Saturday, July 17, 2010
I know the title sounds a little disgusting, but if you're a fan of horror movies, I'm sure you'll understand the sentiment and even appreciate it.
I just finished watching a really interesting documentary called Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film and the titles states exactly what it's about.
Before I was even a twinkle in my parents' eye, slasher flicks were very popular. It's not just the horror movie genre in general, it was the sub-genre of slasher flicks that pretty much made my family the way it is today.
My family is, well... A little dysfunctional. Granted, some of us wouldn't be at all out of place on Jerry Springer, but the one thing that brings us all together is the love of a good slasher flick. Everybody's heard of them and their notorious killers, no matter what country or state you're from; there's Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th film franchise, Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, but what about those movies that really started it all?
I'm talking about movies like Psycho, which was made by the infamous Alfred Hitchcock, which spawned millions of movies that just took the idea and ran with it and, sometimes, even ran the idea into the dirt so badly that slasher films pretty much fell off of the face of the earth. There was one point, however, that was made toward the end of this fantastic documentary and it was that "so long as there are teenagers, there will be slasher films", which is very much true.
Even though I'm not a teenager anymore (though there is some debate as to my mental age), I will always love a good slasher flick. Freddy, Jason (and his mother), and crazy Texan families will always have a place in my heart. "Why?", you might ask? Well, it's because of these films that I have absolutely no fear of humanity. Sure, there's an underlying fear of a lunatic with a knife who might sneak into my house at night, but I'm more afraid of stuff that, well, isn't murder, like robbery, rape, and the occasional ghost or two. Because I've been saturated and practically marinaded in the over-the-top blood and gore of slasher flicks, I've pretty much grown immune to their rush. But, just because they don't scare me or get my blood pumping anymore (hell, I think I was eating spaghetti when I watched Hostel and didn't once take my eyes away from the screen), doesn't mean I don't like them. I've become desensitized to red syrup and prosthetic body parts, but the idea of a really good slasher flick still gets me excited to see the new mayhem that new minds, like Rob Zombie, can dream up with a team of twisted freaks/gods that consist of people like Tom Savini.
The one thing, however, that was made very clear in this documentary was that these movies are, well, just movies. So what, if a kid saw a preview of a movie about a slasher flick that featured a guy dressed like Santa and then became afraid of Santa because of it. Sure, there should be some regulation as to what's shown on basic cable during daytime hours; the new trailer for the newest gore-fest shouldn't be shown on network television while kids are glued to the idiot box like mindless little drones. But, another point was made that when it comes to talking to your kids about stuff they see on television, the newest slasher film that might scare the shit out of them should be the least of your worries. In these times, just like many times before this one, there have been bigger scares than a guy dressed like Santa running around and killing drunken, hormonal teenagers. There were scares of nuclear fallout and bombs and, nowadays, there are scares of terrorist attacks and soldiers not coming home.
Slasher flicks sometimes won't show you half the shit that the news does. I mean, there were pictures and videos floating around about terrorists chopping off peoples' heads, and images of spraying bullets, bombings, fires, plan crashes, and all other manner of real horrors are all over the news and news papers. I mean, Tom Savini's good and all with his special effects, but he doesn't have a thing on half the shit I've seen on the news.
I've heard of a lot of people protesting anything and everything violent, from video games to music to movies, and everyone is quick to blame those who aren't themselves. When those kids went around their high school, blowing everyone away music and video games were to blame. But, where were the parents? Why weren't these kids' parents paying more attention to what their kids were doing? If they felt that the music they listened to, games they played, and movies they watched would have such an impact on their children, why weren't they doing a better job of regulating it?
I'm fully aware that I'm a sick individual. Okay... Maybe not quite sick, but definitely eccentric and unusual, and so are most of the people in my family. You don't see us going around killing folks with guns or machetes, and if we did, we wouldn't be pointing our fingers at entertainment-- we would be pointing our fingers at ourselves, because it would've been our fault for not seeing early warning signs. In other words, I don't think that people like Albert Fish grew up watching these kinds of movies or listening to rock or metal or playing violent video games. He still turned out to be a screwed up individual. And I'm saturated in this stuff, and you don't see me going around and killing folks. So.. what's the common denominator in all of this? Parents and their parenting skills, or lack thereof.
Anyway, I totally went off on a rant, there... Sorry!
So, what's the point to this post?
I have no idea.
But, I am gushing about the violence and gore of a good slasher flick, even though "good" is used loosely; most "good" slasher flicks are really campy and terrible, but I love 'em anyway.
All slasher flicks are is good not-so-clean-because-of-the-blood fun and all it is is good entertainment. A person can't subsist off of romantic comedies and Disney movies their whole lives... At least, I couldn't. :P