Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Joys of "Clown Gore" Now with Visuals!

Okay, to calm the masses (Yup, all seven of you) I shall post something incoherent and not as sex filled as usual!

So I was thinking this morning...
Its quite a feat since I am not a morning person and tend to shy from coffee unless desperate. Something about not wanting to have the caffeine addiction and my paranoid brain...

Regardless, I was thinking this morning about my views on gore in movies.

Nah, not really a soap box rant, just my views on what I like. I've made it no secret that I am not a gore hound. My favorite style of horror films are the "less is more" style. Its not every one's favorite but I assure you my twisted imagination is far more scary than anything Eli Roth can show me.
But you try Eli! And Kudos to you! You're still my adorable little elf man of horror. I may not like your movies too much but I would love to pinch your cheeks and keep you in my pocket so I bring you out for parties and dazzle everyone with your horror trivia knowledge.
I bet he's a tall man which makes what I said sound even more stupid than it did.

But I digress...because I lack coffee.

Anyways, despite not being a gore hound, I do find it acceptable. Far be it from me to turn my nose up at gore. But I'm extremely picky with my gore. I'm not a fan of torture porn like Hostel or Captivity. I'm a fan of over the top gore. Creative gore. What I like to call "Clown Gore".

The definition of "Clown Gore"- over the top craziness in horror films that would not or could not happen in real life because it probably defies physics. Things that are so outrageous that it almost makes me laugh or hiss and yell "OOOH! JEEEEEZE!"...THEN laugh.

I suppose it says a lot about society that I am laughing at something so horrific. But that is the beauty of horror films. A way to release tension. And when the gore is crazy, I can detach myself from the act and just enjoy the visuals, creativity, and craftsmanship of the gore happening. I consider horror escapism. I don't WANT to be in jeopardy and frankly I don't want a horror film to disturb me to the point where I'm not enjoying what I spent my money on. But I love to watch movies that give me a thrill. And "Clown Gore" is quite a thrill.

Here's some of my favorite movie "Clown Gore" moments to give an example of what I mean.

13 Ghosts (The Remake)

Anyone remember the "Half a Lawyer" gag? Its the money shot of the film. The sequence is a good combo of CGI and live action as well. Now, I seriously doubt you'd be able to cut a human being in half like that with such precision in real life with a glass door. There is BOUND to be some squishing somewhere. But the scene still made me sit up and yell "AWESOME!". It was unexpected and spectacular.

Dead Alive

This whole MOVIE is nothing BUT Clown Gore. The ear in the soup, the lawn mower massacre. Peter Jackson knows his gore gags which in turn make you WANT to gag. Regardless, the film takes quite the hilarious light turn and makes you squick at the same time. Once again, I don't see many things in this movie happening like that in real life. In fact I don't WANT to see that happening in real life. But the creativity is tops and the splatter is quite fun.

The Evil Dead Series

Spam in a cabin anyone? This was the birth of splatter horror and definitely some of the best over the top effects in horror films. The stop motion in the first one is cheep but fun and effective. Its the fantasy aspect that gets you. Its not real but its not SO fake that you don't get involved.

Silent Hill
The scene where Pyramid Head rips the skin off of Anna's naked body is insane! I honestly did not expect that. Not only does he rip it off in one movement but he then THROWS it at our heroes?! What the hell, Pyramid Head! You have some anger issues. Actually everyone in this movie has anger issues. That scene along with some nasty bits with barbed wire at the end turned what could have been an average video game film into some fantastic horror.
This Scene really needs to be watched.

Do I REALLY need to mention which scene? Seriously? Okay I'll give you a hint. It involves a little head..I mean that both literally and in inuendo.
If you guys don't know what I'm talking about, then go rent the movie, NOW.

This isn't the ONLY gore I like mind you but if I'm going to choose a movie based strictly on gore, I'm going to choose a film where a guy's head explodes in a Technicolor dream over a long realistic, gruesome, torture scene.

There is an argument that over the top gore can take you out of the reality of the situation. And it can in some cases. "Clown Gore" would not work in films like Se7en, Last House on the Left, or Funny Games (just for the record, I have not seen Funny Games past random clips). But that's not what those films are about. I consider those films more along the lines of horror drama than straight pure horror. They focus more on the reality of the situation rather than the sensationalism.

Now, while I do love over the top gore in horror films, I do believe that a movie needs more than JUST over the top gore to make a horror film great. The above films were mentioned because I found them all to have interesting story lines and fun characters I care about. Without that you pretty much have the equivalent of a kindergartner finger painting with roadkill.
I'm sure someone out there would love that image.
So..thoughts on my incoherent Rambling?


Stac said...

I LOVE over the top gore, and also shy away from the too realistic. I don't get off on watching someone's torment; I want to help the victims and am subsequently miserable by the end of the film. And if I'm miserable then SO IS EVERYONE ELSE!

BTW, we are SO watching Phantom of the Mall: Erik's Revenge this summer.

I love goofy gore because you can make it into a game. I like to scream "BLOOD FLOOD!" And then take a drink. So maybe we'll go to Baha Betty's first!

