drug abuse, but also contains an element of critical self-examination, as the already-expired rodents used in the film had been disposed from Turner’s day job as a genetic research scientist. Rat Trap ultimately paints a grim picture of numbing daily grind, dependency, and domestic urban squalor.

Rat Trap was preserved in 2016 by Fales Library and Electronic Arts Intermix through the NFPF Avant-Garde Masters program.