blogging / writing

Why So Violent??

It is 5:05 pm

Looking outside at a overcast day. We had rain early in the day and were supposed to get thunderstorms in the afternoon. That didn’t happen as of yet but we are keeping a eye
out. The cheetah is sacked out on my heavy North Carolina sweater. Two nights ago I opened up my Star Wars Trilogy on DVD and have watched these films again. The boxed set also included a 2 1/2 hour series of documentaries and featurettes that I hadn’t seen before. Sort of mind blowing to know that that George Lucas made these three films for around 75 million bucks and paved the way for him to become a billionaire. I mentioned watching the series to a co-worker and he said he needed to go buy the original three films,he had gotten the urge to re-watch them again like I did.
He commented that he had the LOTR but on VHS tapes only…I said the Director’s cut could had for a very reasonable price and suggested Amazon. A lot of my older co-workers really seem to enjoy staying home and watching movies. I don’t hear a lot of them commenting on going out to see films at the theater,the younger folks,yeah,but us older folks,not so much…

I just joined a new writer’s group in order to promote my blog. The group is very active and that bodes well as far as bringing some new folks over to read it.  So right after I joined,a member posted in all caps a paragraph of a story he was supposedly writing. While it turn it out he was a troll and got the hook from the group,his outline rekindled something else. I had posted a comment about a book that I called “torture porn” on podcaster/writer Char Remain’s reviews blog. I am not going to name the hack or the crapass book but I can describe the plot.

The plot concerns a man who was bullied as a youth by a bunch of other kids. The man grows up and when he sees the former group who bullied him,he decides to get revenge… killing them. Now while I don’t know the hack who wrote the book,I did catch glimpses of his updates to his,how he was giddy to have come up with inventive ways to kill these bullies.
The dude who posted in the group had a familiar theme,only darker,his main character kidnapped a person he suspected killing of his daughter…he tied up his prisoner and then proceeded to cut his throat.
I am no prude….I have watched hundreds of horror films and read countless thrillers. Some were pretty damn violent like the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the Saw series. My favorite fictional detective series was the Burke series written by Andrew Vachss and you had to have strong stomach to read those. The key element that separates  horror and torture porn is purpose.  Writing violence for the sake of violence isn’t horror or scary or suspenseful….its a sign of an unhinged warped mind. It is uncomfortable and makes one uneasy.
Before I started this entry,I sent a open letter to actors,writers and fellow fanboys about what they thought about the term torture porn. Several just walked away from the question because its not a easy thing to read or watch.

The first hack took pains to hide himself,err,his “hero” behind a mask of mental illness. But in sharing his updates,he revealed all the cool ways he was going to kill off the bullies in the book. I wonder if he thought out the basic flaw in his plot….sure his character was bullied,pushed around…maybe even slapped around a little. But to have his main character get revenge by KILLING them years later?  Really?  That is the main plot… stole my milk money when I was 10 so 20 years later I am going to kill you for it.

My buddy Batroc and I were talking about horror in movies, he brought up Rob Zombie’s “House of a 1000 Corpses”. The plot had 4 young people being kidnapped for no apparent reason by a hillbilly family. The next 90 minutes saw these four teens plus one of the girl’s father get basically slaughtered…..for nothing. It had nothing to do with plot or storyline,there was no purpose behind why this happening,only that it was and that the four teens were painfully and slowly killed.  That isn’t horror,that is garbage….I told Batroc I actually went and watched the movie with a theater full of Zombie fans,when the film was over and people walked out,there was silence. No excitement,no one talking about the kills,just silence.  That has always stuck with me,especially in comparison to other horror movies/series like Jeepers Creepers, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me or the above mentioned Saw series.
While the Saw series eventually eroded away the goodwill from the first three films,those first films were outstanding in having a reason and a purpose to drive them. In the Burke series,Vachss has his characters battling child molesters,in the early books,the bad guys got waxed but as the series matures,he quits going for the easy out out and starts hatching well woven tales of revenge by using some very creative ways to deal justice and in some cases,that included using law enforcement,vigilante justice is no justice in the long term.
I know much has been written about how wanton violence has numbed our society to have feelings of empathy and compassion towards one another. Reading and hearing reports of accident and crime victims being robbed while they are either hurt,dying or dead have become much more common. While we are standing up more  united and speaking more loudly against bullying and school violence,it still is happening at a faster clip then even a generation ago. How much of this can be laid at what we watch or view? Being restricted to over 17 doesn’t have the same boundaries now in this age of the computer and internet,there is always a way to get and partake of this. How much is the modern sadism existing today,is it responsible for how women are being treated more and more as objects and second class citizens?  Are we becoming less feeling with each passing day?

