After reviewing A Serbian Film, meaning I had actually watched A Serbian Film, I fell into a slight depression regarding modern horror movies. It is not a depression that suddenly came over me out of the clear blue, but rather an agitation and exacerbation of an underlying horror film depression I have been wrestling with for some time. The bottom line is I just find a lot of modern horror just too over the top for me. I am not sure what exactly I mean by modern horror and do not think it is something that begins at a certain date on the calendar. Certainly the films of H.G. Lewis were ultra gory and disturbing and those came out in the early 60’s. But there is some other quality inherent in many newer films that I find more disturbing than the explicit gore even. I am not about to do some sort of “brainy” in-depth study or dissertation on the topic, but rather I just want to express my general feelings and move on.
When I began this blog a long time ago in about 2005 it was in different format and had a different direction. It has existed on a few different hosting platforms, like Opera, Wordpress, and two paid for places. I came to Blogger after multiple struggles with all those platforms and it has been a struggle here since Blogger and all things Google, or virtually all things Western, are blocked here in China where I live. But I manage with a little skill, savvy and patience to keep active. The site originally began as one of those retro themed sites and the early versions of the blog featured all those old ads and articles on people like Nancy Sinatra. Hence the name The Uranium Café, named after the small little restaurant near the Trinity atomic bomb test site. As it exists today the blog is only about movies. I recently removed all posts pertaining to comic books and music and such. Originally the movies here were all what one might call classic, cult or midnight movies styled films. Usually all were made before 1980.
But I still enjoyed watched modern horror movies and I had set up a second blog called Necrotic Cinema to deal with those reviews. I long ago stopped that blog since it was just a hassle to maintain even one blog much less two given my lackadaisical approach to such things. I moved all the posts from that site over to this one and ceased posting there though the blog is still online. One thing I had always noticed was that my reviews of newer films at NC were much harsher and cynical than my reviews of older films at this site. It just seemed I did not always enjoy the viewing experience (though sometimes I did and still do) and newer films often left me feeling disturbed and restless. As I said in my review of the sordid and abysmal A Serbian Film many people use these negative feelings as a defense of a sick, pointless film’s latent value. “Oh, if you feel disturbed and think about it later I must have value, because it got under your skin!” Donald Trump seems to get under everyone’s skin and provokes controversy but few people (especially on the new Marxist left) seem to feel he has value or merit based on simply the fact he disturbs people.
Since watching A Serbian Film I've watched a couple other newer styled films I had seen reviews of on the Youtube channel called Bloodbath and Beyond, a fairly enjoyable channel. Two were the Laid to Rest films with the character Chrome Skull and the other was a movie called Stitches about a killer clown. I may review those films, but I think I have reached a saturation point with ultra violent and sexually deviant and disturbing films. Any opinions on those two films I will save for reviews if I do any. But I just find that maybe because of events in my life and growing more than a bit older I have lost my taste for most all of that. I do not consider myself a prude and I also am not opposed to violent imagery in cinema. I do not winch or look away and often replay the more violent scenes. I am a fan of special effects, and practical effects in particular, and I know they are actors and it is all make believe, and yet I begin to question why I need to replay a scene of a Serbian woman being macheted to death while her killer continues to ravage her headless corpse. Or, as in Stitches, why I need to see a long played out scene of a male student having his dick ripped off by a killer clown who then dangles before the classroom with a witty one liner thrown in.
Either it is all becoming too disturbing for me or I am concerned that I am not disturbed enough. Have I just become jaded and burned out? Have events in my personal life made me more sensitive to some images and themes? Am I just tired of pandering this stuff under the bogus guise of a "social trend observer"? Who knows. Who cares. Most of the story lines are the same ones I have been seeing since the 70’s, done over and over. All the same stuff only the gory imagery and cheap-shots (i.e. jump scare tactics) are getting more ramped up in frequency to appease the harder to please audiences. I am burned out with watching horny, angry teenagers go camping or explore a reputed haunted house or insane asylum and do all the same brainless clichés over and over. I am burned out with hacked up flesh and intestines and impaled faces. Lately I find myself watching more and more older films again, the MST3K type. While I do not see myself stopping watching modern horror films entirely I will try to be more selective. There is a vain of nihilism and hostility in newer horror films I just cannot put up with over and over any longer. If I read a review anymore that says '... ooh, this film is really bleak and hopeless and all the good people die off..." I think I will pass on seeing it. If I even decide to continue blogging with any passion I hope to go back to doing Hammer Films, or start reviewing all those cool old AIP Vincent Prices movies. Amazing that some of those, especially the Hammer films, were considered rather shocking for their times. We’ve come a long way baby. And I guess sometimes coming a long is not always for the better.