Posts Tagged ‘movies’

I’m Not Offended.

 

 

Robert McCammon and I at WHC 2013

Robert McCammon and I at WHC 2013

I want to tell you a story. Those of you who are familiar with this blog know what comes next, but for my new friends, this is where I begin my rant. Usually I try to stick with topics that scare me. Today however, I want to share something that disappoints me deeply. I would like to preface this by explaining that I am not easily offended. Anyone who has read my writing can vouch for that. I’m also not opposed to nudity in general, nor am I opposed to nudity in horror films. I love horror films. Gratuitous sex is just part of the bargain. I’m not offended by it at all. Far from it. I’m one of the least prudish people you will ever meet. Of course, after today the fans of a certain well-known horror site might disagree on that point, but we’ll get to that. This post might piss some of you off and I’m deeply sorry about that. No, I’m just kidding, if it pisses you off, you’re part of the problem. Let’s start the story, shall we?

Imagine if you will, a facebook timeline. It could be very much like yours (probably is since we are both horror fans) but it isn’t yours. It’s mine. On this timeline are many posts by horror writers, memes by horror sites, and in general, just a plethora of horror related stuff. It’s a lovely timeline. It sees its share of monsters, blood and gore, and even some nudity. Now climb into my head as we are scrolling this timeline. Do you see it? Good! Imagine, if you will, you come across a picture that gives you pause. We are all familiar with the little twin girls from The Shining. Imagine that same hallway, only in place of the young girls, two adult twins have been poorly photoshopped into the foreground. They are both blonde with headbands and they are holding hands. They are also both completely nude with the exception of a pair of bloodstained knee socks. The tiniest of little boxes cover the necessary bits, but there is a link to the “uncensored version” posted directly below.

Okay, here is where you start rolling your eyes and saying “Come on, C.W.! It’s HORROR. This seriously can’t offend you, can it? You wrote a story about a guy fucking a hole in the ground!” But please stick with me here, I’m not done and I have a point to make. Whether that point is valid or not is completely up to you. Back to the story…

So you see this picture and you realize it is posted by the facebook page of what is known as a respected and highly trafficked horror website. It’s one of your favorites and is generally full of reviews, photos of classic horror movie posters, and all those usual things. You’re surprised, so you click the picture and are directed to the page. You’re still slightly shocked that they would post this. It really has nothing to do with the horror industry and is clearly a blatant excuse to post a rather gratuitous picture of porn. You aren’t outraged, but you’re a little stunned (remember, you’re in my head right now). Then you see the comments on the picture. Now you’re pissed. These misogynistic replies, posted by what can only be politely referred to as basic and crass troglodytes, start to get under your skin. I will share the fine comments posted by these knuckle-draggers later, complete with my own commentary.

But let’s get back to the subject at hand. You may not see my point yet, but I will spell it out for you. The picture was originally shared by a website called Boobs and Blood or some such shit. That’s fine. I’m not offended that they have this picture. It’s clearly not a site for which I am the target audience. Have at it! But it was shared by a site I do follow. It wasn’t on their website, just the facebook page, but that page is representative of this site I once followed and respected. I’m not offended. I’m gravely disappointed. I find it sad that such a respected site, with a broad range and large female fanbase would allow the posting of something so irrelevant to the horror industry. Posters of movies with nudity are relevant. Sure, they are. Gratuitous sex is a staple of the industry. It’s the norm. Full frontal female nudity is not. The most disheartening part of it is that they would willing post something that is potentially offensive to half their fanbase. And if the photo doesn’t bother most women, clearly the commentary that was allowed to follow would make the majority uncomfortable. I know that it is impossible for a site to post things that EVERYONE will enjoy or agree with, but I think a line was crossed here. The picture and ensuing comments gave what was once an enjoyable page for most, a crass frat house atmosphere. Let’s take a peek at some of these comments, shall we?

Eric S. says “Carpet installation. Hahahahaha! Pretty smooth…” Very clever there, Eric. I see what you did with the thinly-veiled reference to the women’s grooming habits. Your mother must be proud.

Michael B. says “One of them actually stole a book of matches and tried to burn off her
pubes, so I… corrected… her….”
Wait, what? What the fuck does that mean? Does anyone else think that sounds rapey?

Lee V. says “best photograph in the world” Clearly Lee’s reading tastes don’t include TIME magazine. I bet he considers the stories in the Penthouse Forum to be fine literary fiction.

