Martyrs

Discussion in 'Euro Horror' started by cjg, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Potentially stupid question, but: is he a horror fan?

    I have learned my lesson to never sit through another French pile of shit "horror" film... but that doesn't stop me from being endlessly curious about this one. NOT because people have claimed it's superior to Last House on the Left, although if people who say that aren't joking around- that would be quite a feat.

    I would actually sit through this if I knew it was intelligent and offered something more than just the standard graphic violence as riveting experience survival-horror film. This needs to have a real meaning to it, not just bullshit "tough" posing (like Frontier(s)) and cheap exploitation. This has no chance to beat Last House if it isn't smart. REAL smart.
     
  2. MarkWarner

    MarkWarner New Member

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    I don't know who would even bother COMPARING this to Last House, cause they're not the same kind of film at all. Then again, I'd say that Martyrs is better than the original Last House. If you want to talk about cheap exploitation, the original Last House is it.

    I liked this film? The question mark is because I still have a few mixed feelings about it. I thought the shift in story worked fairly well, but a couple times I felt myself going "what is going on here?". Not necessarily a bad thing, but it did happen. Anyway, fairly decent movie.
     
  3. msw7

    msw7 Re-animated member

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    Which movies taught you that lesson?

    Personally, I think Martyrs is better than Last House, but they are entirely different sorts of movies - revenge is really not such a big part of Martyrs.
     
  4. DVD Connoisseur

    DVD Connoisseur Active Member

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    Great movie and very thought provoking. I know this really shook up some of my friends when they watched it. This really split opinion at the UK's Fright Fest festival. Definitely a "love it or hate it" experience.
     
  5. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    That's what my instinct tells me as well. But I actually decided this time to test my instinct against what people who've seen the film might tell me about it. Of course, it seems everyone's playing coy. I see them say it's great, but how? And is it actually smart?

    Comparing them wasn't my idea. It was drilled into my head by some blogging horror fan (and not a typical dumbass either, though everyone makes dumbass moves at some point during their time as a horror fan) who gave the film a positive review and mentioned that Martyrs was comparable to Last House on the Left but highly superior. Which got me thinking there is the tiniest chance I could be wrong (that every single French horror film is crap- or extremely disappointing, as was the case with the classic era French film, Eyes Without a Face).


    That kind of bullshit has been perpetuated and believed by a lot of horror fans, and by looking at the film cold, I understand how people could think that. But to say that is incredibly deceptive and completely insulting of Craven's intelligence and often-genius.

    Watch This:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QhyyhVWWGI (6:40-12:50)

    If after seeing this and/or watching and reading the many other analyzations of the film as a highly socio-politically charged and relevant work of intelligent horror, if you actually believe Craven was doing this just to make money, you're clearly expressing a personal opinion and nothing more.
     
  6. MarkWarner

    MarkWarner New Member

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    Craven is not a genius. He's managed to make a few good films (in my opinion all of them made AFTER 1980), and this isn't to say that he doesn't deserve SOME praise, but calling him a genius is pretty silly.

    I never said he did it for the money, mainly because it doesn't NEED to be said. Even the most artistic films are made to make SOME kind of profit, so Craven is certainly not an exception to this rule.

    And yes, I'm expressing a personal opinion. Aren't you?
     
  7. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Only in the same way as people who say Dawn of the Dead, Rosemary's Baby, Halloween, Carrie, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are not only among the greatest horror films ever made, but actually had a lot of meaning in them as well. Anyone who would call those films meaningless but good entertainment would answer to me in the same way as someone who doubts Craven's intelligence and what went into Last House on the Left.

    Clearly you didn't watch the section of my link I highlighted. Are you going to tell me these commentators didn't know what they were talking about, that they didn't have incredible points? There's a difference between an informed opinion and an "I say this is true because I didn't like it" opinion.


    HA! Then I guess someone else directed A Nightmare on Elm Street (and wrote), Scream, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Last House on the Left.


    That isn't true of nearly all the other world reknowned horror filmmakers?


    I say that about any filmmaker who has contributed a Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Suspiria, Evil Dead, Dead Alive, Piranha, American Werewolf in London, or Last House on the Left or Scream to this genre. It's implied that, since we do have our differing opinions, that genius refers to these directors at their peak.


    Don't bullshit me- you know as well as I do something OTHER than money is responsible for these filmmakers continuing to discuss and analyze their films, let alone all the directors who go to conventions, sign posters and shirts (among other things), and play up to their typecasts as masters of this genre.

    Oh, and did you miss the word JUST in my post? It was right there, plain as day. "Just for the money." Meaning, I didn't pretend money was never involved.
     
  8. MarkWarner

    MarkWarner New Member

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    I like all of those films, so I'm certainly not insulting their brilliance and meaning by saying that Last House isn't that good. Although, I honestly can't decide what you're actually trying to say here.

    You're right. I didn't watch the link. I don't know how you can say that that's what I think if I never watched it, though. :D

    Yes, there is. ;)

    He also directed Swamp Thing, Hills Have Eyes Part II, Shocker, Vampire In Brooklyn, and recently My Soul To Take. He's made as many bad movies as good movies, and to me, that's not the sign of a "genius". A good director at times? Yes. Sure. But a genius? Not at all.

    It is, but not everyone calls them geniuses. I certainly don't. I really can't think of a true GENIUS in the genre to be honest (aside from MAYBE Hitchcock). I can think of specific horror films that I personally think are genius, but I can't think of a horror filmmaker that I would assign that label.