Aces entry, m'sweet!

matimus said...

I've always thought of movies as having cartoonish gore, but calling it "Clown Gore" just gives it such a different feel. Dirty and creepy...but colorful!

Dead Alive is obviously the best classic example I can think of. Some zombie movies I think cross over into the Clown Gore area, but I guess it just depends on the tone of the movie. I think Slither would be another film that comes to mind. In addition to having the best use of an Air Supply song in a movie ever, there are tons of scenes that just make you go "ewwww."

By the way, though this is my first comment, I've been loving the blog.

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Metal Mikey said...

I was beginning to worry this was going to be an essay about "Dead Clowns". Ugh... I may rather watch my own detailed physical torture over that movie. ;)

But back to the subject of "Clown Gore". There's very little I can disagree with on the subject. I consider myself to be fairly open, and entertained, by over-the-top gore sequences. I tend to also shy away from reality-based violence, especially the grittier stuff, because while I do realize filmmaking is sort of a reflection on reality, I just don't like the feeling of discomfort associated with the starkly realistic depiction of violence. Sometimes it DOES work to create a memorable film. ("Schindler's List", anyone?) But the Horror genre is an escape genre for me, and I can't say as I want a concrete sense of reality to enter into my escape.

And people should just see the "Evil Dead" trilogy on sheer principle. ;)

Cins said...

Stacy>>This summer is going to be insane you know. If Chelle joins us she's going to be very liquored up and hiding under the couch.
BRING PHANTOM OF THE MALL! I'll need to hunt down something rediculous to watch as well.

Mattimus>>Thanks for commenting! Feel free to comment more. We like comments. We're comment whores actually...well comment strumpetts
Clown Gore just seems appropreate to me but then I haven't seen too man Clown Horror Films other than Killer Klowns from Outerspace.
I don't know WHY I keep leaving Slither out of my lists all the time! Slither is one of my all time favorites, not to mention it has the best exploding fat lady scene ever!

FMI>>Beautiful photos! Thanks for the link!

M&M>>Perhaps I will need to come up with a better phrase. Clown Gore just seemed to stick for me. I'm glad I'm not alone in my dislike for realistic gore in my horror films. Once again, it works for dramas and movies that are more based in reality. But when I'm going to see a horror film I want it to be an escape.
I do believe that the Evil Dead Trillogy should be required watching for readers of this blog. Bruce is my Hero.

George Aguirre said...

"I think the lawyer just split."
I snorted at that. Oh, that movie was just plain weird and silly. I admit I had trouble being scared of it, simply because it was so over the top. Silent Hill was great too. (Frankly, whilst the final violence was cringe-worthy but awesome, what really disturbed me was how we know Something is Off with Alessa by the end.)

I think my "turnoff" is realistic gore too, or, more specifically, the kind that can actually happen in real life. A gigantic chainsaw coming down from above, making a sound not unlike evil laughter, chopping our "survivor" in half only for the blood to bathe the nearby brunette (as those pesky survivors often are)? Awesome. I may even laugh if it's delivered right. Someone being starved to death in a room or being tormented and being delivered cruel but usual human punishments? I get a bad, bad feeling. Take Silent Hill again. I have to fast forward through Cybill's, um, "fate." That scene made me cringe and I couldn't just bear it. It was simply too real a torment with a victim I sympathized with to begin with.

I think it's a matter of detachment. I can't enjoy a movie with human suffering, but "homo fictus", that is, characters as the writer of How to Write a Damn Good Novel called them? I think it's easier. Also, I have trouble relating to people in horror movies. Go figure. I think it's the way the characters are written: it's often silly. I only do care for well established characters (take Ripley from Alien. THERE you go.)

Once more, you gals are awesome. Know that, in a proper, creepy way, I lurk about your blog, eager to know what new movies you've watched or commented on. You don't know it, but I'm watching-- whoops, did I just ruin the surprise? :3

P.S: I would totally dig a movie with some killer that wears emoticon masks, going around killing people in over-the-top ways. Specially if the movie tries to take itself seriously. That's my kind of "fun horror." Would that qualify as clown gore?

Stac said...


Marry me. Seriously. ;)

George Aguirre said...

Stacy: <3

And come on, seriously, just imagine some movie slasher that does it all... web style.

He'd IM his victims on the phone:

Of course half the time they would be caught because they would be distracted trying to make out his unintelligible writing.

The movie name?

BRB gotta kill U.

Stac said...

Son, we gotta contact Hollywood STAT! You are on to something truly horrible!

Cins said...

George>>Honestly, I never found 13 Ghosts to be scary. But it was a load of fun to watch and has become a staple in my library.
Silent Hill I think can be overrated since it came from a video game originally. But the movie was eerie and beautiful. The barbed wire fest was insane, but I found that the simple ending with Alessa/Sharon duality to be really creepy.
And since Stac wants to marry you now, I would suggest commenting often.;)

Can we name the film "OH NOES!1 TEH INTERWEB H0rr0rz!1" Please? We can use lolcat on the movie poster.