Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Gore

It's been a short break here while we tried to enjoy a little bit of Summer. For the end of Summer, I wanted to take my kids to one of the few remaining drive-ins to see a movie. However, the ones in charge of the place thought “family fare” meant gory films depicting gruesome, violent deaths. So they will not be getting our money, but if there are carloads of 14-year olds dying to see people dying, the movies may do well.

One trend in films or fiction is the school of dismembering and torturing people for entertainment value. There seems to be a lot of it out there, and we get more of it in the Summer. There are slasher flicks, psychological cat-and-mouse game serial-torturer-killer flicks, lock-a-bunch-of-folks-up-and-torture/kill-them flicks, and many others. I don't understand the enjoyment out of random folks being hurt and munched for no reason. But then I also don't get hanging around the scene of bloody accidents. People's pain and suffering is not something that amuses me.

Okay, you've got your genre of monsters attacking people: werewolves, vampires, zombies and whatnot, but it's a different thing when the one doing the bad deed is a non-human. When the killer psychopath is a person and grabs another person, I don't need or want a clinical and inventive new way of ending the victim's life. Horror enthusiasts seem to try to outdo each other in the amount of pain and splatter they can depict.

My favorite directors are not Wes Craven and Rob Zombie. I haven't watched a movie featuring a maniac with a chainsaw/carving knife/hockey mask in quite some time. The sheer stupidity of the films is annoying as well. If there's a group of people splitting up when they know there's a lone homicidal maniac on the loose, then maybe they deserve their grisly end, as they're picked off one by one.

Even the ads for these films are depressing, as in what is hopefully the final Final Destination, where they show people screaming as they're slowly and inexorably being pulled toward a squishy end. Eh. No thanks.

Gratuitous screen gore may be a symptom of a societal sickness, one apart from the film producers who wish to capitalize on the desire of others to gush over simulated suffering. If all the nasty evisceration movies were to go away, maybe there'd be a little less violence all around. And that would be a good thing.

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