Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Spielberg or Cannibal Holocaust?

Before I dismiss horror movies and sell out big time, let's take a look at the changes of note in the horror blog world.

Stacie Ponder,
The Final Girl, got a monthly column at pretty-scary.net.

Groovy Age of Horror was nominated for Best Website at the Rondo Awards.

now - the essay: gore movies vs. big budget movies with gore

The video nasties, banned in the UK! Movies that bring gore and sex in graphic detail just for the sake of selling more tickets. Cannibal films. Women in prison exploitation pics. I love these movies and review them here because they deliver a shock you just can't get from your mainstream horror like Halloween 4, I Know What You Did Last Summer, or Army of Darkness. Old 70's b-movies and today's cutting edge Asian imports deliver sickness on a level that the casual horror movie fan has not experienced, or so I usually believe - until I step back and look at the bigger picture.

Never mind mainstream horror, let's look at something even more normal than that, the movies of perhaps the most famous director of all time, Steven Spielberg. Take first, I movie that I really dislike, Saving Private Ryan. Now it does end with a force-fed feel good message meant to please the masses and that is the opposite what a sick shocker would deliver, but how about the opening war scenes in this movie? Real life veterans have said that Spielberg captures the horrors of the battlefield accurately with his graphic battle scenes. Gore fans, I ask you, what could be more splatter-filled than being in the middle of a real war? Perhaps nothing, other than working in a slaughterhouse or witnessing a terrorist attack.

Life ending brutally in an instant, could anything really be scarier? Death by zombie attack? Never going to happen and if it did you would see it coming from a mile away. Death by serial murderer? Improbable and if it did happen there is nothing that a slasher could do to you that an enemy soldier or terrorist would not. Death and rape occur in wars too.

On to Spielberg latest film, Munich, a movie that does NOT allow it's disturbing moments to be dismissed by an oversimplified morality lesson tacked on at the end. I don't think I've ever let a movie affect me as deeply as Munich did. The vivid bloody slaughter, some of it historically accurate, some of it fictional, left me hopeless. It's not the most graphic movie ever, but when it is graphic it feels more real than anything I've watched in the horror or exploitation genres. One factor is the extremely high budget a Spielberg movie has, but the other factor is Spielberg himself and the other A-list people who put this movie together. Face it, Spielberg is better than Joe D'Amato, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and even Takashi Miike. I may prefer their movies over his and spend my money on their movies other than Minority Report, which I don't cart to see, but I know that it is in most ways a superior product.

In another way Spielberg totally sucks. Could AI be more bloated and awful? When a mainstream movies falls, it falls hard and is worthy of much condemnation. When a smaller budget genre films is awful, well that's no big deal, I might like it anyway. Horror movies get a pass because they don't aim as high. At the same time, nothing ventured, nothing gained, but at the same time as that, what do I care about ambition, I'm a horror fan first and foremost. I don't even watch non-horror films very often because cinema is where I go to escape the emotions of day to day life, not a place I go to be profoundly effected and manipulated by a good production. Take Brokeback Mountain for example. Thanks but not thanks. The movie was excellent and brought me close to tears, but I didn't want to go there. I was left feeling down. Munich may have been worth it, because it opened my mind and I think the movie brings good ideologies to the table. As for Brokeback Mountain, I've been exposed to these issues before and did not need another reality check. I already know that gays have it rough, so subject someone a little less informed to this tale of longing and loss.

What I am saying is that gore movies do not have much of an effect on me. They please me to watch, I take an active interest in them and collect them, but they do not blow my mind in an emotional way. It's like I am a mortician looking at his 300th car accident victim and enjoying my work with out being disturbed by it. Show me a movie that connects with me on an emotional level and then throw in some graphic gore to that mix, that's like when the mortician sees that the mutilated corpse in front of him is that of his lifelong best friend, the carnage effects him again. I'll pass.

I recommend Munich to all. Critics love it, but the public has been less receptive because they think it's soft on terrorists. America really believes strongly in an eye for an eye, even if it means everybody includes ourselves gets blinded eventually. Call me selfish, but I don't want to die in some terrorist attack that was done in retaliation to some military action I had nothing to do with. All these pro-military types live out in states that the terrorists are not going to attack. How easy for them to back attacks on countries that might spread anti-American sentiments?

See the negative Munich reviews from American boneheads at
Yahoo's movie site.

the worst of the worst, I will not post his username:

WOW! What a long, boring "I cant believe Spielberg produced it" piece of crap this movie was. Ten minutes into the film Spielberg shows us an agent sodomizing his pregnant wife, which is something my mother and 3 children did not have to see. There is barely any mention of the fallen athletes, just flashbacks of them being killed. Finally, after 90 minutes of this dribble we got up and walked out. My advice for Spielberg fans: Stay home and rent ET!

Sir, there is no sodomy in this movie, it is just a sex scene where they do not do it in the missionary position! Anyway, the movie is obviously Rated R, I can't believe you expected ET! Blame yourself for taking your mother and 3 children to the most disturbing movie of the year - and it's the violence, not the sex, that is gonna give your kids the nightmares.

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