 “When I think torture porn, I think of movies like Hostel and The Human Centipede. For me torture porn qualifies as a feature film that has little merit other than showing people various situations of excruciating pain that is meant to somehow entertain an audience of horror fans. Usually torture porn has little back story and capitalizes on the fictional pain of its main characters. I’ve seen a lot of these films. While I may not enjoy them, there is something unique and artistic about the way they’re made.”
– Christopher George – movie critic/blogger

Here is nice older article about torture porn in New York Mag...

How about you,dear reader,ever found yourself watching or reading something so pointlessly violent,you had to walk away? What was your experience….love for you to share it here with us if you would.  Do you feel such works are art or just destructive rantings from the creators? Sound off in the comments below.

Well that is it for now. This one has been sitting in the slow cooker for a while now. I hope some of you will drop a comment or two or better yet,share my blog with your friends. Not every entry will be dark I can assure you of that!

If you are on Twitter,feel free to follow me @Jinzo_2400.

Shout outs

Christopher George – for your input
Melanie Fiona – I may be late to the party but glad I found your music!
Revik – So GLAD to have reconnected with you as well,now I just some JKJ tunes to crank up!!
Cheryl – one last push,who knew it would be so hard? But thinking of the folks who will benefit makes it easier.
Mike White – safe journey to Ohio this weekend
Ronnie Dahl – Wonder Woman has nothing on you!
Sue – Repeat after me “I believe in Brady Hoke!!!”


8 thoughts on “Why So Violent??

  1. I agree with you, and unfortunately I feel like we’re in a minority. People have become dangerously desensitized to what constitutes as horror anymore. I pretty much stopped watching horror altogether because of films like Wolf Creek, Hostel, 1000 Corpses, etc. It started to wear on me. Personally, I think stuff like that is unhealthy for anyone. It can cause anxiousness, depression, etc. Movies are supposed to be an escape from this screwed up world, not a reminder…for me anyway. Nice post!

    • Exactly my point. I don’t mind a good horror story,when its done right,like the first two SAW movies,it is kick ass. But the mindless killings for no purpose has never been my cup of tea. Thanks for a great comment!!

  2. Torture porn is a perfect description for the Saw movies. I get no enjoyment watching that series. For me, movies like Jeepers Creepers and The Shining are films that offer a good mixture of gore and great storyline.

    • Agreed 100%! While the first two SAW movies were amazing and the third had a interesting twist,after that it was all about the new traps and less about the story. I actually have the fourth SAW movie but have yet to watch it. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I loved Saw up until about the fourth movie, but not because of the violence, loved that. The creativity of the writers amazed me and the special affects were amazing. I think you and some others here are way off.
    Violence is yelling, hitting, pushing and spitting. Basically it’s interacting with someone or something else, but here we’re only talking about people. Oh and some forms of thinking can be violent as well.
    Violence is in everyone. It’s a part of our human psyche.
    Violence in movies or video games doesn’t make you a violent person. Anyone who thinks so obviously hasn’t seen anything by Pumpkin Patch Pictures. This is the dumbest argument/debate you could have ever come up with. The earliest recorded violent act was when Cain killed his brother Able. There were no movies then. Movies don’t make people violent.
    People make people violent when they interact with other people. Have you ever been to a party and no one got angry at another person? No you haven’t. Some violence is just thought and manifest over a period of time. Other forms of violence manifest in an instant. Crimes of passion for example, happen usually right away, but when it doesn’t society calls it premeditated. Violence only happens when people interact with other people. Watch hours of violence on a movie screen and you’ll become numb, but that doesn’t make you a violent person. Watch people in person being violent only sometimes makes a person violent, and that’s usually because they are trying to fit in or trying to impress someone else. Seeing violence in someone you admire or look up to can cause you to uncontrollable act out. That only happens when you interact with another person.
    A war veteran comes home from a violent war and they are now violent where they’ve never been violent in any way before that-that’s what is called post traumatic stress. Notice we never really want to call it what it actually is.
    I guess that’s a way of softening the situation. No matter what you call it, it is what it is, and it ain’t pretty.
    Violence happens only when people interact with other people.
    Choosing how you deal with people doesn’t come from a movie, tv, or a video game. How we as a society interact with ourselves and the world, we let carry over to the next generation. Until we as humans change our ways, violence will happen, but not because of a movie.

    • Not blaming films/books entirely for our society ills,that is far,far too simplistic. But it does play a role in it,like it or not. And as a writer or film maker who has designs to elevate the genre,all I am saying is have a plot or story to drive the work. Movies like The Shining,The Sixth Sense or The Omen work because there is REASON for the violence. The Rob Zombies films and far too many B movies simply go for the gore just for the gore…thanks for a good take,Lewis!

  4. Well written and well thought out. Wasn’t quite sure where you were going with it all when we discussed this but I enjoyed your take and point of view.great job. Batroc approves

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