    My definition of a genius filmmaker is when their work is consistently very good or excellent, and if you look at all the directors of those films you've mentioned, and you put them under that definition, you'd see that they're not geniuses...again, under that definition. Filmmakers who've made genius films? Sure, but not true geniuses.

    But like you said: differing opinions.

    Calm down. We're not talking about war here. ;)

    I'd like to believe that they're motivated by art and not by money, but time and time again most of those directors have proved me wrong by what they put out in terms of "art".

    And those "directors who go to conventions, sign posters and shirts (among other things), and play up to their typecasts as masters of this genre" also charge 20 or 30 dollars for an autograph, so let's not pretend they don't enjoy the kickbacks from being a master of horror.


    I never said you did. I was merely stating that Craven was not just making Last House for artistic reasons, but I'm sure for profit too, as that's the way all films are made.


    EDIT: And this really has nothing to do with Martyrs, so I'm going to leave this discussion at that.
     
  9. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    I tried to PM this, but I can't limit myself to 3200 characters.


    Simple- that the filmmakers were trying to really SAY something with each film. Dawn, of course, was about people placing the importance of material objects over their own safety and each others' lives. Rosemary's Baby was about women's rights - the mother's rights over the father's and rights of the individual against the interests of a group of people. Texas Chainsaw Massacre was about economic woes. Carrie was about profound human cruelty. And Last House on the Left was about the war generation (a group of people defined by various forms of violence) killing the peace and love generation (the end of 60's innocence) / basically: the removal of the boundary between the lower class and the middle class (each is classified toward the last 20 minutes of the movie, in the scenes of the "gang" commenting on Mari's parents' home). The corruption of a seemingly more peaceful group of people by a clearly more desperate, ignorant, and criminal-minded group of others. It was also about the uselessness of law enforcement who are detained until just the exact moment when it's too late to stop anything (we see that both cops are goons in their own way, the goofier one actually spots a suspicious car near the property but the slightly smarter one is the guy to say they shouldn't bother with it). It definitely means something when the one car passing them that can actually help them is filled with hippies who have a nasty attitude- the people who are actually partially responsible for the girls' (at least Mari's) death(s) are people who we have to assume are a lot like them.

    Oh, and... as for Halloween, even if it's considered a landmark of stylistic horror brilliance, to me that means something. But I've heard a lot of analysis on the film as a meditation on the nature of evil itself.


    True enough.

    But seriously, WATCH THE LINK! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QhyyhVWWGI (6:40-12:50)

    It's one of the best horror documentaries ever made. I gave you a 6 minute section, it's no skin off you.


    HA! You didn't say Deadly Friend! I knew I was on to something with that one.

    The way I look at it is- have Carpenter (Christine, Masters of Horror: Pro Life), Romero (Monkey Shines), Cronenberg (TCFW/Shivers, Scanners), Argento (Phantom of the Opera), Fulci (where to get started?), and the other major horror directors done films every bit as bad as Craven's worst? HELL YEA! So, if most of these guys can produce masterpieces on Craven's level, and they're reached at least an equal genius... yeah- he qualifies as a genius too.

    Also... you have to remember that STUDIOS are responsible for tampering with a lot of directors' visions. Craven has stated time and again that studios and censors have had a big problem with his work. (This is actually one of the big reasons I hate this decade in horror- it's too easy for directors to shoot anything they want and if it gets hacked from theatrical prints, it ends up on the DVD. No big thing. Remake directors can load up on as much graphic violence as they want but Craven and his peers had to work with atmosphere and story.)


    Can't argue with that. That's your view, and at least it's consistent. But as a horror fan, I would actually call several films genius. For that to be, the filmmaker has to have a good touch of that in them. Then you have to remember- with analysis, historians, critics, and film buffs have revealed that filmmakers like Craven actually do have a vision, recurring themes that make them an important presence in the genre, and express themselves through the films.


    Yeah- ask anyone: I get really carried away. But never mistake what it is. It's a serious passion for this genre. Which has really dissolved over the years, being eaten away by bad trends which have nothing to do with what made horror potent decades ago.


    I almost included a bit about: I can't speak for those people who go to conventions. I can tell you one thing, after watching all the stuff on the 3-Disc Evil Dead set, those women aren't just doing it for the money.

    Oh and... in this fucked-up economy... I might charge money for autographs if I were them too. I've actually thought several times (since I know people who say they can barely afford to keep horror forums up) - how the hell can Joe Dante afford to do Trailers from Hell? Except for those DVD's, it's not really a business. More a fan passion project.
     
  10. joltaddict

    joltaddict New Member

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    Ill flat out say it. Martyrs is better than LHOTL. As a matter of fact The Night Train Murders is better than LHOTL. And thats a much more apt comparision. The inappropriate humor of the cops in LHOTL completely ruins any arguement for Wes as a genius for me.
     
  11. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    Sorry to step on this one but I couldn't help myself.

    Man, this is football logic. It's best not to "football-ize" a discussion about an art form.
     
  12. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    I actually agree.


    I haven't seen either (and just my luck Night Train Murders is not on Netflix: Watch Instant).

    As for the cops, well- it's up to each person whether or not they see the cops as funny. Who says Wes thought it was funny? Do you have any evidence that he did?

    And at least Wes wasn't stupid enough to have the parents go to a church before they took revenge!
     
  13. joltaddict

    joltaddict New Member

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    Now youre throwing in ISOYG comparisions? :lol:

    Martyrs was good. And definitely intelligent. Seek it out, Im curious how youll take it.
     

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