Torture Porn

Mamba

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I'm not really interested in the so-called "torture-porn" genre: movies like Hostel or Saw; torture-as-exploitation just isn't a good movie experience for me.

Why? Well, firstly the feeling they conjure inside you is one of disgust, rather than the familiar foreboding and hair-raising spine shiver of true fear. And then there's the characters, who are usually never developed enough to make us even feel for them; they're simply soulless paper victims, set up to be sliced and diced apart. Who are they? Who cares? All that's left, all you can literally do - is feel revulsion. There is no connection. How can it, then, stay with you or resonate in any way? Torture porn and movies like it leave many true horror fans (like yours truly) feeling numb, and rather like they need to take several showers afterwards to remove the "unclean" feeling that the movie has generated.

This sub-genre of horror "Torture porn" has no particular moral point of view (find it?) and therefore no artistic value (and a commonly agreed-on trait of pornography is that it serves only to titillate, not to illuminate - hence the name). These movies have no real depth, are mean-spirited, increasingly sadistic, have no redeeming qualities and leave you with nothing more than a sharpened sense of your own mortality and a bad taste in the mouth. Some call this entertainment, I call it cheap.

It seems to me that the general goal is to make people sit through ever-increasing levels of violence and bloodshed with the excuse that the act of making this kind of movie proves something about the "brutality of human nature" and the deep message that goes with it. It doesn't. It just means you've subjected people to some woman (or man) getting a chainsaw stuck in their skull, who is later skinned alive after being horribly burnt - for no other reason than you felt like it (and it was hopefully the worst death the box office has seen yet!), and now everyone feels vaguely disgusted and weirded out.

Good call.

If any movie should be made about the brutality of human nature it should be about the self-indulgent writers and producers of these type of movies who have carte blanche to feed their incessant (and worrying) desire to push the envelope on every kind of gratuitous sadism you can think of* in the name of "art" (and I use that term very loosely indeed.)

*for example
http://www.pajiba.com/twisted_masterpieces/a-serbian-film-for-torture-porn-filmmakers-who-considered-rapeicide-when-hostel-didnt-go-far-enuf.php

Essentially, all we have today is film-makers of this genre who go out of their way to top the "depraved" and "sick" factor that previous film-makers have achieved. Yeah, always got to raise the bar...Only, that's real bad news for the art, as the "message" (if there ever was one) gets lost behind the massive overbearing wall of gore, paedophilia, rape and mental fuckedup-ness. Extreme violence realistically portrayed so as to appeal to the most base and unhealthy interests of those wishing to watch it. Mmm. Tasty.

I've watched my fair share of violence and bloodshed, and shock-horror- I don't abhor it.- However, there is a huge chasm of difference between situations and historical stories that move you - together with character development which allows you to get involved on an emotional level, and a fairground of exploitative torture or sexual depravity for its own sake.

I wish, in all honesty that some of these movies had never been made. The trouble with censoring these kind of movies is that, well you can't. For starters, censorship is associated with dictatorship - and that has everyone up in arms... however - doesn't extreme sexual depravity and sadism fall under a different category in censorship? If it doesn't - maybe it should? It's hardly "keeping vital information from the masses" now is it? Unless you want to learn how to sadistically torture and kill that is. Hey, maybe you do...who am I to judge?

Unfortunately, as we well know the standard audience for movies of this nature feel even more determined to stand up for freedom of expression, to see what all the fuss was about, or to “test†their own mental/emotional strength (this movie won't break ME) and you can bet that the movie is marketed in a sensationalist fashion as "the one movie they don't want you to see!" and the film gets even more exposure than it would have in the first place.

And the film-maker stands up for his "artistic integrity"

...whatever that means nowadays.

And so it goes on.

I guess the question I've led myself to through all this is the following: When cruelty or sexual depravity for its own sake, whether real or acted by other people, is considered entertainment, shouldn't this make alarm bells ring somewhere in our psyche?

I know it does for me.

