Kustom Kar Kommandos

Kustom Kar Kommandos

A Short Film By Kenneth Anger (1965)

Kustom Kar Kommandos is a 1965 short film by the underground avant garde film director Kenneth Anger. The film is shot on cheap 8mm film stock and its duration is a mere 3.5 minutes. The movie consists of a man with a large feathery powder puff who lovingly polishes his hot rod to the sound of a sultry cover version of Bobby Darrin’s Dream Lover.

Kustom Kar Kommandos Title Card

The color is very rich and the machinery of the car is shiny as the director makes ten slick dissolves which encircle the entire hot rod and eventually return to the original opening shot. The film has a very campy and underground look that cannot be achieved on video.


The film has been called a “meditation on aesthetics” and Kenneth Anger’s eroticization of the subject matter is pure genius. The use of a popular song with little or no sound effects as the soundtrack to a film was pioneered by Kenneth Anger. The best example of this is Kenneth Anger’s “Scorpio Rising” that was created in 1963. The songs are placed into the timeline of the film to function as ironic commentary on the film’s visuals.

Anger '65

Kenneth Anger’s trademark technique was first used by Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets 1973) and George Lucas (American Graffiti 1973). Who could imagine a film now without the creative use of popular songs as part of the film experience? Modern filmmaking owes a lot to Kenneth Anger.

Author: The Artist

Artist, Designer & Photographer

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