Rue Morgue Podcast

Episode 031: SAVAGE VENGEANCE

on September 7, 2011 | 113 Comments

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On this episode, Andrea “Hellbat” Subissati returns to dissect a couple of obscure flicks that relate to the I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE universe:

1985′s NAKED VENGEANCE – the Roger Corman produced pseudo remake/rip-off of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE directed by Cirio H. Santiago.

& 1993′s SAVAGE VENGEANCE – the deplorable ‘shot on video’ pseudo sequel to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE that sees Camille Keaton reprising the role of Jennifer Hills.

Plus, Hellbat and I respond to some of your ‘amazing’ blog comments posted in reaction to our last podcast together (which you can read HERE.)

It’s a roaring rampage of revenge-filled DOUBLE EPISODE of the Rue Morgue Podcast.

Enjoy!

:- FDBK

p.s. HUGE thanks to Daniel and EYESORE CINEMA for helping make this episode possible.

To have one of your letters read on an upcoming edition of the Rue Morgue Podcast, send an email to letters @ ruemorgueradio.com.

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Tags: naked vengeance, savage vengeance

Responses to Episode 031: SAVAGE VENGEANCE

  1. Andrea says:

    spin·ner Noun/ˈspinər/
    1. A person occupied in making thread by spinning.
    2. A person or thing that spins.
    3. A petite woman. Denoted as a joke, whereby the petite woman is so thin she is able to be mounted and spun in a circle on an erect penis.

  2. Feedback says:

    Obviously, Robert Englund was referring to the FIRST option.

  3. Feedback says:

    re·ac·tion·ar·y

    adjective /rēˈakSHəˌnerē/ 

    (of a person or a set of views) Opposing political or social liberalization or reform

    noun /rēˈakSHəˌnerē/ 

    reactionaries, plural

    A person who holds such views

  4. Taylor says:

    Hey, i have been subscribed on iTunes for about 2 months now. why am i no longer getting the new episodes to Download?

  5. Wouldn’t these Films be on par with Charles Bronson’s DEATH WISH (@ least the 1st one), even though the main Character taking revenge is Female?

    It all comes down to a Victim who turns into a Vigilante due to Violent circumstances beyond their control (i.e. used again in 1980′s THE EXTERMINATOR) …

    Marketed to the Horror Genre Fans, one can still hold an opinion these are all Rape-Revenge Action Exploitation Flicks

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exterminator

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Wish_(film)

  6. P.S.

    Just say NO to remakes (and unnecessary sequels / lower budgeted straight to DVD sequels); but do say YES to Filmmakers who develop original (quality) films which pay homage to the classics (i.e. borrow dialog, recreate a scene, use of character names, etc); and do so in clever ways ….

    Anyone who actually has the time to post numerous complaints on a BLOG (or PODCAST) has too much free time (if you don’t like what you’re reading, or listening to, then please feel free to write a BLOG and/or produce your own PODCAST) ….

  7. Stu White says:

    One final note on Polanski. This was by far the best reporting I found on the entire mess – and well worth a read.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/12/14/091214fa_fact_toobin?currentPage=1

    Stu

  8. The Gore-met says:

    That post was specifically designed to be as blatantly offensive as I could make it.

    It worked!

    Feedback is fond of thrusting me into the furthest reaches of right-wing nuttery whenever I express a view that can remotely be considered conservative, so I decided to go there first and come across worse than he would eventually have characterised me had I attempted to express similar views in a reasonable manner.

    I see over-the-top vitriol all the time in the comments section of the various media sites I read so I thought it would be a bit of fun.

    I also thought nobody would ever read it as the comments sections of the RM blog are not exactly hives of activity.

    I contribute occasional posts to the blog, but have no idea what sort of traffic they get. Looks like they get a lot more than I was assuming.

    And I made two mistakes – I tried to carry it on too long, and then tried to backpedal when the scale of it got out of hand.

    Lesson learned.

  9. The Gore-met says:

    I should make one more point – I have neither radical nor rigid political or social viewpoints. Some may lean a little right, others lean to the left. Life is far too complex to subscribe to a single point of view. And I definitely don’t believe in demonising people for having views that aren’t fashionable.

  10. The Gore-met says:

    One more thing i thought of while cutting up potatoes and cauliflower.

    Feedback, do you realise that you’ve done just as much to promote Black Devil Doll as I did? I haven’t mentioned this movie in 3 years, but here you are talking about. If you don’t want people to watch it, why are you bringing it up?

    In criticsing me for promoting Black Devil Doll, you and Doug overlooked some rather important points – I don’t decide what gets printed in the magazine, I don’t decide what gets shown at Fan Expo, and I don’t decide what gets reviewed on RM Radio.

    At the same time you’re banging on about white people dominating horror – which completely ignores the Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, and Indian film industries – you’re getting on my case for supporting a young, black, independent filmmaker. Does this make sense to you?

  11. The Gore-met says:

    Argh, one more point!

    Why are all the RM contributors (at least those I know) white?

    Why are the audiences at Cinemacabre overwhelming white?

    Why is virtually everyone who participates in the Festival of Fear – volunteers, vendors, and guests – overwhelmingly white?

    Is this systemic cultural oppression on a grand scale, or is that the audience for horror is mainly white?

  12. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    “There go my tits again”

    hilarious.

  13. Feedback says:

    FOUR posts from the Gore-Met and nary a diatribe on HIGH HEELS! What’s the world coming to?

    Alright, I will respond to a few….

    “That post was specifically designed to be as blatantly offensive as I could make it.
    It worked!”

    It SURE did. Thank you.

    “Feedback is fond of thrusting me into the furthest reaches of right-wing nuttery whenever I express a view that can remotely be considered conservative”

    Yes. It’s my hobby.

    “I also thought nobody would ever read it as the comments sections of the RM blog are not exactly hives of activity.”

    Ah-ha! You haven’t been paying attention to some of the comments on the RM Podcast I see!

    “And I made two mistakes – I tried to carry it on too long, and then tried to backpedal when the scale of it got out of hand.
    Lesson learned.”

    Didn’t you watch THE SOCIAL NETWORK? Don’t you know that what you write on the internet is in PEN, not PENCIL?

    Anyway, you don’t know the HALF of it. I just got word that QUENTIN TARANTINO is writing the FOREWORD to Lianne Spiderbaby’s book (entitled GRINDHOUSE GIRLS) – and IN his foreword, he references your BLOG comment! I can’t fucking WAIT to read THAT! That post may very well become the most popular thing you’ve EVER written. Weird, huh?

    “Life is far too complex to subscribe to a single point of view.”

    Agreed. Hence why it’s important to CHALLENGE prevailing assumptions and notions.

    “And I definitely don’t believe in demonising people for having views that aren’t fashionable.”

    Unless they express those views in high heels and lingerie, I guess, huh?

    “Feedback, do you realise that you’ve done just as much to promote Black Devil Doll as I did?”

    Oops!

    “At the same time you’re banging on about white people dominating horror – which completely ignores the Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, and Indian film industries”

    That’s true – I could’ve perhaps extended that list to a couple of MALE Asian filmmakers as well (Park Chan-wook for instance) but still, the point remains. When we think of the GREATS, for the most part, we think of WHITE MEN.

    “you’re getting on my case for supporting a young, black, independent filmmaker. Does this make sense to you?”

    Fucking hell! Are you kidding? Your “SUPPORT” of this BLACK, INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER comes at the expense of EVERY SINGLE GREAT BLACK AMERICAN THINKER I’ve ever admired!

    For instance, Dr. Cornel West and Mumia Abu Jamal (the Devil Doll’s namesake) would both be DEEPLY disgusted by this movie and VERY disappointed in Mr. Lewis.

    Yeah – by all means – support Black, Independent filmmakers – but try to find ones that don’t betray the ideals of every GREAT Black American thinker alive or dead!

