A Dash of Elements Incorporated in Contemporary Horror

Before I delve into my Internet material I just wanted to share a quote about Gotham City from the ‘Batman’ comic-series. After looking over the ‘Urban-Decay’ topic, Gotham could be scene as the epitome of cultural decay; dark, full-of criminals & chaos and the evil twin of the glorified fictional city of Metropolis, home to American-hero Superman. In regards to Gotham City here is this beautiful quote:
“Batman’s Gotham City is Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November.” –‘Batman’ writer and editor, Dennis O’Neil

For my Internet material I would like to discuss the official ‘Blair Witch Project’ site. This viral site furthers the anxiety of the film because it presents actual biographies of the filmmakers, timeline of events and a presents a mythological description of the fabled ‘Blair Witch’ all giving the image that this event could have actually happened. Chuck Tryon in ‘Video from the Void: Video Spectatorship, Domestic Film Cultures, and Contemporary Horror’ talks about how contemporary films such as the aforementioned ‘Blair Witch Project’ have a distinct characteristic that ‘blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction.’ Through this viral marketing campaign that portrays the film as actual found footage the knowledge and information that is given to the audience is definitely distorted. When this film first came out in 1999 I wasn’t even ten years old and conveniently just started camping with the Boy Scouts. So with a film about a murderous witch that haunts the forests and hunts those who enter the woods, being heavily involved in an organization that was based around camping in the woods presented a grand set of circumstances for me. There were countless moments at night when I was playing manhunt in the woods and my friends and I imagined what would happen if the actual Blair Witch was in the woods that we were. This film with its vague commercials that left so much up left to the imagination to twist around I believe is one horror film that could define our generation. It can be seen as the first initial segue from the more traditional planned horror films to the a new set of immersive films that focuses on 1st person camera angles, extreme close-up & camera shifts along with a disturbing sense of realism set in a pseudo-documentary setting that states that the film that is being presented is actual found-footage from three doomed students. This could further be connect to the idea of ‘trans-media storytelling’, a technique where there is intentionally little explanation as to what is going on in an effort to increase the level of interest.

Official ‘Blair Witch Project’ site: http://www.blairwitch.com/

And also: Just throwing this idea out there. I also think that after focusing on the contemporary horror film genre for my presentation I also think that there is a reflection of current day society’s interest in investigation and criminal shows & films. In the ‘Saw’ series there is an ever-constant hunt through a detective unit to end Jigsaw’s games, in ‘The Sixth Sense’ Dr. Malcolm Crowe is a psychologist who is trying to help Cole and in ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘Paranormal Activity’ there are people either investigating for a supposedly mythical entity or searching for spirits that are in their house.

“I see _____ people.”

Se7en of the Lambs…

After watching Se7en, I kept wondering what movie I was reminded of. I had several déjà vu moments while watching the movie and I was really annoyed at myself for not remembering what I was remembering. So I did what most normal people do in times of distress – I googled! Amazingly, I was rewarded with the following link…
http://www.comicvine.com/forums/off-topic/5/se7en-vs-silence-of-the-lambs-film/541208/
If any of you would like to read the blog, feel free. I, however, did not. Just the title did it for me! The movie I was subconsciously comparing Se7en to was Silence of the Lambs. Now, those that know me (and the professor who read my first paper) already know that one of my all time favorites movies is Silence of the Lambs. Why? I am not entirely sure but I watched it with my siblings when I was about 5 and never stopped loving it since. Though the plots of both these movies are drastically different, there are certain moments of the film that scream “Remember me?” Take the following pictures as proof…
Behind bars:

http://poietes.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/silence-of-the-lambs.jpg

Bloody outfit:
http://jet0425.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/seven.jpg
http://img5.allocine.fr/acmedia/rsz/434/x/x/x/medias/nmedia/18/64/43/01/18777945.jpg

Scary looking victims:
http://www.lowerthetone.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/se7en.gif
http://www.best-horror-movies.com/image-files/silence-of-the-lambs-skinned-victim.jpg

Dr. Lecter and John Doe even look similar:
http://i31.tinypic.com/245asxu.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3254/3076954227_b2cc3fe931.jpg

Calm with authorities:
http://www.gonemovie.biz/WWW/XsFilms/SnelPlaatjes/FreemanSpaceySeven.jpg
http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2007/01/29/PH2007012900692.jpg

Besides for the visual similarities, both villains share certain vital characteristics. They are both manipulative with the police, are hardly ever hysterical, are bald (in a creepy way), etc… Wonder if any of you guys grasped a similar comparison when watching the film?

