Friday, July 25, 2008

More Gore In Store


The goriest film I've ever seen? I pause and consider this question. Lord knows I watch a ton of hack and slash. Hmmm. "Turista"? Hardly. "Night of the Living Dead"? A walk through the park. "Hostel"? Yeah, that's definitely blood and gut territory. "Cabin Fever"? "Saw 2"? "The Devil's Rejects"?

All of these horror films are child's play next to "Rambo", directed by Sylvester Stallone. Seriously. In this most recent incarnation of the series, the story takes place in Myanmar as a rogue army of one hundred terrorizes innocent villagers. Rambo heads up river along with a group of mercenaries to rescue a team of missionaries. Using this plot as a frame we get the most realistic scenes of bodies being blown up, ripped apart, liquefied. Children are seen having their limbs blown off and holes ripped through their bodies. And unfortunately, this is the best example of special effects that I've ever seen. Absolutely believable.

I am sure that Stallone would argue that war is bloody. That may be true, but I would counter that in a Rambo movie, while one comes to the film with expectations that there will be violence and gore, one expects comic book or Hollywood action to follow. When this sort of gore shows up in a Rambo film, it is gratuitous and vulgar. This isn't "Saving Private Ryan" or "Platoon".

I know people have questioned the use of gore over and over and talked about whether or not it desensitizes an audience. That issue bleeds into videogames and music. I'm not necessarily raising that issue here. I obviously watch many films that are expectedly vicious. However, the Rambo series, while always bloody, never reached the level of gore that would make a horror film seem tame in comparison.

6 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd heard that about this movie but haven't seen it yet. I'm not a fan of gore for gore's sake, although I don't mind some serious blood and guts. I'm gonna watch this movie at some point so I'll have to let you know what I think.

Sidney said...

I haven't seen it yet either but I wouldn't have expected that kind of carnage.

I suspect it was included for the sake of making the movie something a little different as much as anything.

SQT said...

My husband went and saw this because he's a Rambo film from way back, but I couldn't go see it. I like suspense and I can handle some violence, but gore leaves me watching the movie through my hands.

Vwriter said...

I actually watched this movie three nights ago, and found it less shocking and mentally damaging than movies containing both Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock. The frontal lobe havoc and neural disintegration caused by their dialogue is all accomplished without recourse to any special effects at all.

As the creators of the epic "Godzilla vs. Mothman" said in "Anime No More" magazine, "He [Godzilla] is okay squash buildings and make the little people scream, but no bleeding."

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, I would give this a pass. Sidney, I have a fondness for eighties style action flicks, such as COMMANDO, and if Stallone had stuck with some of the stylistic action over gore, it would have been a better film.

SQT, I'm tired of gore, to be honest. I've written before about how it's starting to depress me.

Vwriter....I like Hugh Grant.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I'm so out of my element here. I don't think I'm so horrified at the prospect of blood and guts, but the stale dialogue and plot holes large enough to drive a truck through. I'm afraid I'll be two hours I'll wish I'd cleaned the funk out of the bottom of my fridge :)

And, I simply *must* know how the movie was last night. All I can find are jaded critics who hated it.

Thanks so much for stopping by and dropping a comment.