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
This looks familiar
In watching the films assigned to us in class i find myself looking constantly at women who are portrayed as the source of trouble in our leading protagonists lives. Even though the women are downplayed in a large way by the heroic man, their roles serve of grave importance but not in a pleasant light most of the time. In movies such as The Lady From Shanghai we see how the beautiful Rosalie uses her charm to “force” Michael to stay with her, eventually we see that she did this for her own benefit and seemed to have no regard for his life. In Double Indemnity we see how Phyllis also uses her looks in order to “force” a man into doing as she pleases. In movies like these and in others that we have seen such as Detour and D.O.A. we see how woman are placed into roles that are completely opposite of the damsel in distress and instead are women with no emotions who seem to just be interested in money and material goods. Although i believe a damsel in distress isn’t the best way to portray a woman, it seems equally offensive to see these heartless women representing women. It confuses me that women in the end of these films were seen as the bad ones because they “brought the leading man down with their seductions and deceit” when it is obvious that no man can be FORCED into doing anything, none of these women threatened to kill these men if they didn’t make out with them, it was the mans own fault for choosing to chase these women. I believe it all comes down to choice just as Adam could have chosen not to bite the apple Eve gave to him so could these men have chosen not to listen to these women, for falling for these women and getting themselves into a whole mess of trouble i think they should be seen as fools and not be shown sympathy. I believe Julie Grossman sums it up perfectly when she states that these movies serve to portray women as these dangerous being that should be TAMED by institutions (which means by MEN), and this doesn’t come as a shock considering that these films were made by men. Although i dont think directors of movies did this intentionally, i believe it does reflect the times in which they lived in where women were either seen as innocent creatures that needed a mans guidance in order to have a happy life, or they were seen as these “femme fatale” characters who were way out of control and needed to be stopped by the all knowing man.