Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't Scream

Good morning, ducks! Let me ask you--do you like to see women in stark screaming terror and in fear of imminent death? Or at least simulations of such? Well, the New York Daily News does! Today they put up a gallery of "screaming starlets" from nineteen separate horror movies! It's one stop shopping for all your terror porn!

As a film buff, I've watched my fair share of horror films. The vast majority boil down to either stalker or torture porn, of course, with tons of women in various stages of undress being voyeuristically hunted down. Even if the trend lately is towards making the woman the hero, letting her ultimately triumph (for example, the American remake of The Ring or the original Halloween), you can be sure that she'll first go through a degradation that no male hero would be forced to undergo. This is true of even the best of the bunch, such as the Scream franchise, which featured a woman hero who was easily the most capable character in all the films, or the solid-B movie The Descent, which at least featured a main cast of women who did things (like whitewater rafting, caving, and fending off cannibalistic subhuman cave dwellers), even if it did find room for the death of a child, a murderous catfight, and the heroine killing a mother and child--your basic smorgasbord of Hollywood misogyny.

I'm really baffled by why the News thought this was a good idea, though of course not surprised. We do live, as Liss McEwan put it yesterday, "in a rape-soaked culture" so I guess putting images of anguished women shrieking in terror on your web site is just giving the public what it wants.

Besides, it's not like you can have photographs of naked women in your newspaper. I mean, this is America.

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