    “Why are all the RM contributors (at least those I know) white?”

    That’s a good question – for the editors!

    “Why are the audiences at Cinemacabre overwhelming white? Why is virtually everyone who participates in the Festival of Fear – volunteers, vendors, and guests – overwhelmingly white? Is this systemic cultural oppression on a grand scale, or is that the audience for horror is mainly white?”

    Yes, it’s systematic oppression on a grand scale!

    But seriously – you can’t make the assumption that the audience for horror is mainly WHITE when all the events you speak of are put on by and geared towards a largely WHITE demographic.

    I’ve talked about this before – but I once went to a SOLD-OUT theatre in NYC where my girlfriend and I were the ONLY white people there. And the film that had everyone CRAMMED in on a Friday night? Peter Jackson’s DEAD ALIVE.

    And that audience ate it up. HUNDREDS of black people squealing in riotous delight at every disgusting turn. THAT audience made any audience you’ll ever see at CINEMACABRE seem comatose by comparison.

    So my conclusion? Black people love horror. But don’t be surprised if they don’t fall over themselves with fan-fanaticism for a genre traditionally controlled by WHITE MEN that invariably sees one of their kind knocked off before any of the white people!

    But reading between the lines, I’m guessing you’re advocating for a BLACK HORROR MONTH!

    Good idea.

  14. Feedback says:

    Dark Amor…

    “Wouldn’t these Films be on par with Charles Bronson’s DEATH WISH (@ least the 1st one), even though the main Character taking revenge is Female?”

    Absolutely. I mentioned DEATH WISH a couple of times in relation to NAKED VENGEANCE.

  15. Feedback says:

    Taylor! I just realised that the last two podcasts have not come through iTunes. I dunno. I’ll have a look but I might have to get Monica to troubleshoot this. Hang on!

  16. The Gore-met says:

    Feedback said:

    “Anyway, you don’t know the HALF of it. I just got word that QUENTIN TARANTINO is writing the FOREWORD to Lianne Spiderbaby’s book (entitled GRINDHOUSE GIRLS) – and IN his foreword, he references your BLOG comment! I can’t fucking WAIT to read THAT! That post may very well become the most popular thing you’ve EVER written. Weird, huh?”

    Well, i’ve bashed him in print, so it’s fair play.

  17. The Gore-met says:

    Dark Amor,

    I also cited Death Wish and Dirty Harry in my review of the original I Spit on Your Grave. There’s an obvious comparison.

  18. Feedback says:

    Alright, Taylor. I think the iTunes problem is sorted. Let me know if it’s coming in!

  19. Feedback says:

    “Well, i’ve bashed him in print, so it’s fair play.”

    No doubt it hurt his feelings.

  20. The Gore-met says:

    Feedback also said:

    “Fucking hell! Are you kidding? Your “SUPPORT” of this BLACK, INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER comes at the expense of EVERY SINGLE GREAT BLACK AMERICAN THINKER I’ve ever admired!”

    Is this the only offensive depiction of black people in media you’ve ever seen?

    Yes, Black Devil Doll is offensive, but it’s also a PARODY of black stereotypes which it EXPLOITS. I don’t see how anyone could look at it and think a possessed ventriloquist dummy was an accurate depiction of an American black male or is going to set back race relations! The movie is completely ABSURD, who in their right mind would take seriously?!

    Eddie Murphy famously mocked racial stereotypes in Delerious, is he a bad man for it?

  21. The Gore-met says:

    “No doubt it hurt his feelings.”

    Probably about as much as mine will be.

  22. Taylor says:

    The Itunes is back up, thank you very much for your reply and swift fixing.

  23. Feedback says:

    “Yes, Black Devil Doll is offensive, but it’s also a PARODY of black stereotypes which it EXPLOITS.”

    There’s a difference. For instance, Melvin Van Peeble’s WATERMELON MAN is a parody of black stereotypes as constructed by the dominant order.

    BLACK DEVIL DOLL is a CELEBRATION of black stereotypes – reveling greedily in them for their own value.

    There’s no social perspective in BDD that puts these stereotypes into a critical context.

    Regardless of the ethnicity of the filmmaker, it’s a film for reactionary young WHITE male audiences who want to giggle at a sexist-spewing caricature of a black man replete with every cockamamie racial stereotype ever constructed.

    It’s not a film that encourages a respect for black people – it’s one that invites white people to laugh at them.

    And as for its depiction of women…..it’s actually hateful!

    Don’t get me wrong. I love perving out on copious amounts of voluptuous female flesh as much as the next person but I don’t have to regard women as nothing more than dumb animals in order to find them arousing.

    In summary, BDD has NOTHING progressive to say. There’s nothing constructive about its exploration of stereotypes. Trying to characterize it otherwise is to hide ones lascivious impulses behind a bullshit veneer of moral superiority (and as we know, there’s FAR too much of that in the horror world).

    And as much as we disagree, I’ve never seen you as one to do that. So don’t start now!

  24. The Gore-met says:

    “In summary, BDD has NOTHING progressive to say. There’s nothing constructive about its exploration of stereotypes. Trying to characterize it otherwise is to hide ones lascivious impulses behind a bullshit veneer of moral superiority (and as we know, there’s FAR too much of that in the horror world).

    And as much as we disagree, I’ve never seen you as one to do that. So don’t start now!”

    We have both neglected to mention that it’s portrayal of white people is equally as ridiculous. If I wasn’t offended by that, then why should I have taken it upon myself to be offended on behalf of somebody else?

    I’ve been contributing to RM for nearly 12 years now, I’d be willing to bet I’ve written about more non-white films than any other contributor. I even noted in a review of a Korean film the difficulties in interpreting other cultures from the perspective of an outsider. I didn’t want any reader to think I was pretending to ‘know’ cultures not my own. I don’t think that’s right.

  25. FEEDBACK says:

    “If I wasn’t offended by that, then why should I have taken it upon myself to be offended on behalf of somebody else?”

    No-one’s asking you to be.

    It’s like if I were to see a bunch of rednecks kicking the fuck out of a gay fella in a back alley – why would I take offense? It’s not me getting the shit kicked out of me, is it? So therefore, there’s absolutely no need for me to speak up or to even be bothered by it.

    I’m not gay – so how could I possibly understand how that feels?

  26. FEEDBACK says:

    p.s. In case it wasn’t clear enough, I was being HIGHLY facetious with that last remark!

  27. Feedback says:

    Taylor!

    “The Itunes is back up, thank you very much for your reply and swift fixing.”

    No, thank YOU for listening! (And for letting me know there was a problem.)

  28. Feedback says:

    Stu. Thanks for posting that Polanski piece. The writer (resident CNN chone Toobin) stays very firmly on the fence though…

    “In Polanski’s case, the effect of his celebrity was doubly, and inconsistently, pernicious; it obscured both how badly Polanski treated his young victim and how badly the legal system treated him.”

    I still haven’t seen the doc! Definitely on my list to watch soon(ish.)

  29. The Gore-met says:

    Feedback, you’re singling out one review out of the hundreds I’ve written for RM. If I was really that culturally insensitive, or just an outright bigot, wouldn’t there be other examples? Come on!

  30. Feedback says:

    GM. I’m not singling out ONE review to label you a bigot. In fact, I’m not singling out ANY of your reviews. I’m singling out your fondness of BDD to illustrate what I perceive to be a double standard regarding your comments about WIH and the sex-sell (as discussed on the show.)

    I’m not trying to discredit your body of work – I’m merely pointing out some discrepancies in your posts on this blog.

    For the record, your column is not under scrutiny here. What IS under scrutiny are your comments to the ISOYG podcast.

    And even if you were trying to offer up a cartoonish, right-wing reactionary diatribe to get a rise out of me (or even if you STAND BY those comments), it doesn’t matter. You served up a smorgasbord of reactionary bullshit which afforded me the opportunity to systematically dismantle a whole range of horrible viewpoints.