P.S. Though I think both movies are similar, I am not suggesting that Se7en, which was released in 1995, copied Silence of the Lambs, which was released in 1991. I actually think that the psychopathic and calm serial killer is indicative of the fear of the generation of ruthless and unstoppable murderers pervading the streets. Don’t you agree?

Gotham City

Hey, guys, sorry this one is a little late, Relay for Life threw off my circadian rhythm a bit and I’m not sure how long I’ve been asleep in the past couple days.

When we were talking about urban decay in the past few class sessions, I could not help but think of Batman and Gotham City.  It seemed, in many ways, like the epitome of the concept.  It is a morally bankrupt city rampant with crime and super villains, with one beacon of hope, who himself is shrouded in darkness and mystery.  The citizens seem very alienated from each other and this is further compounded by the fact that their hero lives a lifestyle, almost through necessity, that embodies isolation.  Bruce Wayne is housed in a gated mansion and leaves for appearances at events with individuals he has only superficial connections with.  His alter ego, Batman, is also a loner to a large degree and takes time to accept robin as a sidekick.  It is a very interesting society.  Even Harvey Dent, former District Attorney and defender of the law becomes mutated by a horrible chemical to become Two-Face, a criminal with a twisted, extreme view of the justice system.  This is just one example in the city of corruption.  Crime bosses control all, ranging from traditional mob bosses to humanoid villains as a few vigilante heroes attempt to hold them back.  The most organized groups in the city are criminals, not law enforcement.  May such a city never come into existence.

When we spoke about New York and came to the topic of alienation and the distance people feel from one another it really made me think.  I truly believe that physical and perceived distance created from overpopulation and long work hours can be overcome through effort.  We must be optimistic or we would never undertake the actions necessary to change the type of society we find in the city.  I am not saying everyone will be accepting of our efforts, but it is the type of lifestyle and community worth fighting for.

Urban Decay at it’s best

I couldn’t think of anything to post, but I then I got to thinking about the genre of movies we have been doing and there it hit me! So I literally googled “urban decay” to see what I would get, and BAM…this pops up:

http://photocritic.org/urban-decay-photography/

Apparently, this idea of urban decay has not only influenced film, but art as well. The website has 25 of the best urban decay photographs. It was interesting to see how one could find beauty in even the worst situations.


I find it amazing actually! the photographs look beautifully taken, and really allow for the audience to see a difference perspective. The photographs are both enlightening because they show how some parts of not only the country, but neighborhoods both past and present, out of state or around the corner can change over time, as well as entertaining and enjoyable to look at. It’s a modern day twist on the phrase, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” The things is, in relation to these films, I feel like these photographs could have been settings for each story. Take a look:

Couldn’t you picture this in “Se7en” as a setting for one of the deadly sins scenes?  Or these:

This photograph (left) screams “The Warriors.” Those two lights at the end look like trains in a tunnel, like when Swan and Marcy were running away from the cops underground.

I don’t even know exactly what this on the right is, but in some way I feel like its color and lighting have this resounding affect similar to the “After Hours” was filmed.

The thing is that these photographs also relate to other genres we touched on this semester.

When I first saw these pictures (bottom) I thought I was having deja vu or something. They reminded me so much of the nuclear anxiety films we saw not too long ago. We definitely saw similar scenes in movies like “The Day After”.”

Take a look at the website…which is your favorite? Why? Could you see it in any of the movies we discussed this semester?

P.S. do you like the urban decay that is my post? 😉

Citation: all photographs were taken from the link posted above.

Contemporary Horror Film Group

Hey Guys,

Next week our group is doing contemporary horror and we were wondering if there were any recent horror films that you’ve enjoyed that you would like us to discuss in addition to our allotted films-‘Blair Witch’, ‘Paranormal Activity’ , ‘Saw’ and the ‘Sixth Sense’?