There are more along that line, but I think you get the picture. But here’s where the disturbing shit really starts. Enter a couple people who speak negatively about the photo. Let’s look at how their comments are treated:

Jill G. says “What the hell is this? What does this have to do with the Shining? Why
can’t you just have a horror site without parading around naked women? And the
pseudo-pedophilia implied here is more than a little disturbing.”

To which Michael C. responds (Michael is my new favorite. A very special sort of douchebag) “@Jill  Chill out please. It’s a parody on something most horror
fans are familiar with. If not then you almost can’t call yourself a horror
fan. As for the rest of your comment. Those things you mentioned never came to
mind until you spoke of it and I still don’t see it. You have to try real hard
to imagine the pseudo-pedophilia. I think you have serious issues if you think
this image is problematic. And suggest to seek out professional help” 
Um, Nice try. I don’t think so, Michael. You see, I don’t remember the twins from The Shining ever being naked. If you are seeking a true parody of this scene, might I suggest the one featuring Stephen King and Colbert? Now that was funny shit. This is just an excuse to post two naked women.

Nope. Not naked.

Nope. Not naked.

 

Another post speaking out about the picture, Caren says “22,701 Horror fans on this page. How many do you think are women? Glad the guys think this is relevant.”

And the responses. From “The Site In Question” “Probably a lot of women. We have posted things like this before, and have actually gotten good responses from women. If there are men that are doing this sort of stuff, we would post it up there as well. That is just not the norm for the most part. Sorry if it offends you.” Oh, okay. The fact that you would post penises makes this totally cool. My bad. Carry on. But the fact that two women have now commented against it must be about as irrelevant as the picture itself.

The only male response speaking out against the picture, Paul F. says “I have to agree with Caren on this. I don’t really see the relevance of this to horror. It’s simple pornography. You might as well be posting links to Redtube or something. And before anyone gets on their histrionic high horse, no, I’m not gay nor am I a prude, not that that would be relevant to any intelligent debate on the subject. Those that do comment like that, should really question whether they see women as anything more than ‘walking vaginas’. I simply don’t want to open up Facebook, where I connect with a lot of horror authors and horror movie film pages, and see what is basically porn. Which is why I will now unlike the page. Good luck in the future.” Thanks Paul. Nice to see you aren’t all like Michael.

But wait! Here comes that wily Michael again @Paul How is this porn? Go look up what the definition of porn is and then come back and explain it to me. The image here is censored. While it might be slightly erotic it sure is no porn. @Caren  Your comment suggest that all women would have problems with this assuming you represent all women. I know a lot of healty and law abiding women who don’t object to this kind of imagery. And sorry to say but if people make more fuzz about seeing a little nudity as opposed to limbs being chopped off then I am kinda worried. Don’t we all come to this world naked? Honestly people chill out.Yeah! How dare you point out the irelevance of this picture! It’s naked women for Christ’s sakes! We NEVER get to see that. Bite me, Michael. And they linked the uncensored version. They only posted the censored version out of the desire to keep their facebook page, not any nod to modesty or taste.

But, apparently she does speak for some other women. Sumiko S. Says “Your comment suggests that you speak for all women vicariously, Michael
– because you know some women that it doesn’t bother. The fact that it doesn’t
bother some women does not mean that the women and men are bothered by it
should be silenced. People are entitled to have opinions, even ones you may not
personally agree with.

I think you should chill out.”

Okay, enough of that. At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “Come on, C.W. It’s not that big of a deal.” Some of you women may even be thinking the usual things. Men are pigs. Guys will be guys. No. That’s a cop out and you know it. I mean really? You men should be offended by that (though most aren’t because it lets them get by with bad behavior). Seriously, it’s not like you’re intelligent people who can control your actions and words, right? (note, heavy sarcasm intended by author) Women are forced to be okay with this sort of thing all the time, but let me tell you something, just because they remain quiet does not mean they aren’t uncomfortable. The unfortunate side effect of Women’s Lib is that a percentage of women, in hopes of not being lumped in with the more militant feminists, strive to embrace this behavior. They bury their discomfort in hopes of being “cool” or not being “that gal”. Well guess what? I’m okay with being that gal. I don’t give a shit. I’m not a prude. I’m not easily offended. But I’m sad to see this site resorting to this behavior. Right now is a hot time for the Sci-Fi/Horror industry in regards to the treatment of women. I am generally the FIRST to defend the industry amidst many allegations of sexual harassment at cons, disadvantages toward female authors and all the other horseshit that women deal with on a regular basis. I am not a card carrying feminist. You may think it’s wrong to call out all those men and their posts, but don’t worry. Sexist primates like that probably aren’t reading this fucking blog anyway.

