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Kenneth Anger's Kustom Kar Kommandos — The All-Chrome Ruby Plush Dream Buggy (1970) Dream Lover by The Paris Sisters (like David Lynch on Julie Kruise-Kontrol)

Kenneth Anger - Kustom Kar Kommandos (1970) features the narcotic purring of Dream Lover by The Paris Sisters, who reach the limit of treacly, Top-40 Manna, like David Lynch on Julie Kruise-Kontrol

"Every night I hope and pray a Dream Lover will come my way..."

Ford Foundation Funds
Kustom Kar Kommandos
Fetish Feature Film


Like an auto emblem, the title appears against a pink backdrop in gold letters. The title is deliberately misspelled, replacing the three C’s with K’s. KKK stands for Klu Klux Klan; another group of associated with white male togetherness and the word Kommando is derived from Commando, which means members of a trained military unit. In both ways the title suggests togetherness and violence, and also implies a relationship between togetherness of two men with sadomasochism as does the film Fireworks (1947, Kenneth Anger). As far as KKK...KAOS KERAUNOS KYBERNETOS: Liber KKK is the first, complete, systematic magical training programme for some centuries. It is a definitive replacement for the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, which system has become obsolete due to its monotheist transcendentalism and its dependency on repressive forms of inhibitory gnosis now considered inappropriate [we'll leave it there.]

Two boys are seen checking on a perfect engine, highlighted by stunning orange and pink pastel colors. The darker, Italian-looking boy is in black. The other boy (Sandy Trent) is wearing a white tank top and jeans. An engine roars. 'Kar's' door opens, revealing hot rod's insides and red vinyl seats with white piping. Sandy's muscular body rises between twin dual cam-heads. He rises slowly with his tremendous basket next to the silver engine. With his hands on his hips, the camera closes in on his crotch...implying these two things work in tandem: the car’s engine has ultimate importance to the car and the boy’s crotch has ultimate importance to the boy. While wiping down the car the boy is totally detached from the film as a recognizable figure, only his body is seen and not his face. As the boy is fetishizing the body of the car, Anger is fetishizing the boy as well.

KUSTOM KAR KOMMANDOS is [not surprisingly] something to Drag about, at least, automotively speaking, or the fun-filled, Teensville-take on typical, mid-sixties' pompadoured, powder-puffed, chromed-out Hot Rodders, Ford bargained for.

That which survives is an ode to a young man and his car.

"The All-Chrome Ruby Plush Dream Buggy," is the only filmed segment of a larger work that Anger abandoned because the main actor died in a drag race and funding dried up [this fragment would have formed the nucleus of the sixth of its eight parts].

Through this vehicle, 'The Sisters' evoke their Dream Lover, as Crowley may have, Thelema, during his Egyptian honeymoon: an Occult Charioteer with longing and illusory attainment of some unknown ideal.

...In an hallucinatory shot, 'the Maker' [as Anger refers to Sandy Trent in his own notes] regards his reflection narcissistically while this auto erotic shot compares Kar/Male/Female genitalia, like a game of Doctor, or more aptly, Mechanic. Most notably and yet still subtly, two chrome-plated engine cylinders literally reflect his groin like huge steel balls.

Anger's greased, gliding, camerawork, has the caressing, delicacy of feathered down, commingled with giant, twice-brushed, white-powder-puffed, erotic gusts of incantatory, incarnated spirits!

The camera pans down to the California license plate, KBL 852 [the numbers in the license plate add up to 15... The Devil, from the tarot trump - more about magick significance later]. A gust of wind gently flutters the powder puff as it rises up out of frame. The door opens and Sandy gets in, shoeless, with sky-blue socks; with his legs slightly raised, he pumps the pedals.

He revs the engine, loosens the clutch, and shifts the gears. Seen mostly in profile, Sandy is a remnant of the Dick Dale surf era, with his neat, oiled pompadour. He accomplishes the act of looking pristine without being prissy, a rare accomplishment for a grease monkey. Dreyer says in his essay Underground and After, "The idea of dressing up as the assumption of an identity may be related to Jack Babuscio’s discussion (1977) of the ‘gay sensibility’ which stresses the absolute importance of mastering appearances and assuming identities in a gay life where passing for straight (assuming a straight appearance) is so critical." The car is essential in not only helping to create a couple but also in constructing the identity of the boy taking care of the car; it is his reflection.He is also freshly bathed. The work has been done. He's ready to ride his baby. A human could never compete with the dead, impassive perfection of the car... He smirks a little and blinks a lot.

The campily saturated images and pinky backdrop glows complete the womb-like, sexual imagery by enveloping 'Maker' and 'Kar'. To extend the birthing metaphor, the film ends with revved car and "Maker" appearing in an implosion of pink, azure, and red.

'Maker' and Kar are one.

The final sequence shows 'Maker''s face, serene and impassive [as if directed by unconscious forces], revving the engine again [echoing the film’s beginning sound and reinforcing the idea of coupling, not just in the film’s structure but also because the revving engine reminds the viewer to associate that sound with the two boys together] and driving off, hot-rod engine roaring.

ANGER is seen in yellow as someone politely polishes a hood ornament.


  • Dreamed,
  • Written,
  • Directed,
  • Produced,
  • Photographed,
  • Edited
  • Kenneth Anger


Kustom Kar Kommandos
"The All-Chrome Ruby Plush Dream Buggy"
as itself

Sandy Trent as "the Maker"

— Music by The Paris Sisters

Camera assistant: Arnold Baskin.

Filmed: San Bernadino, CA