Saturday, June 18, 2011

30 Day Horror Challenge Strikes Back Day 18: Character you wish you could save from death.

A wise man once said that the first rule of horror movies is that anyone can die at any time. That’s what creates the tension. Therefore if I saved any person from death, it would violate the rules. As much as I would like to save, for example, the Firefly family at the end of Devil’s Rejects so we could have more sequels, it’s against the rules. So if I can’t save a person, I’ll just have to go another route with this one. I’ll have to save something that isn’t human. That’s cool with me. I have a little touch of misanthropy in me. I like animals more than I like most people. That’s not to say I’m antisocial, I’ve just never had an animal stab me in the back.

I love dogs in particular. Me and man’s best friend are pretty tight. A lot of dogs have died in horror movies. Evil or mad dogs, like in Cujo or Man’s Best Friend, I understand. They had to go. The dog in Alien 3 had to go because it was integral to the plot. The plot necessity of offing all of the dogs that have died in the Halloween series is debatable. The one I would save is the rottweiler from Candyman. When Virginia Madsen’s character wakes up in Cabrini Green after her encounter with Candyman in the Parking garage, she finds herself in the apartment of a woman she met earlier holding a meat cleaver. Next to her is a decapitated dog. The woman’s baby is also missing. When the cops show up, she is obviously suspect number one.

You know, just being accused of kidnapping the baby would have sufficed. Killing the dog just wasn’t necessary. Come on Candyman, don’t you think she would have gotten in deep enough trouble without offing the canine? Actually, she did need to be covered in blood for the whole “blood soaked bra” scene to work. Kill a person instead then. I would rather have seen one of the Cabrini hoodrats headless than that dog. Rotts are good dogs. I like that breed. If it had been a chow, no problem. Those suckers are mean. That rott may have looked mean, but he was just protecting his family. I think a person would have been better for the plot too. Most people would have reacted stronger than that. Hell, just have her covered in blood with no explanation. That would have worked too. It could have been a little “whose blood was that” subplot.

Anything, just leave the dog alone. Look at that face Candyman. How can you decapitate that? You heartless bastard! Although, it does lend itself to the hilarious idea of PETA getting shot all to hell while they try to protest at Cabrini Green. Or maybe Candyman could take the hook to Sarah McLachlan in the middle of one of those god awful one-eyed puppy commercials. Wait…that was five times wasn’t it? Oh crap. Hide the dog.


Cash Wampum said...

This may be off the beaten path but the one character in a movie that I wished I could have saved. I wanted to desperately save....was Jesus Christ from Gibson's Passion.

Before you laugh me off the board. Please, let me explain.

I like giving a movie my FULL attention. I like to soak it all in. The audio, the video, the camera angles...everything, especially good character development. So I'm the guy that hates it when the phone rings or when someone talks through a flick. My wife likes to ask me questions during a movie thats new to us and it drives me nuts because she's, for the moment, taking me away from the hypnotic escapism, which is what movies are really all about. I like to immerse myself into the story as much as consciously possible.

And I'm not even a religious guy. If the Passion was about any other fictional character, it would have never seen the light of day. The end of that movie, to me, was 45 mins of systematic torture, humiliation and death for a man that I really came to like watching the movie. Gibson did a good job making this Christ a REALLY likable fellow. I couldn't think of someone LESS deserving of the treatment he got in this movie.

And although I know the ending to Christ's story, the movie played with your emotions by adding in Pilate's decision making process. Do I kill him or set him free? In my mind I was like, let the poor man go! He's just been flogged to almost death, what more do you want? Let the guy live! But its useless, he HAS to die. Thats the story, right? He has to die on the cross. Even so I found myself wanting to hear Pilate spare his life. It was uncanny.

So yeah. I'll admit this. At the end of the movie I was completely in this Jesus guy's corner. I was completely, emotionally broken. Because I'm not religious the whole "isn't it wonderful he resurrected" bit was lost on me. When the credits rolled and I was walking out I could feel a tingle in me. I wanted to tell people waiting for the next show to turn the fuck back but I couldn't talk. It was surreal. Then suddenly I realised what that tingle was. You know how you get that feeling just under your ears right before you puke. You keep swallowing over and over again to try to stop it from happening but that ear sensation means its all over and inevitable? This tingle was my emotions telling me that I was going to weep and weep real fucking hard and there was nothing I could do about it. I HAD to get out of there or risk a HUGE public embarrassment.

Fortunately it didn't hit me till I was in the car driving down the road, and it took all my concentration to postpone that long and as concerned as my wife was for me at the time (she didn't see it coming at all) I'm certain she loved every minute of it. Most chicks love a guy who can sob.

I know its not horror but your blog subject stirred that memory and it applies 100%. I'll never forget it. I am an emotional guy and I have no shame in it but I can usually keep my composure. This movie just tipped the scales against me.

SonOfCelluloid said...

Interesting comment man. I've always said that after all I've seen, Guinea Pig, the August Underground trilogy, all the Italian gorefests, Last House, Chainsaw, Ichi the Killer, Natural Born Killers, Tumbling Doll of Flesh and on and on, Passion of the Christ stands out as the single most violent flick I have ever seen. I agree 100% that if it hadn't been about Jesus, that movie would never have gotten an R and probably never seen the light of day. I had a little bit of a different experience. I come from a VERY religious upbringing, my dad was a preacher and we were traveling evangelists when I was a kid, so the suffering of Jesus is something I'd grown up with. That flick was intense, but it wasn't anything that hadn't been pounded into my skull many times. Actually, I used to draw the crucifixion scene a lot when I was young, and my parents made me switch to another bible story because the drawings were getting bloodier and bloodier. I guess it was a sign of things to come. Anyway, what got me are all the people who took their kids to see it. I don't give a fuck if it's a religious thing or not, taking your 8, 9, 10 year old to that movie is sick. That's like, child abuse level inappropriate. When I saw it there was this bible thumper with his kids who couldn't have been more than 10 or 11. These kids were bawling and absolutely traumatized and I kept hearing him whisper "don't close your eyes, you need to see what Jesus did for you. I almost got in a fight with the dude when I told him that he's a demented child abusing freak. So yeah, The Jesus Crucifixion Massacre was an intense movie. Honestly, I would classify that as a horror flick.

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