But, in the end, it’s their page. They have the right to post what they want. Even if it is completely irrelevant to the industry and potentially offensive to the women on their page. As a former fan, I have a right to react. Their choice has put them in this blog. You know how we writers are. Originally I had intended to leave the site unnamed. But then I read their lame excuses and apologies which acknowledge the picture, but take absolutely no responsibility for posting it.

“We all love watching death, blood and gore…. Don’t let a couple of naked people get to you!!” It’s not the naked people, it’s the absolutely gratuitous reason for the picture on a site dedicated to horror.

“We share a lot of things on this Facebook page. One: its not our website, Two: if you don’t like it, don’t see a point to it, or are really offended by it, tell the blog it came from. Funny thing is we have had more bad comments and people mad about a twilight post than this. Again, we just share things sometimes. Could be a cool t-shirt, hello kitty chainsaw, trailers, or naked people. It’s a big world out there folks…” Yep. A big old world. Full of people. Some are writers. Welcome to my blog.

No, they’re right. It’s not their website. Just their facebook page, which all decent authors know is a huge representative of who we are as a brand. I won’t name the site. No, that would be wrong. But I will include a link to their page. 😉 I would like to know what you think. A decent dialogue goes a long way toward resolving issues. Much farther than asking people to chill out, and expecting them to bite their tongue when they see something they don’t like. Maybe it’s an overreaction. After all, it could just be that time of the month. Right guys?

Author’s Note:

Upon some reflection, I have decided to delete the link. Though my opinion on the actions of said Horror Site have not changed, it is not my intention to cause a witch hunt. However, the picture of me flipping them the bird still stands. Thank you~C.W. LaSart

A little "gratuitous" photo of my own.

A little “gratuitous” photo of my own.

 

 

Are You Horror’s Biggest Fan?

Happy Monday once again my friends! Here we are only 2 weeks away from Halloween and just 7 short days from the beginning of the Coffin Hop! I hope you are as excited as I am. Fall is in full swing and I feel my mood lifting as my favorite season takes hold. 🙂 No self-respecting horror fan would admit to loving Summer over Fall. It’s against the rules. You must love Halloween, Stephen King and all things Lovecraft to be a true horror fan. Wait….what? I don’t even like Lovecraft (though I do adore Mr. King.) Are you as tired as I am of genre snobs trying to tell you what’s acceptable to like and what you must consider garbage? You know who I’m talking about, maybe it’s even YOU! Those people who consider themselves elite, their opinions above everyone else’s, their knowledge superior. They often use the word purist, and they are present in every avenue of artistic beauty, from music, to films, to literature.

I went to the movies this weekend with my beloved Lou. Despite reading nothing but horrendous reviews, we decided to take a chance on The Thing, which promised to be a prequel to the original, rather than a remake. Having not seen a single positive note about the film, I will admit I had lowered my expectations. I must say, though it wasn’t the best horror film I have ever seen, it wasn’t bad. We both enjoyed it. Neither one of us felt we’d been screwed out of 20 bucks and two hours of our lives. The review that sticks out most in my mind, went on and on about the lack of suspense compared to the original, the lack of character development compared to the original, the blah-de-fucking-blah compared to the original. Anyway, it got me thinking about that group of assholes, you know who I’m talking about, that think they are Horror’s Biggest Fan. It’s not enough that they declare they have seen EVERYTHING horror has to offer, but they also will dissect each and every film (or book) claiming to understand the directors motives and using pretentious terms that only college professors appreciate. You know, that schmuck that rolls his eyes, should you admit you don’t see the genius in Sam Raimi’s work, and calls you an imbecile.

These people are present in all walks of life, I have noticed they can be particularly obnoxious in the music industry, but I ask you this, why do we tolerate it? Shouldn’t you have the right to like what you like, without some pretentious prick feeling that it is his/her duty to illustrate to you just how and why you are wrong? And that’s the funniest part. It’s opinion for cripes sake! There is no right or wrong. I’m not picking on my friends who said they didn’t like The Thing. That’s their opinion and I totally respect them for it. I’m talking about that more heinous group of individuals who would treat me like a caveman for not liking Lovecraft. Clearly I am uncouth and know nothing of the genre.

Before I go any farther, some of you may be thinking back to the unfavorable post I did on the re-make of Fright Night. I stated clearly that it was only my opinion, openly admitting that I was prejudiced against the film due to both the 3D and the fact that it was a childhood favorite. I look forward to giving it another chance on DVD.