    Life gave me AIDS and I made lemon AIDS.

  31. The Gore-met says:

    Hey, you can edit your posts and I can’t, no fair!

  32. Stu White says:

    Mr. Andrews,

    You’re very welcome. I thought the piece was quite damning. On the one hand, the article works really hard to humanize Polanski while on the other laying out reams of examples of morally questionable if not outright criminal conduct which contextualizes the attack in California as part of a life-long fascination with pubescent girls. The lack of vitriol on the part of the writer is what makes the piece so potent – Polanski’s long history with underaged girls is laid out dispassionately, which makes it harder for the director’s defenders to characterize the article as a hack piece. In any event, I’m glad to have pointed people to it.

  33. Feedback says:

    “Hey, you can edit your posts and I can’t, no fair!”

    What do you want fixed?

  34. Feedback says:

    Stu, you know what? I’m a chone….I didn’t realise there were more pages! I was wondering what the hell you were going on about in that last post til I popped back on and saw there was a TON more stuff…..

    I’m reading it now.

  35. The Gore-met says:

    I’m not trying to back away from it, but you’re overstating my ‘fondness’ for Black Devil Doll.

    It’s one of I don’t know how many indie films I’ve written about, I did the Caustic Critics spot because you asked me to. I chose to screen it at FoF because it was something of an exclusive opportunity, and a good tie-in to the mag at the time. It wasn’t because I’m all enamoured by it, it was just part of the job.

  36. FEEDBACK says:

    GM. Answer this then. Why is it ok for the women in BDD to parade around with their tits out – but NOT for Lianne Spiderbaby to wear lingerie while discussing Cannibal Holocaust?

    Can you break that down?

  37. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    *seinfeld bass*

  38. Another interesting and provocative podcast, Andrea & Stuart! Thanks for e-mailing me the link!

    Just to clarify, QT doesn’t mention Gore-Met. I don’t think he knows Gore-Met exists, so no need to throw that on the fire.
    Also, I really don’t own lingerie haha, for real. I’m usually wearing tank tops for Diary of The Deuce. I haven’t done one in awhile… I need to bring that back for a future episode.

    Thanks, everyone!
    Lianne

  39. Feedback says:

    But the lingerie thing really isn’t a bad idea!

    Think about purchasing some. Or maybe as an apology, the GORE-MET can send you a gift certificate to his favourite naughty lingerie shop of choice?

  40. Scurrilous says:

    Can you tell me what is the “theme song” you are using for Rue Morgue Podcast? It’s great! Thanks!

  41. meli says:

    I’m an hour through and just to the juicy bits when I arrived home from my commute. Will have to pick back up tomorrow. I feel really nerdy walking around the house listening to my iPod.

    Listening to your commentary about Naked / Savage Vengance :) is interesting (as the Hellbat / Feedback sessions always are), but I am most looking forward to you guys tackling some of the insanity in the comments from the last show. It was quite depressing to read and although Feedback and Gore-Met are still at it, I have a feeling I will be vindicated by your follow-up on this episode.

    Interesting assessment about how the critic of The Woman was treated – I hadn’t really thought of it in that way before. But I also haven’t seen the movie and don’t have much point of reference to form an opinion on the criticism one way or another (yet).

    Oh, and, “Just get us in a cage and see who comes out, Mike Tank.”
    Great rebuttal. How could that not rekindle the old flame in his heart!?

  42. Mike Tank says:

    @Meli-

    “Oh, and, ‘Just get us in a cage and see who comes out, Mike Tank.’

    Great rebuttal. How could that not rekindle the old flame in his heart!?”

    Oh, it rekindled, all right. Like a California brush fire. ;)

  43. Mike Tank says:

    By the way, Feedback- THANK YOU for my favorite RM podcast moment EVER.

    In all seriousness, I loved your breakdown on how ALL films are political, even the most insipid, sugary romantic comedy. Great stuff.

  44. Feedback says:

    Alright, I got the best Chonebook messages I’ve ever gotten today…..

    From Donald Farmer.

    This is 100% true. They started with….

    “Loved the new RM podcast! Packing for Alaska now!!”

    I kid you not!

  45. Feedback says:

    “I loved your breakdown on how ALL films are political, even the most insipid, sugary romantic comedy. Great stuff.”

    They’re usually the MOST overtly ideological (in terms of reifying dominant cultural values.)

    I once caught a showing of MAID IN MANHATTAN on cable TV and just about had a fucking stroke! (And not just because of Lopez’s atrocious acting either.)

  46. Feedback says:

    “Can you tell me what is the “theme song” you are using for Rue Morgue Podcast? It’s great! Thanks!”

    I’ve been revolving between three different ones.

    On this episode, the track is the TRIOXIN Theme from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.

    Often, I use the theme from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3.

    And sometimes, I use Iron Maiden’s FLASH OF THE BLADE (as heard in Argento’s Phenomena.)

    But I’m glad you dig the choice of theme songs!

  47. Robert Black says:

    Loved the reviews and i hope that more of the obscure oldschool exploitation films reviewed. Could have done without the aggrandizement of gender politics in cinema. I’d prefer you stick with the film’s merit as entertainment. If I want a socio political cinema studies lecture I’ll tune into a more suited podcast or read a dissertation on the subject.

  48. Feedback says:

    Robert. This reminds me of an old joke.

    Customer: Waiter! There’s a fly in my soup.

    Waiter: Don’t worry. There’s no extra charge.

    So what are you complaining about? You got your reviews – and as a BONUS – you got a “socio political cinema studies lecture” thrown in for free!

  49. meli says:

    Finished this morning! FANtastic :)

    Glad you took the time to re-address some of the blog comments even though reliving them was more depressing than I anticipated.

    In regards to Mr. Black’s comment, I don’t understand the aversion to film analysis. I always find these discussions highly entertaining. It’s especially refreshing since the horror genre is constantly being dismissed as simple mindless entertainment when it’s quite the opposite. What’s more interesting than deconstructing the socio-political meaning behind these films?

  50. Robert Black says:

    Meli, I have no aversion to critical film analysis. I’ve just simply heard it all before and far FAR too often from people with the same views. Those same socio political views seem overly masturbatory to me.

    Exclusion,inclusion,inequality in gender same pinko nonsense. How can you make any insightful comments when the same people are parroting each other’s opinions? Now, if Stuart or Andrea were joined with say someone like Jim Goad that would be a discussion worth tuning in to.

  51. Andrea says:

    Now hang on, Robert.

    While Feedback and I shared the same distaste for some ugly remarks, I’ll remind you that this whole series came about because we had very different readings of I Spit On Your Grave.

    And regarding your prior comment about sticking to an appreciation of a film’s merit as entertainment: I for one am most entertained by films that makes me think critically. Or in other words, I don’t see the two as mututally exclusive.

    Would I be interpreting you correctly if I understood that you would prefer your socio-political film analysis to be more of a debate than a discussion? Because we will happily entertain any and all points of view brought forth in this blog and discuss them! Please don’t hesitate!

    Finally, I had to google Jim Goad. Looks like he has a lot common with Charlie Sheen! I think we have already spent enough time challenging a misogynist point of view, but I would happy to take him on. Another cage match, perhaps?

  52. Mike Tank says:

    “Exclusion,inclusion,inequality in gender same pinko nonsense”??!

    Oy vey. Here we go again. I can’t take this anymore.

    “Now, if Stuart or Andrea were joined with say someone like Jim Goad that would be a discussion worth tuning in to.”

    Why stop there? Bring on Dave Sim or Tom Leykis or, hell, let’s dig up Nietzsche and cart him in. Perhaps then some of you would feel that you finally have someone who truly represents your point of view for a “balanced” “debate”.

    Gimme a break, fellas. It’s getting old already.

  53. Robert Black says:

    Now hang on, Robert.

