Posted by CahirO at 8/20/2009 12:20 PM EDT
I went to the cinema to this weekend. I write that as if it was something remarkable, and the truth is, for me it's becoming so. You see in the last few years I have felt less and less inclined to actually visit a cinema to watch the first release of a new feature film for a good reason: the epic stupidity.
Not my own, in this case, but rather Hollywood's. It's the bombastic overwrought trailers for their new films. They're god-awful. They're driving me out of the theatre. Every single one of them starts with a massive orchestral explosion that quickly resolves itself into an ominous enduring hum. Then the real nonsense starts.
It isn't just the music. It's the content that I can't stand. Almost every new film rated R (over 18) seems to necessitate a man with a rifle, gun, knife, drill, saw, arrow, sword, or hammer pursuing an attractive young woman. Usually he's preparing to dismember her. Then her female friends follow, one by one.
What is going on?
Garbage like has been made since the dawn of filmmaking. But once upon a time they were called B - Movies. They were called that for a reason. But nowadays they're often the only show in town, having edged the other genres out of the Cineplex.
I know that grind house flicks are about providing a visceral thrill: they're a way of contemplating the terror of death (someone else's) without consequence to yourself. They're about the cheap catharsis that comes with that. That's why they endure. But why have they saturated the market? To the point that they're the rule, not the exception?
Nowadays, thanks to Computer Generated Imaging (CGI) we can film entirely new levels of torture and human abuse; whole new frontiers of horror and sadism lie before us; and guess what - we're going there. Just this weekend, in movie trailers, I saw people (mostly women, natch) dispatched by flying nails, yawning buzz saws, flying knives, or other inventive dismemberments.
What the hell is going on?
Is there an overwhelming public demand for new and ever more extreme forms of murder and violence against women? Who sits in a movie focus group and recommends something like that? And who decides that it’s what the majority of the public want?
Hollywood, a certain segment of it, thinks we're going to the Coliseum, not the movies. They're giving us what they think we want: mayhem and sadism. And the opportunity to watch women ground to powder. And they're doing it so much now that they've saturated the market with their bloody offerings.
I don't get to select the trailers that they tack on before the feature I've paid for is screened. Normally, I wouldn't mind. But reality is already brimming over with horrors on ever continent, and I don't plan to keep spending $10.00 to be held captive though imaginary ones, too.