RARA-AVIS: Re: Torture Porn

From: al_guthrie65 ( allan@allanguthrie.co.uk)
Date: 04 Jul 2007

I have to ask... which critics are calling Roth a genius? I know Stephen King recently called HOSTEL 2 'interesting on an artistic basis', but I suspect he was being kind. I've certainly not seen much in the way of good reviews -- quite the opposite, in fact. And which movies did Roth make on big budgets? He's very deliberately avoided making movies on big budgets and it's the fact that his extremely low budget gorefests (CABIN FEVER was made for $1.5 million; HOSTEL for $4.5 million -- tiny budgets; HOSTEL 2 was $10 million, which is still tiny by today's standards) have made so much money that's spawned so many imitators. The same was true of SAW, which was made for about two dollars and a button and grossed (that being the operative word) over 50 million in the US.


--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "GB" <mnc_fb@...> wrote:
> Charlie Huston is probably my favorite writer of the new crop and
> I've been recommending him to every Spanish-speaker I know who can
> read in English. I also used to enjoy Rex Miller back in the day
> although he's not exactly new (BTW, I've been waiting for someone
> collect his short stories and any unpublished stuff he might have
> left behind. I'd love to know if there are other Eichord stories
> around).
> It's not the violence (or the ultra-violence if you will) in the
> stories that's wrong. Sometimes you need exactly that to tell a
> story. For instance, I don't think the cat torture scene in
> Caught Stealing was unnecessary, as shocking as it was. For
> it served to illustrate the viciousness of the thugs Hank Thompson
> was up against. American History X is another such case. I don't
> think you could tone it down and what the characters did in the
> is just the type of things skinhead and ghetto gangs do in certain
> situations. The same goes for the shower scene, which as we all
> is pretty common in prisons everywhere.
> Movies like Hostel, Saw, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, etc.
> the wave of noir films from the UK such as Guy Ritchie's, Sexy
> etc. are different in that they genuinely strike me as the product
> a teenager who thinks he's being cutting edge by devising over the
> top scenes. The violence doesn't shock me, it's just that it seems
> unnecessary for story purposes as well as unrealistic in itself.
> don't really need to have experienced things in your life to talk
> about them but I think that if you're going to make violence an
> integral part of your work, then you should justify its inclusion
> within the context of the story (you could do without half of
> Hostel's torture scenes and the story would remain the same) as
> as make it more realistic. Nonetheless, what bothers me the most
> about these works is not that I find them worthless (other people
> might enjoy them and more power to them) but how critics almost
> unanimously fawn over the supposed "genius" (is there a more
> word these days?) of Tarantino and his clones or people like Eli
> Roth, who's basically producing slasher films with a bigger budget
> than their predecessors from a few decades back.
> -GB.

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