    While Feedback and I shared the same distaste for some ugly remarks, I’ll remind you that this whole series came about because we had very different readings of I Spit On Your Grave.

    Thanks for the response. Your lovely voice is far preferrable to Lance’s semi effeminate semi coherent blatherings and more thoughtful as well. I didn’t gather you had an altogether different reading of “I Spit”.It seems you guys were on the same page more often than not,perhaps on a different paragraph. Not that exciting Andrea,although I still enjoyed the podcast.

    And regarding your prior comment about sticking to an appreciation of a film’s merit as entertainment: I for one am most entertained by films that makes me think critically. Or in other words, I don’t see the two as mututally exclusive.

    I prefer substance to my cinema but if you’re discussing exploitation cinema on a horror podcast a little perspective is needed.Who exactly is your audience and why are they listening? Pauline Kael’s Trash,Art, and the Movies this isn’t.(great essay BTW) How many of these films merit any political dissection? Is this post modern deconstructionist theory? Are we in school? I’d prefer you review another film with the extra time afforded. But that’s my opinion and others are welcome to believe otherwise.

    Would I be interpreting you correctly if I understood that you would prefer your socio-political film analysis to be more of a debate than a discussion? Because we will happily entertain any and all points of view brought forth in this blog and discuss them! Please don’t hesitate!

    If you insist on going this route the former is more lively. It makes for better radio if opposing pundits are involved.

    Finally, I had to google Jim Goad. Looks like he has a lot common with Charlie Sheen! I think we have already spent enough time challenging a misogynist point of view, but I would happy to take him on. Another cage match, perhaps?

    He has nothing in common with Charlie Sheen I assure you. For example, he can string sentences together and unlike Sheen has written 5 books on various subjects including pop culture. Goad is a professional transgressive and inaccurately calling him a misogynist or even a racist is far too simplistic and althogether dissmissive of such a bizzare and incendiary character. He’s an extreme example of an opposng viewpoint. Goad is perhaps a little too unweildy for RMR as he may give Stuart a heart attack.

  54. Robert Black says:

    @Mike Tank

    Relax Mike, no one is trying to start anything. Andrea wanted some feedback regarding the show. BTW, Jim Goad doesn’t represent my POV he’s an entertaining and interesting personality who’s aeapt at pushing buttons. Great for radio,that’s why I mentioned him and don’t tell me you wouldn’t tune in if he were on the podcast.

  55. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    I think answering the comments here is the next best thing RB. As you can see it has created a dialogue, albeit not the realtime version you’re suggesting.

    Re: the ability to find deeper, more insightful sociopolitical critique elsewhere-

    you find everything elsewhere. The RM podcast is still relatively new and finding its feet. The combination of whatever it is is still coming together. I think Stu is doing a fine job with it, and this is coming from someone who generally has no patience for podcasts. I’m eager to listen to new eps and that’s a first.

    And Re: the guy who got tossed from The Woman. We’ve all been to screenings and q&a’s and we all know that there’s a right and wrong way to address one’s thoughts at such events. He got tossed because he thought he could get up and scream bloody murder, and that’s not the way to engage a discussion. Its a way to get your weak ass tossed out of a movie.

  56. Mike Tank says:

    “…if you’re discussing exploitation cinema on a horror podcast a little perspective is needed.Who exactly is your audience and why are they listening? Pauline Kael’s Trash,Art, and the Movies this isn’t.”

    Are you implying that the average Rue Morgue magazine reader/podcast listener is only interested in a boob and body count?

    Have you ever actually read the magazine?

    What makes RM stand out is the fact they recognize that the various genres and sub-genres that are covered have much more to offer than just base titillation, which is a stigma that most genre fans (like myself) resent.

    “How many of these films merit any political dissection? Is this post modern deconstructionist theory? Are we in school?”

    We’ve covered this before, but here goes…

    The argument that exploitation films deserve no serious critical analysis because they, according to your comment, have no real political content in them just does not make sense.

    If anything, exploitation films are the MOST political of films, as roughly 95% of them are made by filmmakers trying in some fashion to buck the status quo, or “upset the apple cart”, as George Romero put it. They take on scenarios and themes that are pretty much verboten in mainstream cinema.

    Now, I will grant you that there are quite a few genre filmmakers out there who perhaps are NOT thinking seriously about these issues when they produce their films (see: our comments about I SPIT director Meir Zarchi, or “Marky”, as Andrea knows and loves him). That they are simply trying to make a certain type of film that caters to a certain audience…

    …but even THEN, they are purposely going against the established order that is represented in mainstream films by loading their films with whatever taboo material they feel necessary to draw attention.

    I’m not trying to belittle your notion that one can watch these films as strictly entertainment if one so chooses. That’s all fine and good. Have at it.

    But to say that Stuart and Andrea are somehow way off base by bringing some serious critical thinking to the table is just not seeing the whole picture.

    And there are MULTITUDES of other podcasts out there for your listening pleasure that look at these films as strictly “entertainment”. Google it and tell me I’m wrong.

    But that’s not why “I” listen to Rue Morgue, and I’m sure it’s not why most others listen either.

  57. Mike Tank says:

    “BTW, Jim Goad doesn’t represent my POV he’s an entertaining and interesting personality who’s aeapt at pushing buttons. Great for radio,that’s why I mentioned him and don’t tell me you wouldn’t tune in if he were on the podcast.”

    Would he seriously discuss the issues at hand, or just “push buttons”, as you put it?

    Because if it’s the latter, then, no, I wouldn’t be interested in hearing it. The internet is flooded with that sort of “discourse ” already.

    “Relax, Mike.”

    I think it was your head-scratching use of the word “pinko” that got me all riled up. ;)

  58. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    @ Mike “if anything, exploitation films are the MOST political of films, as roughly 95% of them are made by filmmakers trying in some fashion to buck the status quo, or “upset the apple cart”, as George Romero put it. They take on scenarios and themes that are pretty much verboten in mainstream cinema.”

    Im having trouble with this analysis, as I believe the bucking of the apple cart is for the purpose as running away with as many apples as one can carry. It’s a profit-minded endeavour, and while they are able to instigate critical dissemination, if find that this is rarely the intention of the filmmakers.

  59. Robert Black says:

    @ Mike “if anything, exploitation films are the MOST political of films, as roughly 95% of them are made by filmmakers trying in some fashion to buck the status quo, or “upset the apple cart”, as George Romero put it. They take on scenarios and themes that are pretty much verboten in mainstream cinema.”

    Im having trouble with this analysis, as I believe the bucking of the apple cart is for the purpose as running away with as many apples as one can carry. It’s a profit-minded endeavour, and while they are able to instigate critical dissemination, if find that this is rarely the intention of the filmmakers.

    Mike is just regurgitating what he heard from Stuart and Andrea on the podcast. No original thought required. That’s why I haven’t bothered to respond. “Intent” in this case by the filmmakers is everything. What’s missed by that assertion is that any commercial cinematic endeavour is predicated on creating as much interest in the film as possible. That includes political underpinnings motivated by upsetting that applecart as often as possible.

  60. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Not everyone simply “regurgitates”, as (like you said yourself) these concepts have been explored previously by others. I dont know Mike personally but his posts demonstrate intelligence that I cant so easily write off as “regurgitated” even if theyre not the first time I have read similar things.

    Lets try to keep the eye poking down to a minimum if we can.

  61. Mike Tank says:

    “It’s deja vu all over again.” – Yogi Berra

    Here’s the point one more time, for the cheap seats in the back:

    If someone prefers to watch these films or ANY types of films as strictly nothing more than cheap, titillating entertainment, then that is perfectly OKAY.

    But the point being made here is that the CONTENT of these films…the elements exploited by the filmmakers for your entertainment…things that, by their very nature, touch on issues of classism, racism, misogyny, etc, etc…..ARE political.

