Frightfest Night # 2

Tonight's films were Teeth (in place of the advertised P2) and All The Boys Love Mandy Lane.

Teeth, rather bizarrely, starred a female character whose vagina had teeth. Vagina Dentata, and all that. Which is bad news for the male cast. A fun film, which admirably opted to graphically show severed manhoods, and could be viewed as a rampant feminist horror movie.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane
is an often vicious slasher, seeing teenagers being wiped out while partying on a ranch. It's got just enough visual style and surprises to help it rise above formulaic status. Sexy cast, too. I liked.

That's it. Bed. Knackered. Possibly as a result of attending heat mag's staff sports day this afternoon. I played Rounders. And did surprisingly well. Good day to you.


Sarah Dobbs said...

Sorry, but... you're so wrong about Teeth. It was actually rampantly misogynist. Suggesting there was any feminism whatsoever in that movie is disregarding, um, the entire text of the movie.

It's a film based around an ancient male fear of female sexuality - as was actually pointed out in the movie - and featured a young, innocent girl getting repeatedly sexually assaulted. Except that the assualts were turned around to make them into a MALE fear of castration.

Then it does the hey-kids-rape-is-fun thing, with undertones of if-you-frigid-bitches-just-let-us-rape-you-you'd-actually-quite -like-it culminating in a fantasy of turning the innocent girl into a whore - who's then using her sexuality to assault men, just to further reinforce that whole underlying current of female-sexuality-is-bad-mmmmkay.

It's also arguably misandrist on occasion.

The audience reaction was deeply, deeply troubling. That entire audience laughed uproariously at a scene in which a young girl, who had been drugged to the point of no longer being able to hold a wine glass upright, got sexually assaulted. They also found a scene in which the girl finds her dead mother lying in a heap on the floor, but in the background her step-brother was having anal sex.

Really fucking funny.

Jason Arnopp said...

I appreciate your view, madam, but I only said it could be viewed as a feminist flick. You feel it could be viewed as the opposite. There's no right or wrong when it comes to interpreting movies - especially not in terms of how seriously, or otherwise, you take 'em. :)

Jon said...

There’s a few questions that could arise here, such as:
1. What violence is it acceptable to laugh at? Should it be acceptable to find funny any violent activity? From Keaton and Laurel & Hardy through to Dawn and Shaun Of The Dead violence has been a source of amusement. Or is it the target of the violence that causes the problem? Is it more acceptable to ‘slice and dice’ men over women (see the debate over Hostel vs. Hostel 2).
2. Is sexual violence against men more acceptable than against women? People make jokes about Deliverance’s ‘big scene’ but I don’t hear the similar references to Death Wish and I Spit On Your Grave (which has also been considered a feminist film).
3. Should we be concerned at the rise of films that encourage the audience to enjoy violence or empathize with the victimizer over the victimized? Is it not perturbing that we should laugh at ANY hideous and cruel acts of (fictionalized) violence and is this not the path to the actions at and acceptance by the public of Abu Ghraib and ‘happy slapping’?
4. If a film is both misogynist and misandrist does this negate each charge and render the film deeply nihilistic and/or purely misanthropic?
5. Doesn’t the mere act of watching a horror film, such as Vagina Dentata, indicate a tacit acceptance that violence is considered acceptable entertainment?

I shall keep my council but these questions occasionally tax my brain and probably need to be asked more regularly than they are.

However, there can definitely be a wrong way to interpret films: I would say that if, for example, anybody tried to posit The Wizard Of Oz as a searing indictment of C.I.A. involvement in South America they would be wrong. Utterly.

rob said...

I had to look 'misandrist' up in a dictionary.

Anonymous said...


Ive just expanded teh debate slightly on my Blog if anyone cares to join in...

Lucy V said...

I agree with Sarah of The Dead. I haven't read or watched TEETH but any film that glorifies rape - on females OR males - really pisses me off. And I've said more than once over at my blog how horrifying it is that so many scribes out there write rape scenes in the way Sarah describes. NOT. FUNNY.

I'm actually here though to tell Jason I had a dream about him last night. We were having an affair and were having it off when my husband killed him with a jackhammer to the head. Niiice.

Jon said...

I would second that. (Not the bit about the dreamscape as sadly my dream-invading machine isn’t up and running yet!)

I have a far more limited pool of scripts to draw upon (not being a script reader) but there seems to be a real issue with (male) writers doing rape scenes. What Sarah has described draws to mind three varied issues: the ‘no really means yes’ debate (actually no really does mean no), ‘rape-revenge’ movies and what the BBFC termed ‘porno-rape’. I thought we’d gone beyond ‘rape-revenge’ but I have still seen 21st Century scripts with wife/girlfriend’s rape as the male lead’s motive to go killing a la Death Wish. ‘Porno-rape’ was used to describe the rape scenes where the woman stops screaming and suddenly starts enjoying the experience. Nauseating. The BBFC rightly insisted on cutting all such scenes in the late-70’s (including from Emmanuelle) on the grounds that it was just an advert for rape. Emmanuelle is currently being advertized as about to be released on DVD fully uncut: what does that say about shifting attitudes?

When I saw Pulp Fiction the entire audience found the whole Marsellus Wallace-gimp scene hilarious. I found myself amused but also slightly perturbed at what I was asked to laugh at. (Would this have even got to filming stage if it had been MIA Wallace?) The film won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. Now ask why so many scribes write rape scenes?

I’ve rambled again; you’ll have to excuse me…

Jason, you will be pleased to know I have had no dreams about you. Or anything else.

Lucy V said...

Jon, how can you not dream about Jason when he is such a fine specimen I pray thee????

But GOOD point about Pulp Fiction, hadn't thought of that one since as a film it bored me somewhat (CONTROVERSY! Get her!!!) I'll wager that's definitely one of the reasons rape is en vogue - many scribes my age in particular worshipped Tarantino growing up and it comes out their writing in other ways (albeit unconsciously perhaps, ie.the car boot, dancing to 50s music etc), so why not this?

Lucy V said...

P.S. Get your dream invasion machine up and running, I'll pay good money for that... But wait a minute, isn't that a violation too?????

Jon said...

My dream invasion machine surely is a violation but I'm only really creating it for nefarious purposes! And I'll not be telling ye when I'm a-using it until the blackmail demand arrives. Then I'll sell yer dreams back to you. Ooh! My evil knows no bounds today.

There's nought controversial with finding Pulp Fiction boring. I found it amusing on first viewing but subsequently found it a rather empty affair. Tarantino (along with Guy Ritchie) did some good (injected new life into the medium) but also did much damage (continual imitation, casual attitude to violence, etc.). I really thought Tarantino was growing up when he made Jackie Brown... then he goes and makes a four hour exercise in futility. Kill Bill fails my Hamlet Test: if a film's going to be as long as Hamlet it really should have some depth...

And you're right, I really should try harder with the dreaming of Mr Arnopp... but if this experiment goes hideously wrong... well, I'd rather be dreaming of cats and global domination.