Tuesday, October 14, 2008

31 Day's Of Horror Day #4 Friday The 13th Part 2

Note: Yes I am a terrible person. My mother is justly ashamed with me. Time to try to burn through the Horror movies I’ve been watching.

Day Four: Friday The 13th Part 2

Friday The Thirteenth 13th Part 2 is the prototypical slasher movie. Now that’s sure to raise some eyebrows as it is among other things, a sequel but bear with me. Psycho and Halloween are too elegant, Last House On The Left and Texas Chainsaw Massarce are too gritty and bleak, even the first Friday The 13th didn’t get the brew quite right, making it more of a mystery then anything else.

What I mean when I say Friday The Thirteenth 2 is a prototypical flick, I don’t mean it’s the first. I mean it’s what I think of when I think of slasher movies. To my knowledge this is the first movie to gather everything that I think about when I think of a slasher movie. Ultra Violence, Gratitous Nudity, Incredibly un PC Deaths (wait until you get a load of the guy in the wheelchair), anti social behavior by a murderous mute hillbilly, crazy old codgers who pronounce doom for our hapless protagonists, long aimless passages of pot smoking and drinking, cat’s jumping out of places cats normally don’t jump out of, heavily wooded isolated areas perfect for nubile young coeds to lose their footing. This things got it all.

It’s really simplicity itself, Nubile young camp counselors move into heavily wooded area haunted by an angry undead hillbilly with a bag over his head (coincidently Jason is a lot scary tho less marketable when he is burlap sack man IMHO), Angry Undead Hillbilly kills them.

However, for a bit of truth in critism, Part 3 does have the better theme. Of course Part 3 has one of the greatest themes ever.

Honestly I want that played at my funeral.

Now as an aside, I just want to say that I think the term Torture Porn is pretty nonsensical. Even in the most ruthless and worthless of these films it’s clear your supposed to be siding with the victims and not the murderers. That said, it is somewhat telling that I don’t own a single film in this “genre” and I’ve got a pretty prodigious horror collection. I think the reason that people give these “Torture Porn” films more shit then they gave the slasher films doesn’t have to do so much with the violence of the films, but with what happens between the acts of violence. The Slasher films as a whole have a pretty light tone. You figure about fifteen minutes of actual violence and fifteen of tension and anticipation, that leaves an hour to fill. The Slasher movies tended to fill that hour with nudity, sex, herb smoking, drinking, practical jokes, Hell if you subtract the killings most Slasher movies are films about a bunch of friends having a good time. The Torture Porn films don’t really have that. They tend to fill the time between slashings with the characters either in a state of panic, or waxing existential, or suffering over their tortured past. Have a couple friends over, put on a slasher movie, and break open a twelve pack and you all are likely to have a good time. Try the same equation with a “Torture Porn” film and you’ll be lucky if your bud’s don’t slit their wrists on the way out. In other words, it’s the oppressiveness of the tone not the aggressiveness of the violence that pisses people off.

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