    And the notion that, yes, many of these filmmakers are loading their films with these elements simply to make a quick buck, is entirely IRRELEVANT to the fact that the issues EXIST within these elements and carry with them a history of socio-political underpinnings that are just plain INHERENT to them.

    As I’ve stated before on the previous I SPIT podcast’s comments section….a filmmaker cannot, no matter how base or meaningless their intentions are, make a film about a subject like RAPE without implying, strictly by the very nature of the act, the issues inherent. It is just not possible.

    It’s that simple. I don’t get what all the fuss is about.

    I understand that YOU may not watch these films and think of these issues…or that you watch them and choose NOT to think of them….I TOTALLY get that.

    But to come on here and criticize the hosts of the show and the many listeners who DO look critically at these films…films that, by the very nature of the story elements contained within them, all but INVITE someone to at least THINK critically about these issues, if they so choose (let alone discuss them in an open forum such as this)…just does not make sense to me.

    In other words, it’s one thing to say “I [meaning Robert Black or Zimmerman or whomever else] don’t see these films the same way as what is discussed on this show.” That’s all perfectly fine.

    But it’s ridiculous to come on here and claim that the rest of us are WRONG and are seeing things in these films that are just not there, like we’re under some sort of smoke-and-mirrors mass critical hypnosis, seeing ghosts or something that anyone in their right mind wouldn’t or, according to you, SHOULDN’T see.

    End of rant.

  62. Mike Tank says:

    “Mike is just regurgitating what he heard from Stuart and Andrea on the podcast.”

    Damn. You got me.

    That reminds me, Stuart….where the f#*k is that paycheck you promised me for spreading your propaganda?!

  63. Mike Tank says:

    “Mike is just regurgitating what he heard from Stuart and Andrea on the podcast.”

    Believe me, I don’t need Stuart and Andrea’s help to pointlessly and boringly blather on and on all day….as evidenced above! ;)

  64. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    I dont disagree Mike, but to my memory, no one mentioned that when Zarchi heard the story of the poor woman who was shrugged off by cops, he said “THATS how Im gonna make my first million” rather than “I need to tell this woman’s side of the story” – this is where Im having difficulty in labeling the making of ISOYG as a political gesture. We look back and see how it fits in the spectrum, but to me, its no more political than a raccoon eating garbage, which as we all know, goes against the status quo.

  65. Mike Tank says:

    @Zimerman-

    “…when Zarchi heard the story of the poor woman who was shrugged off by cops, he said ‘THATS how Im gonna make my first million’…”

    *Seinfeld bass* ;)

    Seriously, though, that WAS covered. It was discussed both on the previous comments board and on the new show that we felt that “Marky” (as he will now and forever be known) was being more than a bit disingenuous with his latter-day claims that he was inspired to make the film because he felt the need to explore this poor girl’s plight.

    So the debate isn’t really about his motives. It’s about what the film itself represents.

    And that’s really the whole point that I’ve tirelessly been trying to make here. ANY film is up for critical analysis, no matter the intentions of the filmmakers.

    It’s the lament of every artist (and I’ve heard this spoken countless times by songwriters, as well as filmmakers) that once a film is out of the hands of the filmmakers and is exhibited to an audience, the film now firmly belongs to the viewer to interpret in whatever way they see it.

    And when you make a film that deals with a hot-button subject like rape, there are going to be people (like myself, Stuart, Andrea, et al) who cannot divorce themselves from the political issues raised by that particular topic.

  66. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Mike! We agree, and we always have! I never once questioned the legitimacy of a good debate on the subject, like others have done. Not once. I hope that nothing I have said indicated that that’s how I feel. I will freely own up to my personal limits as far as a dissemination of, well, anything in a socio-political context because doing so counters my instincts, and I was never trained to do so.

    That said, I am absolutely loving reading the back and forth, and Stuart’s breakdown of moments and expressions that confront the ruling order really resonated with me.

    The thing is this- I have always identified as an artist, and we cannot look past the intentions behind the art we ingest. I can see how this particular debate might have lost some steam had it started with that concept, but that for me can never simply be glossed over.

    And while I do feel that everything can and often should be examined from a number of facets, the phrase “95% of exploitation films are political” still doesn’t sit well. Do they contain clues and signs of our attitudes? For sure. But to call a statement or piece of art like a film “political”, it has to want to be. And i simply don’t think ISOYG was created with the intention of stirring anything up, besides the loose change of perverts.

    Again I will state that I disagree with the labelling of ISOYG as a “political” statement (if anything, it states that its ok to show a woman being brutally raped if you aptly qualify later down the road), but in no way is that an attempt to stifle debate, nor is it a denigration of anyone who cares to discuss the film in an academic manner. I wouldnt fucking be here if I didnt think we could talk about trash in an intelligent way.

    One day, Jack Hill took a shit, and that shit contained corn which was harvested by slave labourers. And slavery is wrong.

    That doesn’t make the shit he took a political shit.

    Or maybe it does. I just dont have it in me to see it that way. But if you do, by all means, knock yourselves out. :)

  67. Feedback says:

    “Could have done without the aggrandizement of gender politics in cinema. I’d prefer you stick with the film’s merit as entertainment.”

    Let me get this straight. You want us to discuss the ‘entertainment’ value alone of the rape revenge genre without a discussion of the sexual politics. Is that correct?

    And there I was thinking that THIS episode would inspire some ‘thoughtful’ comments.

    Robert. I know you know EVERYTHING there is to know about horror – but as is clearly evidenced by some of the ‘remedial’ comments we received on the first part of this series, many of the concepts we described on this episode are clearly NEW to some of the listeners. So keep your elitism in check.

    And if you have anything to elaborate on, or to agree or disagree with, or to add or subtract to the discussion on this week’s show, then by all means – SHOOT.

    But making a case that the discussion shouldn’t have taken place to being with isn’t a point of view I’m interested in entertaining at all.

  68. Feedback says:

    Zimmermaaaaaan. We can discuss the political dimensions of a film regardless of the filmmaker’s intent. On this episode, I broke down how films are political into THREE distinctive categories, essentially making the case that ALL films are political (and ideological…and sociological…and anthropological….etc) as they all carry with them underlying ASSUMPTIONS about the world we live in, either as regurgitated notions of the dominant culture, as a ‘critique’ of the dominant culture or as an expression of the filmmaker’s own uneasiness with the dominant culture.

  69. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    I get all of that.

    My feeling is that the discussion on what ends up on film, how its sold, and ingested, and processed is made a lot more interesting by knowing what informed the thing to begin with.

    I am now aware that this might not be relevant, or important, or worth speculating on.

    Again, as a dude who compulsively makes things, I like to know what happens in the minds and lives of other people who also make things. Totally different than what’s going on here. I get it!

    Although your definition of political seems to be broader than the one I have, at least as it’s applied to art.

    So let me ask…if all films are political, would the phrase “political film” be redundant?

  70. Feedback says:

    Understanding the intentions of the artist is important, of course, but it’s not where film criticism begins and ends. It’s the role of the critic to put the work into a greater, analytical context.

    For instance, there’s a great many artists who work purely impulsively and aren’t ‘conscious’ of the content of their work (and of course, there’s entire art movements based on this principle).

    Or artists whose direct ‘intentions’ do not translate at all. Or artists whose aims, while clear, reveal a shitload of other drives and motivations they weren’t aware of, hence, the multi-varied disciplinary approaches to film criticism (auteur theory, marxist theory, psychoanalytical film theory and femininist theory to name a few.)

    So, really. The ‘intent’ of the artist is only one part of the equation.

    “So let me ask…if all films are political, would the phrase “political film” be redundant?”

    In a sense I guess, but the term ‘political film’ denotes a film where the political intent is head-on. But that only refers to ONE of the three broad categories of how ALL films are actually political.

    For instance, Michael Moore makes ‘political’ films. Nora Ephron doesn’t but her films are massively political.

