Saturday, December 20, 2008

You Should Know Better, Dammit

I had me a wee epiphany the other night.

I love horror movies, and obviously, so do you or you wouldn't be reading this, I presume. (Or you're my roommate. Hi, Bevin!) But as fans, we all have to admit that there can be some truly terrible entries into our beloved genre. I'm sure this applies across the board, regardless of the story, but for some reason horror's failures seem to be so much more.. vivid.. than its filmographic siblings.

Every style of film has its cliches, but none seem to make my blood boil to the same degree as some of the rampant stupidity that scary (or want to be) movies seem to spread all over the camera lens like rancid mayonnaise. This is lazy thinking at its finest, in my regard, and it can take an otherwise enjoyable watching experience and turn it into a weapon that I swear to God in heaven above was designed for the sole purpose of pissing me off. So I thought I would take this blog, turn it into a nifty cyber soap box, and figuratively climb upon it to scream into the darkness of the internet.

The first of many cliches that is absolutely guaranteed to make me chew on tin foil in the futile hopes of calming myself down off of this precipice of SHEER RAGE is everyone's favorite: the bull shit ending. You know what I mean here; its become a staple of low budget horror in particular, and you can basically guarantee that any macabre movie shown on the Sci Fi channel will do this. I'm referring to what I have dubbed The Negated Ending. This is where the film makers either show themselves to be greedy, "edgy", stupid, or all three. This is where the climax of the film has delivered its pay off, the evil is vanquished, the couple or group of friends, or siblings, or whatever the survivor pool is comprised of, quip tiredly off into the sunset, assured that because of the rules that allowed the evil to be summoned in the first place, the evil is now no more. There is usually no way that the threat of the film could come back-- the ghost is exorcised, the bad guy shot, the monster banished, the portal to hell closed. And then what fucking happens, like you don't already know?! Somehow, improbably, the threat is back, tries to throw a little BOOGABOOGA at you, like you didn't see it telegraphed about an HOUR ago, and then the credits role.

Attention film makers who pull this stunt: I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU AND I HOPE YOU GET LIP HERPES! AND I HOPE IT ITCHES!! STOP DOING THIS!!!!

The next stupid cliche that makes me so angry I get a burst blood vessel in my eyeball: the "shocking" betrayal that, once again, you probably picked up on before the main titles had come up on the screen. Can't people who claim to be friends just be fucking friends? Have these dip shits been in the movie machine for so long now that betrayal is simply a way of life? I get that not everyone is who they claim they are, but not everyone is a lying douche nozzle waiting for you to turn your back so they have a clearer view of where to plant the knife, either! If you think your friend would fuck you over for pot or money or a lay, don't take their asses into the jungle with you! Have a pal prone to emotionally crumbling? Make sure you don't get partnered with them in the abandoned, creepy hospital! Are you a spy or consorting with them? THEN TRUST NO ONE! (I'm looking at YOU Indiana Jones!) I'm also going to give everyone in the world a hint: if Jake Busey appears to you, claiming he's in need of aid, keep fucking driving!

This spills over a bit into character stereotypes: on the rare occasion that you have a self sufficient heroine, why is her boyfriend always a cheating, abusive piece of shit? I personally make it my goal to terrorize those I date into remaining faithful. I can guarantee you emasculation at best, and if I find out about your inability to keep your tonker in your Tuffkskins during a high stress situation like we're being chased by zombies, your ass is brain food for the shambling masses of the undead. Why is there no such thing as a surviving and healthy relationship? If the guy isn't a prick then Leatherface is going to plant a zipper in his chest and wear him around to do his crazy chainsaw dance in.

One last one (for now) and then I'll wrap, because I can most assuredly go on all night on this topic. Ask anyone who's seen me (or wound me up into a) rant; it can go on for hours, involves frothing at the mouth, wild gesticulation, volume, and then tends to degenerate into drinking a lot of tequila and sulking. And sometimes sleeping on Cins' kitchen floor, but that's a tale for anther time.

My final peevish irritation is pointed at faulty anatomy. It's thanks to this thought that I got the idea for this entry as well as a future article, so score one for irrational hatred. Is it that fucking hard to crack out an anatomy textbook or something, to verify that your killing blow will, in fact, kill? My most recent red flag in this instance is the ever popular stomach stab. Did you know that this is, actually, a really fucking horrible, lengthy way to die? Unless the stabbing object manages to nick the major artery in the back, along the spine and the victim bleeds out, most wounds of this kind can actually take a long time to kill the person it is inflicted on. Shock might do them in first, if they were lucky, but otherwise what is likely to set in is sepsis, caused by stomach acid leaking into the body's cavity. I would imagine that death will eventually result from a massive infection, or organ damage. You don't just go *STAB*, and the victim then dies to death. And it is sure as HELL not a merciful way to kill someone! For fuck's sake, people!

I know that common sense and suspension of disbelief don't often go hand in hand, but come ON! Meet me in the middle, will you? I'm warning you: this WILL be an ongoing thing. So very, very much of the world ANGERS ME!


Metal Mikey said...

Keep the complaints comin'! If there's anything I enjoy hearing, from a TRUE Horror movie fan, (Not one of those casual PG-13 Horror fans.), it's some hearty conversating about things that bug them about our favorite genre.

Probably out of the complaints you've registered, I particularly latched on to two items. Namely the shit-ending and the shit-boyfriend points. Look, I'm not saying the Horror genre has to have a nicely tidy "happy ending" to satisfy my viewing experience. (In fact, the happy end to "Mother of Tears" was almost a bit TOO schmaltzy, compared to the rest of the movie.) But if a director insists on a downer ending, it HAS to make some sense. You can't just tack on a remainder of the threat you THOUGHT was destroyed, just for the hell of it. It just makes what could have been an enjoyable movie experience into a "What the FAAACK?!?" exit.

As for the stereotypical asshole boyfriends in movies, I'm only just against them because they get WAY more women action than I do. Yeesh! Even in fiction, nice guys get their asses kicked in the dating department!

George said...

Oh god, I agree with you SO Much on ALL of this, though the first and the last point have been bugging me lately. Instant-death stabbing (regardless of location) is one of my peeves, but more so, the bullshit ending.

Nothing quite makes me slap my forehead over how, three months after the killings (which started with a phone call right at midnight), our heroes think life is back to normal... only THEN--


NO. Augh. NO.
That's not edgy. That's cheating. A movie is something that must have payoff: it's like a romance. If you change genres, it shows how bad it is: imagine you went to watch a flick where the guy is trying to get the girl. You spend 2 hours in the movie theater watching this man do EVERYTHING to win her love. FINALLY, true love's kiss! HELL YEAH--

And then you get a cut over:
"3 months later, they divorced."