Just let us know!

South Park’s Take on Paranoia

After seeing the clip from The Simpsons in class, I was curious about other popular cartoons poke fun at widespread ideas about fear, paranoia, and anxiety. I decided to search for South Park episodes that might relate to these topics, partly because the show is so well known for providing humorous social commentary on just about everything, and also because it’s one of my favorite things to watch. I found some clips from an episode in season 6 entitled “Child Abduction is Not Funny.” The clips focus on one of the already rather spastic character Tweek, and his reaction to what he sees in the media and is told by his parents about the safety of children in society.



In the first clip, Tweek can’t escape from news reports that basically send the message that he’s not safe anywhere. When his parents bring him into the kitchen to talk about the recent abductions his mother states, “you can’t trust anybody.” The clip is funny for its exaggerated commentary on the influence of the media in everday life, but it also rings true. The public is very much dependent on the media, but often fails to take into account that the actual danger outside of their homes might not be so severe as they are led to believe. I think it’s interesting how society has made itself a paranoid place. Granted, a lot of crimes happen, a lot of positive things happen that are not reported in the news, and so a certain sense of fear and general lack of trust seems to be prevalent in today’s world.
In the second clip, Tweek’s anxiety is caused by his own father who conducts a “drill” in the middle of the night. He tells Tweek not to open the door even for the police because they may just be pretending to be the police. This instills more paranoia in him, and he ultimately reaches a point where he is suspicious of everyone he encounters. It’s funny how one incident can create so much anxiety in a large group of people. An isolated incident can become incredibly influential, because of how people choose to react to it. The humor in these clips, I think, speaks to a major reality. Though we can’t trust everyone in the world, believing everything the media says to the point where we feel as though everyone around us is out to get us isn’t practical either.
The paranoid character of Tweek reminded me a lot of Harry Caul from “The Conversation.” He can’t even function in his day to day life because he is so unable to trust those around him. The third clip really shows how he becomes completely paranoid as he hears more and more about the “danger” around him. He runs away from the movie theater because he doesn’t know the man at the ticket booth, “what if he wants to kill me!?” he shouts as he runs off. This of course, pokes fun at the way parents tend to overemphasize the “don’t talk to strangers” rule to the point where it can create even more anxiety in children, when the primary goal is their safety. Even though Tweek is a funny character, he does make the viewer feel a little bit stressed out and anxious just because of his complete inability to relax. I think it’s funny how a show like South Park can so accurately represent themes like fear, paranoia, and anxiety that we see regularly in society. I think sometimes it takes humor for people to really step back and consider how effective their approach to the world around them really is.

Graffiti: Vandalism or Art Form?

The Warriors brought me back to the earlier years of my childhood… a New York City covered in graffiti. Now it’s extremely rare to see walls, shops, or subway trains covered in graffiti. Part of the reason for the decline in graffiti art has to do with heavy fines and penalties. Individuals who decide to use the subway as their canvas can face serious charges. In 2007, Alain Maridueña aka Ket faced a $5,000 fine and community service for vandalism. Maridueña is often called one of the “godfathers of graffiti” due to the international recognition he gained for his art. Today he speaks at universities and his work is shown in galleries. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2007/10/05/2007-10-05_despite_fine_graffiti_artist_isnt_sorry_-1.html Maridueña says that he “grew up in Brooklyn in the ’80s. It was a tough time. We had a lot to deal with, including the crack epidemic. This was a positive thing. It gave me a sense of self-esteem.” It is clear, from Maridueña’s statement that he thought of graffiti as a positive outlet. Many people do not share his perspective on this issue.

Graffiti became very popular during the 1970s in New York City. It is considered to be a highly controversial subject. Some people view graffiti as an art form, while others consider it to be vandalism and a cause of urban decay. Often the younger crowds used graffiti as a form of rebellion, communication, and expression. Gangs used it to mark their territories, and others used it to create murals to honor their loved ones.