    But there’s problems with the term ‘political’ – as it refers both to concrete political issues (i.e. a health care plan, foreign policy) and broader, more ‘ideological’ issues, such as ‘patriarchy’ and ‘capitalism.’)

    It would be more correct to say that all films are IDEOLOGICAL – but then there’s confusion with THAT term as well, as it’s often mistaken that ‘ideological’ refers to a radical or propagandist point of view.

    So we have to be a bit flexible with these terms.

  71. Feedback says:

    And of course, then there’s problems with the term CRITIC!

    There’s a HUGE difference between a guy like Robin Wood and say, Roger Eggbert – and yet, they’re both considered film ‘critics!’

    The distinction is that the former practices an ‘academic’ form of criticism that applies many of the theories as listed above and the other one is a more populist film ‘critic’ who only talks out of his arse (much of the time!).

  72. Feedback says:

    ….and then of course, there’s progressively lower forms of film ‘criticism’ beginning with populist, published writers far less informed and insightful than Egghead – then there’s the variety practiced by amateur bloggers and fans on the internet which is obviously the lowest form next to the absolute nadir of the genre of film criticism – something we call ‘Caustic Criticism’- hands down the most irresponsible and unpredictable variety out there (Fuck, you don’t even have to have SEEN the bloody films in question half the time!!!!!).

  73. Feedback says:

    One more thing, Robert….

    “It seems you guys were on the same page more often than not,perhaps on a different paragraph. Not that exciting Andrea,although I still enjoyed the podcast.”

    Well, I think we were in agreement because the issues raised here are pretty basic and uncontroversial (from an academic perspective.) Really, it’s film theory 101 stuff – but it’s not often applied in a populist context (as many of the other horror podcasts reveal) so I think it was well worth our time delving into that terrain (as redundant as it may seem to someone as refined as your good self.)

    But you definitely got your ‘antagonistic’ element in there when we started reading and responding to some of the blog comments – so it wasn’t all just two people parroting each other – we took on the dissenting opinions from some of the listeners as well!

    And anyway, as for Jim Goad, I used to read ANSWER ME! (A magazine for psychopaths.) And while some of it was whacked, there were some great articles in there. A great one about how crap modern pop and rock is (called MUSIC BLOWS) and an amazing analysis of Spielberg’s pedophiliac impulses (entitled PEDERASTY PARK!)

    So maybe I’d find more accord with Jim Goad than you think!

  74. Feedback says:

    And there’s MORE….

    “How many of these films merit any political dissection? Is this post modern deconstructionist theory? Are we in school? I’d prefer you review another film with the extra time afforded.”

    So as careful listeners and readers will see, this PERFECTLY illustrates Robin Wood’s assertion about how radical ideas get pushed to the irrelevant ivory tower abstraction of ACADEMIA and are not welcome in a populist context.

    It’s just one of the weird ‘constraints’ that effectively inhibits ‘freedom of speech’ in a supposedly free society.

    So in a way Robert. I must thank you SINCERELY for helping illustrate a VERY interesting point! Cheers, mate!

  75. CADE says:

    Very nicely done follow-up.

    Although the topic of rape in film is probably going to get a much deserved rest for a while, I just have to throw one more film out into the discussion if one truly wants full exposure to the cinematic device of sexual assault in all its forms. Until last night I thought I had seen it all…

    Around midnight I popped in 1975′s “Poor Pretty Eddie” for the first time. If you disregard the most misleading DVD cover art EVER, you’ll find one of the weirdest fucking movies of all time with the ABSOLUTE weirdest rape scene of all time (excluding “The Beast” naturally, or unnaturally I suppose). It incorporates nonfatal dry-humping intercut with hound dog breeding all while a shitfaced Shelley Winters… I’ve said too much already. There’s also a ton of sociological themes at play concerning race, agism, and celebrity if you’re ok with that sort of thing.

  76. Feedback says:

    ‘Non-fatal dry humping’ is vastly underrated as a genre of film….

    “Although the topic of rape in film is probably going to get a much deserved rest for a while”

    You’d think so – but these shows have kicked off a couple of things that will be addressed in some coming episodes – First, I wanna do something substantial on Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN.

    Secondly, I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last from our good friend Donald Farmer (despite his claim to have left for Alaska already…..).

  77. Feedback says:

    More for Zimermaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan…..

    “I think Stu is doing a fine job with it, and this is coming from someone who generally has no patience for podcasts. I’m eager to listen to new eps and that’s a first.”

    Why, thank you sir.

    “And Re: the guy who got tossed from The Woman. We’ve all been to screenings and q&a’s and we all know that there’s a right and wrong way to address one’s thoughts at such events”

    No doubt he overreacted. But he HAD a reaction – an intense, visceral emotional response and he was VERY disturbed and genuinely upset. But he was already collecting his nerves when they booted him out. I think the filmmaker, the audience and the staff should’ve been more understanding.

    Obviously, for that dude, he’d just seen something that hit him hard – and he was expressing the shock and horror. Some people faint, some people get angry. That’s how it goes. As a filmmaker, McKee should’ve been more willing to engage this fella. Like I said on the show, it was an opportunity to defend the flick and get into the nitty gritty as opposed to simply fielding the standard, psycho-fantic, faint praise most filmmakers are inundated with ad nauseam at these events.

    You’d think they’d tire of the ‘tongue up the bum’ treatment but I guess like anything, it can be addictive.

  78. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Well, for all we know, he could have wanted to bring him back in. We weren’t there, and the nitty gritty could have been addressed on account of another attendees question.

    Screamy man blew it by losing his shit and giving way more power to McKee and his film than he likely wanted to.

  79. Feedback says:

    “Well, for all we know, he could have wanted to bring him back in.”

    That’s not consistent with what I saw. They held up the entire Q&A to eject the guy after he’d already calmed down and taken his seat.

    If he wanted the guy there, McKee had plenty of time to intercede.

    There’s clips of what happened INSIDE the theatre before they ejected him.

  80. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Ah, I didnt see that.

  81. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Also when I first read your post, your capitalization of INSIDE reminded me of the screening of A L’INTERIEUR where a woman fainted.

  82. Feedback says:

    I was there! I was also at the CUTTING MOMENTS screening at the Vatican where TWO women fainted! I thought such things only ever happened in far off places and only spoken about in film history books…..

  83. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Hey if you’re focused on rape in cinema, and Andrea wrote a book about the social clues in Romero’s films, I’d love to hear your combined take on the upcoming Zombie Diaries 2.

  84. Mike Tank says:

    I was at a movie last week and watched 20 people shoot themselves in the head during the trailer for Adam Sandler’s JACK & JILL.

  85. Mike Tank says:

    *crickets*

  86. Mike Tank says:

    Feedback-

    I forgot to ask…The audio clip of the guy freaking out that you play when talking about the term “reactionary” sounds really familiar. What’s that from?

  87. Feedback says:

    It’s BILLY from Bob Clark’s BLACK CHRISTMAS. Something about it seemed right….

  88. Feedback says:

    “Hey if you’re focused on rape in cinema, and Andrea wrote a book about the social clues in Romero’s films, I’d love to hear your combined take on the upcoming Zombie Diaries 2.”

    I’d have to see the ZOMBIE DIARIES 1 first!

  89. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Not really. It takes place in the same “universe” as the first, but that’s it.

  90. Nick English says:

    Here’s what I take away from this entire debate:

    Women who speak intelligently are hot.

    If they wear lingerie while they’re doing it, bonus!

  91. Mike Tank says:

    “It’s BILLY from Bob Clark’s BLACK CHRISTMAS. Something about it seemed right….”

    That’s it! It was driving me nuts. Very well placed clip.

  92. FEEDBACK says:

    Nick! Shhhh….man. Keep it quiet. We don’t want girls walking around thinking they can be both sexy AND smart! Think of how threatening that will be to us! We’re afraid of their sexuality as it is.