The most humorous thing about Horror’s Biggest Fan, is with his ever-present disdain for anything mainstream or commercially popular, he fails to recognize his own hypocrisy. Should you mention Scream, he will throw out some obscure title, delighting in the fact you’ve never heard of it, and informing you of how it is far superior horror since it never gained mainstream acceptance. In fact, the only constant that seems true of all these people, whether they are talking about literature or music or whatever they have styled themselves to be the experts about, is that anything with commercial success is shit. If it is universally loved by the masses, it must be worthless. I bet these people hate puppies. And fucking apple pie!

I don’t believe that you should jump on bandwagons and like something just because everyone else does. But I think it’s just as big a sin to not give something a chance because it’s popular. We are all individuals with different tastes and perceptions. I like what I like, regardless of what others say. Especially genre snobs. In fact, I will listen to their pretentious bullshit only if forced. Of course, what do I know? I’m just a buffoon who enjoys Sam Raimi’s movies, but wouldn’t call them genius. These idiots are the same ones who will soon be leaving me rambling reviews on Amazon, comparing me to Lovecraft and outlining all the ways I come up short. Now that’s scary……

The Coffin Hop is sneaking up on us! Get ready for the fun next Monday when 80+ horror authors will be hosting contests that will put the Howl in your Halloween! Visit me again on Monday, October 24th for a chance to win the items in the picture below, including a signed copy of Dark Moon Digest Presents Zombies!

For The Love Of Vampires.

So I spent my Sunday afternoon in a dark theater, wearing dorky glasses, and munching overpriced, yet absolutely perfect popcorn. Lou and I had been eagerly anticipating the release of the remake of one of my favorite films of all time, Fright Night. Yesterday was the only day that we could fit it into the schedule, and as a bonus, our local theater had just been reopened under new management. Freshly cleaned and updated with dazzling new technology, the theater was a very pleasant place to be as we anxiously awaited the start of what would our first 3D experience in many years.

This was especially exciting for me as there were at least two years of my life, I believe between the age of ten and twelve, when I watched the original almost every day. I loved that movie. I still do. I have always been a fan of the horror genre, but if I had to pick, I could easily say that my all time favorite movies are the vampire ones. There’s just something about them. I will watch ANY vampire movie, regardless of how ridiculous it may seem. In fact, I will even put up with sparkly ones, though they aren’t my favorites. I’m actually more annoyed by the fact that they don’t have fangs, but then again, there were no fangs in Near Dark either, and that movie rocked! But I digress.

I’ve decided that this week I will do a post about my feelings on this film. No worries, there will be no plot spoilers here, just my honest opinion of this remake. So upon entering the theater and buying a ticket, this movie already had about 5 points in it’s favor, just by virtue of being a vampire movie. Subtract 3 points for the 3D, I absolutely despise 3D, and it was still a good 2 points ahead of the game. I will refrain from using points for the rest of the post. I hate math about as much as I hate 3D. Let’s get back to this.

I am generally as skeptical of a remake as the next guy…er…gal, and this was no different. To date, the only remakes that I have truly appreciated have been Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. I’m not saying that these films were superior to the originals, only that they were respectful and good enough to stand alone. The remake of Halloween just pissed me off. I mean, seriously! Half of what makes Michael Myers so scary is because we know he was evil from childhood, but don’t know why. Throw in some abuse and Viola! He’s just some schmuck with every reason to be crazy. We have enough of those people in real life.

I promised an opinion of Fright Night, but I’m not really sure I know how I feel about it. It wasn’t great. It was different enough from the original that I wasn’t trying to compare it much. The only things I really did compare were the characters of Charlie and Evil Ed, and I liked neither. With Charlie I was left with a feeling of apathy, I didn’t really care what happened to him either way. Evil Ed on the other hand pissed me off. As one of the most colorful characters in the first movie, this kid just didn’t pull it off. He was whiny and a bit pathetic.

The majority of the movie was really quite bad, but the last twenty minutes seemed to save the film. I despised Colin Farrell as the vampire for the most part, but he really seemed to get it together at the end. There were some final scenes that were really fantastic, but I don’t know if that makes the movie good. I will say that I found it acceptable. I am looking forward to seeing the movie in 2D, before I fully form an opinion, since the 3D is such a distraction. It was much better than when I was a kid, but it’s still such a gimmick.

I guess that’s it. The movie was acceptable as a horror film, I certainly didn’t leave feeling as though I wanted my 40 bucks back, but maybe 10 or 20 of it. They will continue to remake the movies we love, and we will continue to feel conflicted about it. Such is life. I actually heard that they are planning to remake Dirty Dancing. Now that’s scary…..

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