I think graffiti gave people a sense of self-importance. It allowed them to leave their mark and their influence on a specific location. It also provided recognition and fame. Since, graffiti is more often suppressed rather than encouraged, I would like to know if anyone believes that it should be recognized as a true art form.

Jon Naar

Subway Train

Alain Maridueña's Graffiti

Reminder: Project Proposal Due on Thursday, 4/22

This is a reminder that your project proposals are due in my inbox before class on Thursday the 22nd. I need to know the following:

Who is involved in the project? Is it a group or individual project? If the former, who is in the group?

What are you planning to do? Give me an idea of what you’re doing in as much detail as possible.

Why are you proposing what you are proposing?
In a few sentences, describe the connection between your project and the themes and movies of this course. Why, in your opinion, does it make sense for you to do what you are proposing for the final project? Why and how does your proposed project fit the goals of this course?

Do you have any additional questions or requests?
How might I help you with your project?

Modern Cold War: A Continuation

So the threat of a cold war is still alive! If The New York Times says so, it must be true. Here’s an interesting article I stumbled upon on my daily perusal of the NYT website:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/world/16memo.html?ref=us

Basically, the article says that there is still a cold war going on right now. Except it is called terrorism. Al Qaeda plays the role of the communists. The middle east is today’s Soviet Union. In the past, America “faced an enemy with ‘no scruples about employing any weapon or tactic'” and feared that they would smuggle nuclear weapons into the country. The threat we face today is terrorists concealing dangerous weapons and “killing tens of thousands of Americans.”

So when did the cold war turn into the war against terrorism? After the murder Israeli athletes in the 1972 summer olympics. Nicknamed the “Munich Massacre,” a group of eight Palestinian terrorists broke into where the athletes were staying and kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes. All were killed. (Steven Spielberg’s 2005 Munich depicts this event.)  Alarm was also obviously heightened after the September 11 attacks.

NYT states that “most security experts believe the focus in recent years on destroying of locking up nuclear material is far more effective than sealing American borders” (like they did during the Cold War era). Do you agree? Has it improved? Does the public feel safer because of this?

SEX SELLS

We often think of ads using sex appeal to sell clothes, drinks, shoes and so much more. But in watching the slasher films for my presentation i realized that a lot of sex appeal is used to gain a bigger audience. When I watched the Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974) and its remake from(2003), I saw this more clear then ever. In the images below we see Pam from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, approaching leatherfaces home where she will soon meet her death. Although it is a very tense moment i couldn’t help but look over to my male companion watching the film and notice his goo goo eyes as we see a shot of her short shorts and backless shirt. This even more so when we were watching the remake to Texas Chainsaw Massacre where Jessica Biel is running around escaping death in her white wet t-shirt, which manages to stay neatly tied around her waist showing her flat stomach throughout the whole film. But in the image below we see a omage to the original with Erin approaching the house and another shot of her backside and leather faces home in the background, truly a sex appeal omage to the previous film.I think the directors were clever in their approach to not only appeal to their young audiences through gruesome, gorey techniques but also to appeal to them through sex. I think this is used as often as possible in most films, even though movies have become alot more complex than the simple slasher movies, they still contain the “hot” girl running away from the killer, or a very muscular model looking young man who is supposed to be the “guy next door.” All i can say about this is that it’s a great technique to gain audiences of all ages who not only want the protagonist to survive but to also move next door to them.

Obviously the backless shirt and the view up the short shorts is necessary


Erin

This looks familiar


Three Days of the Condor vs Casino Royale

While watching Three Days of Condor, I almost fell off my seat when one of scenes seemed very familiar. It was the scene towards the end when Turner is in Atwood’s home office, ready to interrogate or even kill him. This scene is very similar to a scene at the beginning of James Bond’s Casino Royale, in which Bond is sitting in the office of an MI6 agent by the name of Dryden. By killing Dryden, Bond would obtain 00 status. In both scenes the man with the gun(Turner and Bond) have the upper hand. They are in control and tell their victims what to do and what not to do. Although they are supposed to be the “good guys”, working for government agencies that are supposed to rid the world of evil, they are the ones who are holding the guns, hinting at the idea of moral ambivalence, which is common in film noir and movies about conspiracy. The two scenes contain other aspects of film noir. In the Condor scene, Turner is sitting in the dark, waiting for Atwood to arrive. In Casino Royale, Bond is waiting in the dark office for Dryden to arrive. Once Dryden arrives, the room is partially filled with sunlight but for the most part, both characters are covered in a shadow. These two scenes play on the use of lighting and moral ambiguity, which is typical in film noir.