  93. Marky Dark says:

    As a loyal listener of the podcast I did my homework and watched these two movies before listening to the show. Having seen the original I Spit on Your Grave about six months ago for the first time, my reaction to Naked Vengeance was different from Feedback’s and Andrea’s.

    To me, introducing a murder element to the rape scene felt like the writers did not think ‘merely’ getting raped would be enough of a justification for the victim to violently take revenge on her rapists. In fact these rapists repeatedly confess they just wanted to have a good time (raping the girl), but that things got out of hand (referring to the killings I presume, not the raping). Downplaying the impact of rape like this bothered me, especially with I Spit still freshly on my mind: as flawed as that movie is, at least you have Camille Keaton portraying the role of victim with brutal, honest intensity that makes the film really hard to watch during the rape scenes, and also easily justifies her extreme reactions.

    But then I listened to the podcast, and you guys mention this balance that you say Naked Vengeance strikes, where the remake of I Spit failed. Which I find interesting. By not dwelling on the raping and humiliation, by abstracting it, you have more leeway to resolve the story in a less than realistic fashion and go to town with exploitive elements, like Naked Vengeance indeed does. Did I understand that correctly? With this in mind, maybe I’ll be able to enjoy the movie more, next time I see it.

    Then there’s Savage Vengeance. Curse you guys for inspiring me to sit through that one. Towards the end I could not take any more of it without fast forwarding, which only happend to me before during some Jess Franco movies!

    Regarding women in horror, I was thinking about Slumber Party Massacre: have you guys seen it, and if so, do you think it is a good example of women offering a different perspective on horror? I have not seen the film yet, so I can’t judge for myself unfortunately.

  94. Andrea says:

    I take one weekend off to get my ass kicked at roller derby and look at all the great discussion I missed!

    @Robert Black
    Re: Goad & Charlie Sheen

    “Goad is a professional transgressive and inaccurately calling him a misogynist or even a racist is far too simplistic and althogether dissmissive of such a bizzare and incendiary character. He’s an extreme example of an opposing viewpoint.”

    My comparison between Goad and Sheen was in reference to the fact that they apparently share a penchant for beating up their girlfriends and then staying golden in the public eye. I don’t mean to wantonly dismiss anyone with a criminal record of violence against women, but to drop his name on this particular topic isn’t doing much for your point. And I don’t think I implied that he is racist… did I?
    Anyway, thanks again for your input on the show.

    @Robert, Tal, Mike, Stuart… errybody!
    Re: The politics of a filmmaker’s “intentions”

    I prefer to divorce my analyses of movies from the filmmaker’s intentions as much as I can because I believe that the power of film as cultural text lies mostly in its interpretation. It’s a stance that skates awfully close to the dreaded TOTAL SUBJECTIVITY that renders any discussion of what these films “mean” irrelevant, but I’m happy to skate on that line for the sake of hearing different readings and points of view.

    There is something to be said about distinguishing the artists from the painters, but the fact remains that either can produce a work of art. Listening to a filmmaker’s commentary can provide insight to my readings but it rarely does more than that. The only motivation I really take issue with is a Monroe-esque stupidity we discussed in the first podcast: I remade it because I could. Why not? Ka-ching!

    These people don’t deserve the privilege of making movies, IMHO. Instead, they get my wrath on the podcast!

    I agree with Zimermaaaaan! (what an annoying username you chose, Tal) that stories of film production, marketing and distribution contribute important elements to a cultural film analysis as these things determine who gets to see what, and how. It’s totally relevant and worth mention.

    I think the phrase “political film” should be interpreted just as subjectively as you would treat the phrase “good film”. Would we grant that label to any filmmaker trying to make a “good” film? I would argue that all films have the potential to be political if interpreted that way, but I agree with Stuart that ALL films contain ideology. That term goes beyond interpretation for me.

    Now back to icing my shoulder. The Royal City Rollergirls punished me almost as bad as Donald Farmer!

  95. FEEDBACK says:

    “As a loyal listener of the podcast I did my homework and watched these two movies before listening to the show.”

    Now THAT is dedication!

    “by abstracting it, you have more leeway to resolve the story in a less than realistic fashion and go to town with exploitive elements, like Naked Vengeance indeed does. Did I understand that correctly?”

    I guess so. But it’s really hard to properly evaluate these sorts of things – I thought the rape/death scene in NAKED VENGEANCE was riffing on DEATH WISH more than anything and was cartoonish more than realistic. And yeah – the tone was consistent between the rape and the revenge – and that seems meaningful.

    But does that redeem the rape in NV in any way? It’s hard to say. I’m sure there are people who oppose ALL depictions of RAPE (and violence) on screen just as there are people who oppose ALL manifestations of pornography.

    Repressed SQUARES is, I think, the term for such folks.

    And then conversely, there are folks who don’t treat the subject with the appropriate gravity and respect (i.e. Donald ….*cough*….Farmer….*cough*…), who seem to wallow in the act for its own titillation value.

    Such folks often claim afterwards that there is a higher moral purpose for displaying such gratuitous sexual violence (THE GIRL NEXT…..*cough*…..DOOR…..*cough*….filmmakers.)

    And this was my initial response to the original I SPIT but I’ve somewhat modified my position since. While I think the representation falls short in some key areas, there’s more ‘sensitivity’ there than I was willing to give it – or at least more of an ‘attempt’ at sensitivity however oblivious the filmmaker appears to be regarding his true lascivious intent.

    But the bottom line, there are a lot of gray areas here and it’s hard to sort them out decisively. I rely mostly on my own intuitive connection with the filmmaker in terms of what degree of sensitivity is at work, and there’s no hard and fast rules.

    For instance, I think Monroe was INSENSITIVE to cut away from the RAPE in I SPIT – and yet Santiago was being SENSITIVE by downplaying it.

    That sounds like a contradiction but it makes sense to me because it’s all about the intent of the representation (and the tone of the piece.)

    MONROE was amping up every gruesome detail for maximum impact – and cutting away from the actual act reveals just how much he expects us to have been TITILLATED by the tease.

    SANTIAGO knew that his portrayal was not realistic so he stylised it without dwelling on the details.

    NOE took on the full gravity of the act and exposed it in its full VIOLENT detail, to give the act the ‘respect’ (if you’ll allow me to use such a word) it requires.

    ZARCHI (or MARKY as he’s known on the show) lingers on the rape with extended sloppiness, believing he’s capturing it in unflinching detail but something about his lackadaisical approach suggests to me a paucity of sensitivity, a willingness to gawk (and a certain delight in exposing the audience to such a sight.)

    Does any of that make sense?

    Of course, I’m sure others have completely different feelings about all of these examples but these are just MY own responses.

  96. FEEDBACK says:

    And ANDREA – at the risk of being labelled as too agreeable with you – I agree with you!

  97. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    FB said ” it’s all about the intent of the representation (and the tone of the piece)”

    A HA! This is ALL I was getting at regarding the intent of the filmmaker. Now we’re finally bringing things around to my point; the interplay of factors that end up on screen. We of course can certainly omit the artists intentions when examining the final product, or at least choose to focus our discussions elsewhere.

    Like Andrea said here: “I prefer to divorce my analyses of movies from the filmmaker’s intentions as much as I can because I believe that the power of film as cultural text lies mostly in its interpretation. It’s a stance that skates awfully close to the dreaded TOTAL SUBJECTIVITY that renders any discussion of what these films “mean” irrelevant, but I’m happy to skate on that line for the sake of hearing different readings and points of view”

    Now, I wasnt referring to a director’s intent as gleaned from any well-after-the-fact audio commentary. I meant to say that the “statement” is all there, on the screen.

    I still maintain that one cannot accurately or concisely measure ripples on water without examining what caused them to begin with.

