|08-05-2013, 12:27 PM||#7|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Example A, the quasi-exception to the rule: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. In terms of characterization, the women are every bit as deeply reprehensible, idiotic, and unlikable as the men (only Trish and Rob get a genuine reprieval for some reason- they really belong in another movie) which just barely removes the sickening taint off the banana-fellatio death scene (I still say Jason's sexual grunting in the audio mix is just as offensive). But the most sexualized death scene is reserved for a man. If only he in some way deserved it more than anyone else, but then again- this movie sucks. So, finally I think I have the closest I'm going to get to a scene with a man that does the same thing I railed against New York Ripper, The Mutilator, and The Prowler doing to women. Only snag is that... well: it's not something a movie wouldn't do to a woman. Nor, in a movie like this, does it feel like the tables turning or any kind of satire on misogyny in the genre.
Example B, the rule: The Prowler. Men aren't even shown taking showers In the Shower in horror unless, maybe, DeCoteau is directing. I'm not saying we're missing out on anything- Kanefsky sure gave us an eyeful in There's Nothing Out There when the couple goes skinnydipping. In fact- we cutaway before the blonde even takes her top off. The next scene then has the camera sort of push away from the brunette to gaze at her boyfriend's package in his underwear as he loses his pants on the floor. (The silent Scream is always the loudest.) But, for some reason, the shower is very much "woman's domain" in horror. And yet, does anybody need to be pitchforked naked in these movies? Either gender? There's no conceivable way to chalk this up as satire. Not when it's being turned into a Tom Savini Showpiece. See, women, are you glad you're the frequent victims of rampant sexual violence- someone might be able to call you the work of an artist.
So, it's my worst you be wanting, 'ay... Okay, let me try to be delicate about this. I think I just might be able to keep the ankle-biters at bey this time. Let's be academic about this and stick to one's personal definition of horror (these are in no particular order).
#1: Carnosaur. There are no words to do this justice. It's indescribable. It should be sickening. You know? Because it aims at just the right targets: it's gross, it's rapey, it's misanthropic, it's cheap, and it holds nothing back. But it's too stupid. I think they were trying to keep people from being offended somehow. They made it so over-the-top. But it's so fucking cheap. None of it works. Not a single shot. It's not fun or thought provoking or smart in any way. And they didn't try to make the characters likable or interesting. I felt like I was watching Rumpelstiltskin again only... much worse. When a movie is this cheap, the actors really need to step it up and maybe they couldn't here because the writing was so shit. I lost track of the why this sucks when I was watching it, and just sat in a daze.
#2: The Beast Within. Holy shit... This is the Carnosaur of the 80's in terms of how gigantic a fuck up it is. Only, I'll be damned if it didn't actually get my brain gearbox turning. It tried. It didn't try to think, it just wanted the audience to buy it. If you don't know what you're doing, don't make a movie with conflict in it. If details are your weakness, make a beach bikini movie. Pretty hard to fuck those up. The ongoing character rivalry in this film is one of the most braindead things I've ever seen in the genre. I'm just about convinced that this was trying to be some kind of horror version of Endless Love. Which was Citizen Kane compared to this. Every character is an utter idiot. And have an attitude about how they should be allowed to poke you with their idiocy. And that transformation scene... I almost shut this piece of shit off after a minute of that.
#3: Blood Diner. My brain blocked most of it out. Mercifully. I've seen so many over-the-top mid-to-late 80's and early 90's horror films that I think I have a pretty good eye for what works... and this is bullshit. It's just sloppy garbage thrown at you with Airplane!'s speed rather than its cleverness. And really bad sloppy garbage too. The Dead Next Door really creamed this movie, in terms of a no-budget love-letter movie dedicated to a subgenre or filmmaker. And I don't even think I need to say: Bad Taste absolutely mastered what this was going for.
#4: Thinner. Haven't seen this in a very long time. But, wow, is this stupid. It's not just gross and makes you feel rapey after you've seen it, it is logically too stupid which stops you from getting into its mean-spiritedness. I saw a video review someone did of it recently to remind myself how overbearing the performances are. One of the biggest problems is that this whole movie doesn't happen without the gypsies being as stupid as they are. That dancer woman especially is so shoot first, ask questions later. I think I can literally say she's the reason most of her family and friends were killed. And then, the ending... I don't have the strength.
#5: Scarecrows. Again: brain blocked most of it out. But I do remember the basics. And this failed on every level a horror film can fail. The characters, the writing, the acting, the special effects. It wasn't just stupid and ineffective, it looked terrible. Nothing worked. Not a single thing worked. And then... the movie has the characters screaming and shouting and yelling and... no, movie, that doesn't mitigate their annoyance. It compounds it!!
#6: Blair Witch Project. These aren't characters. This isn't dialogue. These scenes aren't things happening. I think almost all of these are necessary components in a film. Oh yeah, and this isn't realistic. If you actually know 3 people who are in a "who can say Fuck the most times" contest, I pity you.
#7: Cheerleader Camp. See Blood Diner. And, by that I mean, too many good-bad movies have done this so much better. What's sad though is that this has the novelty of having a character thinking she's going crazy. Yet- her hallucinations are mostly stupid or cheap. For a long time, the fat guy was the movie's biggest problem. Then the murders start and you can't tell whether you're supposed to laugh at them or take them seriously. Which is odd since they're just so inept. So it doesn't even matter. Then the sex comedy... By people who are either extremely unfunny, un-sexy, or both.
#8: Of course: Cannibal Holocaust, I Spit on Your Grave, The New York Ripper, Cannibal Ferox, etc.
#9: Just a big blank check slot for every awful new-millennium "horror" film I've seen where I sat and waited in vain for something recognizable from the actual horror genre to show up. Besides gore. After the shit I've seen, I have to let a few movies off the hook:
Wolf Creek - can't handle conflict but atmospherically... this was a little bit like watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre again for the first time. If the killer had actually been scary and not just a plain ordinary dickhead with a big mouth, this might have been The Horror Movie of the Decade. (Instead, that title pretty much goes to Suicide Circle. Which ironically was less mopey - and, boy do I ever hesitate to say the word "emo" but the temptation is way too strong here - than Pulse.)
Wrong Turn was generic to a fault. But not painful.
Cabin Fever is, again, the scariest movie - along with Suicide Circle - of the decade. Great score. Had some smart things happen. But flaked on how to make the characters smart. Oh, and yeah: fuck that pancakes kid!
House of 1,000 Corpses. The only Rob Zombie movie with a decent excuse to be crude and stupid. If only the 2nd half of that movie could switch places with the 2nd half of The Devil's Rejects, again we'd be looking at a real winner.
Slither, Dagon, and Masters of Horror: Right to Die - your CGI killed you. The rest was above average.
When a Stranger Calls. Compared to the Black Christmas remake, this was a vacation.
Dead Silence. The 70 minutes in the middle was actually kinda fun.
Just 'cuz, you should be reading it.
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