A New Threat

I found the following article interesting…#mce_temp_url#

When I first watched this news on TV, I thought it related to our class not only because we covered the Cold War not too long ago but also because there is a new fear involving nuclear weapons. During the Cold War it was Russia the threat, now the threat is even greater. We are afraid of nuclear weapons or materials landing on terrorist hands. Now, this could be devastating! Not only is this a problem, but also it is scary to know that Pakistan and India are involved in an arms race. I feel there is anxiety coming from the US more because it can’t do anything about it. During the Cold War the two countries involved were Russia and the Unites States, the US had direct control and responsibility if a war were to break out as well as Russia, but now the “fate” of the world could be in the hands on these nations who are obtaining nuclear materials. They have not reached an agreement and this is the frightening part! It is easy to feel scared when one is not in control. It is also hard to reach an agreement when many nations are involved. I was surprised to read they found materials in Chile. I feel this meeting is beneficial, but it’s not addressing the problem of Pakistan and India, it is just “seeking ways to better secure existing supplies of bomb-usable plutonium and highly enriched uranium.” This is great, but I fee it is not enough. I understand it is hard to reach an agreement, because each country looks out for its benefit. It is hard to convince a country to take a certain action. Honestly, I was surprised to hear about this summit meeting because I took it as a warning sign but it is presented in a friendly and subtle way. Should we be worried? I didn’t really think about nuclear destruction since we discussed nuclear apocalypse in class but it didn’t really create anxiety in me since the threat with Russia was around sixty years ago. But today it is a different story because it is the present age and it is a new kind of threat, more vicious when it comes to terrorist attacks, but with the same consequence: destruction.

Drawing Inspiration from Film and Fashion

For my last round of blogging, I wanted to depart a little from what we’ve been posting to something a little off the beaten path. A little while ago I was reading in the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace section about one of my favorite brands, French Connection, and their launch of a new advertising campaign. The article caught my attention for three reasons 1. I love fashion 2. I love advertising as I am a marketing major and 3. the campaign was entirely inspired by film noir! I know we ventured very far since those noir days (and sorry for going back to there) but I thought this was really cool and wanted to share. The campaign involves both print and commercial advertisements (mostly for international markets so we may not even see them here in the US, and hence the foreign accents on the commercial). Take a look:

French Connection ‘The Woman’ from Fashion Copious on Vimeo.

French Connection ‘The Man’ from Fashion Copious on Vimeo.

As you can see, the commercials are a little odd (definitely seem fit more for the European market than the American market). But I think it’s so great that they drew inspiration from film noir. First of all, “the woman” and “the man” reminds me (and probably deliberately so) of the “femme fatale” and the “hero,” the stock characters of the noir film. The black and white filming of them is clearly noir related, as is the seductive (for the woman) and mysterious (for the man) feel of the commercials. I love when advertisements get creative and wacky, as this is, drawing on the seriousness of noir but with humor (“look at his heart. Or rather look at his shirt…he wears not sequins. He knows not what sequins is”). This also reminds me and gives me a little inspiration for our final project, for being influenced by something, such as in this case a film technique/genre, doesn’t mean copying it entirely, but it means taking aspects of the technique and twisting them and making them your own, thereby creating a whole new entity, and not simply a recreation of something that already exists.