    We can all agree that rape in cinema should be handled with a degree of sensitivity and education, but such things can actually impede the “artistic” process, as harsh as that is to consider.

    So the very real politics that appear on screen are there as a direct result of a man’s desire to exploit social sensitivities on the subject for the purpose of profit. There is a chance that if Zarchi was properly educated on the subject, or was able to draw from an immediate and personal experience, there might not have been a movie to begin with.
    :)

  98. FEEDBACK says:

    The problem here though is that we are never sure what the INTENT actually is – and worse, neither is the artist….

    Some things are obvious in terms of their intentions, others aren’t.

    And the important thing here is, there’s a HUGE, widespread misconception about the legitimacy of ‘intent.’

    Here’s a perfect example – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard fans dismiss any sort of socio-political analysis of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with the excuse that “Romero NEVER intended such and such a thing….”

    Andrea’s right. It really doesn’t matter what Romero ‘intended.’ How does NIGHT stand out as a cultural artifact of its time in relation to the society that produced it? That’s a legitimate point of analysis. Obviously, understanding what the filmmaker consciously ‘intended’ is crucial as it informs ANY analysis – but it’s not the be all and end all.

    And when I said the ‘intent of the representation,’ I was referring to what could be deduced from the living proof ON SCREEN.

    For instance, I argue that MONROE intended to salaciously titillate the audience with a ramped up sequence of sexual humiliation. That’s the INTENT of representation I’m talking about.

    But ask MONROE if that was his intent and I’m certain he’d deny it.

  99. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    It also depends on one’s personal fluency in the language of film. Like I said, I dont mean intent as far as what the director can put into words, rather what ends up on screen. A directors competency can be measured by the clarity of the statement. What MONROE says with his words and what he says with his film. This is what you said, and its what Ive been saying all along. Its not the be all end all, just something that fascinates me- what happens from inception to creation, how a lot of factors effect what a movie looks like, the alchemy of events that make things go the way they do.

    Of course, if the goal of the conversation is to explore the real-life issues presented by the film, that of course differs greatly from what it is I appear to be hung up on, which is…why (and how) the fuck someone would want to make a movie like ISOYG, and why does perceived cheap exploitation resonate, perhaps on a deeper level that something with the “correct” sensitivity would. This is where my hangups on intention come from I think.

    But there is another issue. Romero, for example, only recently starting owning up to the politics in his films, or at the very least, is no longer shrugging them off. As such, his voice changed quite a bit. His self-awareness spiked the punch in the wrongest of ways. This is something I feel will be factored into future writings on the man’s work.

    From this, I maybe derive some fear of “over” analyses, as self awareness can obscure the true politics of a director, or any artist for that matter. Not saying convos like these are “dangerous”…just traversing them is new to me.

  100. Nick English says:

    Zim,

    Are you suggesting that Romero now tries to over-editorialize in his movies because of his rep? Because I would agree with that point.

    I was pretty bummed out by Diary of the Dead. I didn’t really like Survival . . . but I’ve only seen it once, so I think I should watch it again before I judge it.

    But yeah, they felt so much more like message movies than any of the previous installments.

  101. Feedback says:

    “Are you suggesting that Romero now tries to over-editorialize in his movies because of his rep? Because I would agree with that point.”

    I think that actually started with DAWN. By then, much analysis had taken place of NIGHT as this radical film loaded with political meaning and Romero took that on board with each successive entry in the DEAD series.

    It’s almost become a formula by this point – starting with what political ‘message’ he’d like to explore and then tailoring the zombie metaphor accordingly.

  102. Feedback says:

    …not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    *Seinfeld Bass*

  103. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Yep dudes, thats what Im saying.

    *michael richards racist rant*

  104. Nick English says:

    With Dawn and Day, though . . . and to a lesser extent Land . . . the entertainment factor was still pretty high. You can enjoy them without feeling preached to.

    I didn’t find that to be the case with Diary and Survival.

    Also, CGI gore is a tool of the devil. (And not in a good way.)

  105. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Wow I thought LAND was the clumsiest of the bunch. The lines “I’m gonna do a jihad”, “I don’t negotiate with terrorists”, and “they’re just looking for a place to call home” (or something like that) made me wince. After the film I was silent for literally 2 hours and my wife was ready to call an ambulance.

    In DIARY it was heavy too, but that’s ALL it had and somehow it worked for me. Not saying its a great (or good) film, but I feel like it marks the most successful Romero has been in purposely and obviously injecting commentary into his films.

    SURVIVAL was just a horrid mess and I don’t care to ever watch it again as long as I live.

  106. Nick English says:

    To me, Land had more to recommend it in terms of character and story, which made it easier to enjoy beyond any message that was being conveyed.

    The Dennis Hopper character was the one that slipped a little too far into stereotype/parody.

    I liked John Leguizamo’s story arc, though, as the little guy who does everything he’s supposed to, only to find that the privileged life just ain’t for the rest of us.

    His solution: Join the (zombie) revolution.

    Land of the Dead’s ultimate message? If you can’t join ‘em, eat ‘em.

  107. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Leguizamo was easily the best part of the film. Simon Baker is indistinguishable from an actual zombie, so he was a poor choice for the lead. Made me wonder where and when someone gets their hair frosted during a zombie uprising. Watching my pal Boyd Banks lumber around with a cleaver was pretty neat too.

  108. Feedback says:

    “SURVIVAL was just a horrid mess and I don’t care to ever watch it again as long as I live.”

    I’d say watch it again. You already know the stuff you hate – and if you give it another viddy, you just might see a few things you actually LIKE. (Or maybe not – but I think Romero’s films always deserve a second chance.)

    I’ve defended SURVIVAL many times but it’s not an easy task – there are so many problems with the film that I’m sympathetic to anyone who doesn’t like it.

    But I think it’s my favourite of the last three actually. There’s an exuberance to it that I dig. A sort of ‘boy’s adventure comic book’ quality that works for me. I like the two old dudes – especially Kenneth Welsh who nails the tone of the film. And I like the premise and how it crosses the zombie movie with the Western genre.

    Of course, the flaws are endless (dodgy cg, wonky acting and more than a few questionable plot points and bits of dialogue) but for me, the spirit of the film endures (and I’ve seen it twice).

    Give it one more go. As an experiment.

  109. Trevor says:

    Going waaaay back to the beginning of this thread, I just wanted to respond to the question that Feedback and The Gore-met had, regarding the majority of RM contributors being white. While that may be fact, it is certainly a coincidence as the magazine’s editors simply respond to the best pitches and develop working relationships with the writers who meet their deadlines and tend to any suggested revisions promptly. We don’t ask for glossy promotional 8×10 headshots when accepting a pitch (in fact, I would venture to write that we’re not even aware of the ethnicity of at least half of the contributors) and as most of you are well aware, we’ve also covered horror from all points of the globe consistently and will continue to do so. For the most recent example, see the amazing poster feature written and assembled by Mr. Tal Zimerman – which rounds up some of the most incredible horror movie posters from around the world, and spotlights the artists behind them – in the forthcoming Halloween issue. Months in the making, it is nothing short of a truly beautiful thing.

    - T.

  110. Trevor says:

    *cue 1971′s “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial*

  111. Feedback says:

    ” I just wanted to respond to the question that Feedback and The Gore-met had”

    Let’s clarify. It wasn’t my question. It was the GM’s!

    But don’t expect a response from him. I asked him a direct question that confronted one of his contradictory statements head on and he fled the blog!

  112. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Thanks for sayin that stuff Trevor. It was/is an honour.

    If there’s an probelm with the whiteness of Rue Morgue, take it up with the Latino publisher :)

  113. Dark Mark says:

    As a white male, middle class, middle aged horror fan I welcome your intelligent discourse on these films and the issues they raise. I think having a female perspective adds greatly to the discussion and I enjoyed this thought provoking podcast all the more because of this.

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