How far are you willing to go to follow your passions? What if said passion stirs up quite the irritation amongst your locals? Would you still fight on? Well, if your answer is yes, then American Sausage Standoff (or Gutterbee) is certainly for you.
American Sausage Standoff (aka Gutterbee) is an absurd comedy written and directed by Ulrich Thomsen, known for his role as Kai Proctor in the action series Banshee. Starring Anthony Starr (Homelander from the Boys), this film follows two friends who want to pursue their passions for sausages and build an authentic German sausage restaurant. Will they succeed? More importantly, does the film succeed in doing justice to this absurd premise?
Let’s find out.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
‘American Sausage Standoff’ Plot Summary
The film follows Edward, is a German who’s moved to Gutterbee, a small town where the population is falling, and people are leaving by the day. He runs into Mike, a recently released convict trying to hustle his way by selling monkey-print ties (a literal monkey business). Mike owes money to Jimmy, a local cabaret bar owner and Gutterbee’s self-designated defender of American culture. When Mike discovers Edward’s plan of setting up a German Sausage Restaurant in Gutterbee, he jumps on the plan in hopes of making money and paying Jimmy back. Sadly, Jimmy is a stereotypical southern racist and shoots down the plan the moment he learns of it.
What follows is an absurd comedy that isn’t always laughing out loud but creatively strange enough to keep you watching.
The film follows an orphan who’s so obsessed with sausages that he’s willing to fight a traditionalist for his rights. That statement is open to interpretation, and that is precisely how this film feels.
One of the significant debate points for Jimmy’s refusal is ‘tradition,’ which is just an excuse to be racist. That’s often a major reason to dismiss the LGBTQ+ community, isn’t it? At one point, even the bible and religion get involved (both in the film and in real life), with both sides preaching their interpretation. One funny scene from the film involves Edward bribing the sheriff with a sausage (sexual favors?). That same sheriff actually opens the film with some exciting dialogues, which only argue in favor of this interpretation of the film.
Even the restaurant is named “Gourmet House of Refuge.” Who needs refuge, but those ousted by society, and what community could be counted among those ousted…? The homosexual undertones, and the double entendre with sausages, are very much on the nose and impossible to miss. It’s striking that it never feels cheap or sleazy, but just absurd in a humorous way.
The only thing that goes against this interpretation is that Edward has a romantic liaison with a female character, suggesting maybe he’s closeted, or perhaps he’s bi? The lack of openly gay/LGBTQ+ characters is probably one of this film’s biggest drawbacks, especially given its subject matter.
‘American Sausage Standoff’ Ending Explained
Okay, so I can’t explain the ending without being graphic, but many strange things happen, not all of which make sense. However, what’s made clear is that Edward couldn’t set up his restaurant after Jimmy’s goons burned it down. However, he does continue to make sausages and supply them to those who care. In the end, the sheriff is dressed flamboyantly, holding a sausage called ‘the American White’; it’s a sausage that you don’t chew but suck.
Maybe the ending is alluding to the fact that even in 2021, the LGBTQ+ community is fighting for their rights. They have representation, support, and followers, but they still struggle for basic human rights in many parts of the world. The film’s ending is bittersweet and a little confusing that leaves you wondering what it all actually even means.
Unfortunately, that lack of closure can be a little unsatisfying, given the colorful characters and absurd narrative we just saw.
Gutterbee isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it is quite creative and absurd enough to warrant a watch at least once. It’s not a profound film that’ll stick to you, and you should definitely not go in with any expectations. It’s enjoyable, but it’s only an average film. So watch at your own discretion.
American Sausage Standoff (originally titled Gutterbee) is a 2021 absurd comedy written and directed by Ulrich Thomsen.