Halloween: Killer Motivation

Scanning the message board on Halloween‘s IMDB page, I came upon a number of interesting topics but one in particular actually puzzled me a great deal. In user RC-Cola’s post titled “Did I miss something?” (which can be found at www.imdb.com/title/tt0077651/board/thread/155539196?p=1), he or she wonders “Did Michael Myers have any motivation for the killings?” and later says “By the end I didn’t really care what he was doing because I didn’t know why he was killing people.” Frankly, I find this take very bizarre and am curious to find out where others stand on the issue. In my mind, at least when it comes to horror, the less you know, the better. I think people naturally tend to fear the unknown. Things you can’t fully grasp or understand bring out anxiety and that’s primarily because you don’t have much of an idea exactly what can be done about them. That’s why you don’t see Hitchcock providing a reason for the attacks in The Birds or Romero explaining how the zombies originated in any of his Dead films or what the structure is in Cube, if you’ve heard of it. Just as if Michael Myers was killing just to, say, seek revenge on someone in Halloween, it would lessen the threat and, in turn, the ability to frighten. This is one of my many issues with subsequent films in the Halloween series. First there’s the sister angle and later an ancient Druid curse is introduced. It plays just as ridiculous as it sounds.

In an entirely different thread on the subject (www.imdb.com/title/tt0077651/board/thread/155601090?p=1), user simest articulates my thoughts on this perfectly. He says, “I think where Michael has a clear, identifiable and tangible reason to kill – seemingly based upon mitigating circumstances – it is far less unnerving because as a society, we can work towards addressing those circumstances and avoiding their recurrence. The implications are considerably less frightening if we know there are measures we can take to prevent them.” And later in the first thread I mentioned above, Sundown 93 quotes Billy Loomis from Scream who says, “…did Norman Bates have a motive? Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lecter liked to eat people? DONT THINK SO! See it’s a lot scarier when there’s no motive.” Couldn’t agree more.

And I suppose this is why Phillips’ reading of the film bothers me as much as it does. Looking at it from the point of view that Myers is acting to “punish the wicked” would ruin a big part of what makes Halloween so unique and effective. If it’s just “the absence of the disciplining parents that calls forth the monstrous bogeyman” then, as simest puts it, we know what measures we can take to prevent his presence. It now boils down to a simple fairy tale and he’s not all that terrifying anymore. Given that Myers is presented throughout as a purely evil, unstoppable force, Phillips’ take seems to be in direct opposition to what the movie intends, making it hard for me, at least, to play along. It doesn’t help that he dismisses/ignores plot elements (the murder of the truck driver and that, despite not being successful, Myers did intend to kill Laurie) as he’s trying to make the point.

Trajan: A Second, Third, Fourth, etc. Look

I found this short video online and thought it was a interesting way to tie in some of the previous font discussions we’ve had- especially since it’s specific to movies. (And horror movies get special mention 🙂 )

http://blip.tv/file/538349

And I totally agree…but why do they all use the same font?  Maybe there’s some kind of psychological reasoning behind it….like we’re more apt to pick up or go to see movies with that font, or we associate that font with a good movie?

Last year, I took an intro graphic design course at Baruch which focused on typography and layout, the two basics of graphic design.  The main premise of the class was that certain fonts and the way they are placed can evoke certain emotions and convey particular messages.  For example, italics can give us a feeling of being rushed or pressured if placed in straight line, or put us in a dreamy state if placed in a non-linear fashion.

So what really confuses me is why designers would use the same font for thrillers, drama, and romance, sci-fi, etc.  Anybody have any ideas?

ps- side note- Notice the background music when he talks about maybe it’s time to try new fonts…It’s the “movie music!”  I found that hilarious!

Why I Almost had a Mild Heart Attack Last Night:

At 1 a.m. last night I decided it was time to watch Marathon Man, which isn’t a brilliant idea to begin with. Watching a movie late at night is one thing. Watching a sadistic, twisted, and graphically violent film like Marathon Man is entirely a different endeavor.  I knew the film was about paranoia but a Joseph Mengele dentist/murderer on a rampage against anyone who could possibly rob him I was not prepared for.  Honestly, how many times did “Is it safe” need to be asked? Also, was the drill really necessary? I literally found myself dialing people in middle of the night and forcing them to stay on the phone with me until the evil man was done. I felt myself cringing throughout the movie and this kind of distracted me from the plot. I wasn’t the only one, since according to imdb the torture scene was cut short due to extreme audience disgust.  I did manage to grasp the plot in between scenes I nearly blacked out in and I was truly impressed.  There were, however, a few way too obvious moments:
1. The American brave official was in reality a bad guy.  Always got to turn on the American government, don’t we?
2. Babe didn’t end up killing Dr. Szell.  Szell just jumped after his diamonds.
3. Elsa was working for the bad guys.
Besides for the 3 points above, I found the movie overall very entertaining and well made. It really spoke to the paranoia genre since Szell caused all the chaos due to his paranoia of being robbed. He could have just shaved his head, strolled down to the bank, picked up his diamonds, and bounced.  Instead, he recruited the “Division,” killed Babe’s brother, nearly tortured Babe to death, and even killed a poor, innocent Auschwitz survivor. Paranoia ultimately led to the entire story plot.
For comparative purposes, I have inserted a link to a website about Joseph Mengele.  The Dr. Szell character is mimicked after Mengele.  Szell was known as the “White Angel,” and Mengele is infamously known as the “Angel of Death.”  Similarly, Szell tortured Babe and Mengele tortured countless victims of the concentration camp.  Mengele’s “experiments” included adding chemicals to eyes in an attempt to see if they changed color, sewing together the hands of two children to create Siamese twins, forcing twins to undergo extremely painful and pointless procedures, and many more sadistic routines.  Just a warning: Content is extremely disturbing.

http://isurvived.org/drMengele.html

Also, http://isurvived.org/2Postings/mengele-AUSCHWITZ.html

The Final Girl

In class the other day we noted that often in the sub-genre of slasher films, the girl who survives is The Good Girl” the virgin, while all the more promiscuos girls are surely going to be killed. In this clip from Scream, we are taught some of the rules to survive a horror movie.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/X-q-AWD_8AY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

From the first two rules layed out in this slasher film parody, we learn sinning (by either sex, drugs, or alcohol) is what get you killed. This might support the approach that the slasher film is preaching conservative ideals, and that the killer (much like Thursday’s group discussed about Michael Myers) is restoring order amongst the chaos.

However, there are many other
explanations that offer a different perspective in explaing the virgin survives phenomenom. One thing to note is that almost always, the lead of a slasher film is a female. In fact there is a phrase coined for the final survivor of horror flicks, as The Final Girl. Therefore, the female lead needs to be explained.

One popular explanation helps explain why the Final Girl is often a virgin. In horror films in order to deepen the anxiety and terror of the film (which is the point of horror films, either that or to laugh at them but thats a different story) the main charachter has to show terror, fear, and essentially scream; which a man lead can not do (as men are never allowed to be afraid even when chased by an axe bearing lunatic). However, as this genre is more male orientended, and the lead at the end has to portray some characteristics more often associated with males, such as the bravery and aggression to use violence and weaponry, it is important for the lead to not to be too feminine. Therefore, her sexuality is mininimized and she often is made into virgin , often with a unisex name, so the male viewer can view her as a somewhat more masculated hero. That is why the more feminine characters are killed off. (This idea is somewhat derived from Carol Clover theory on the Final Girl, the term she coined).

I also found this song on youtube that is written about the Final Girl of horror flicks from 70s and 80s. Doesn’t offer much content but thought I’d share it.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/sP8nT2QQp5k" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Blog Assignment #3

Ok, bloggers, here’s the last round. I was really impressed with what you did with found material from the Internet so let’s do it again but with one new parameter.

For this next round of blog posts, I’d like you to once again do what you did for the last assignment: find something interesting on the Internet (video, image, blog post, a conversation on a forum, etc.) that relates to our films or to the broader themes of this course and respond to it, much as you did last time. This time however, don’t use YouTube. That’s right, no YouTube. We can discuss my reasons for this in class if you wish.

So feel free to scour Flickr.com, Photobucket.com, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Vimeo.com, Veoh.com, even the forums at movie sites like IMDB, Cinema Blend, or Movie-Vault. You can even try shopping sites like thinkgeek.com or even Google Products. Use your imagination. Just no YouTube.

Please don’t forget to embed or link to whatever you’re writing about and to tag your posts and to assign them to the “blog assignment #3” category.

I look forward to another great round of posts. So far, they’ve been truly great.