On other genres: I enjoy the occassional war movie immensely, I also love most psychological thrillers. I like dramas, romantic comedies and I can get kicks from genuine horror, but torture porn, and its brethren gets a big thumbs down from me.

What about you guys?
 

Zeabot

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Oct 25, 2013
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I enjoy the first couple of Saw movies and I enjoyed Hostel. Saw had a pretty good story line going for it the first two movies, with some nice twists. Hostel was alright because it had a little change of pace. However, any other Saw and Hostel are just awful, because of your exact argument. No attempt what-so-ever to create a storyline.
 

Negativecool

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I haven't watched a single one of the above mentioned movies. Just isn't my thing. I wouldn't blame the producers though. It's not their fault that this genre prints money for them to do endless lines of coke on. Blame the masses. If the people didn't want them the first ones would have tanked and their sequels never would have been pursued. Movies in Hollywood, after all, aren't made for story telling, but are investments (risky ones at that) with the sole purpose of making money. Story telling is for bitches..am I right Transformers 1,2,3,etc...?

Personally, if they cut out the killing and maiming and added in a little (ok maybe a lot) forced penetration on some unsuspecting high school/college age white hotties by ravenous negroid rape gangs---I could get on board with that. I'll plunk down 15 bucks to see that in 3D at the ultrascreen.
 

KommieKat

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What I really dislike are the Porn movies you see today with the chicky being strangled a bit, suffocated a bit by the dude. I understand that suffocation or what ever it's called has pleasure reasons for some folks but it's mental and these fuck wits do it as if it's a norm sexual activity.

The chicks are stupid for letting happen and it's a wonder why they never do it back to the dudes. When was the first and last time you saw a dude was being strangled by a chick?

Today's kids learn about sex from porn and what they see is what they think it's about, objectifying and brutalizing women. They copy and mimic, not realizing that it's deviant behavior.

The last craze, I think, was muffy shaving and tattoos amongst porn stars, now its chocking??
 

Negativecool

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What I really dislike are the Porn movies you see today with the chicky being strangled a bit, suffocated a bit by the dude. I understand that suffocation or what ever it's called has pleasure reasons for some folks but it's mental and these fuck wits do it as if it's a norm sexual activity.

The chicks are stupid for letting happen and it's a wonder why they never do it back to the dudes. When was the first and last time you saw a dude was being strangled by a chick?

Today's kids learn about sex from porn and what they see is what they think it's about, objectifying and brutalizing women. They copy and mimic, not realizing that it's deviant behavior.

The last craze, I think, was muffy shaving and tattoos amongst porn stars, now its chocking??
I can't tell if you didn't actually read Mamba's post or if you're doing some clever satirical post to give the impression that you can't actually read and instead obsess about porn in which your fingers couldn't wait to find a thread to spew a diatribe about it. Either way, kudos for the confusion you're created. The reversal of expectations was quite masterful.
 

KommieKat

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I can't tell if you didn't actually read Mamba's post or if you're doing some clever satirical post to give the impression that you can't actually read and instead obsess about porn in which your fingers couldn't wait to find a thread to spew a diatribe about it. Either way, kudos for the confusion you're created. The reversal of expectations was quite masterful.
I'm on topic. She is referring to movies made for horror entertainment. I'm referring to actual porn itself.
She is referring to deviant behavior in movies of entertainment. I'm pointing out deviant behavior in today's 'accepted' porn.

Her examples are forms of "art". Mine is an example of what is actually going down but thanks for the kudos.
 

Negativecool

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I'm on topic. She is referring to movies made for horror entertainment. I'm referring to actual porn itself.
She is referring to deviant behavior in movies of entertainment. I'm pointing out deviant behavior in today's 'accepted' porn.

Her examples are forms of "art". Mine is an example of what is actually going down but thanks for the kudos.
Point being you shot right over horror entertainment as if it was never mentioned and went right into porn in which the XXX pornographic genre was never directly discussed.
 

Firestorm

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May 7, 2008
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I'm not sure that I would lump Saw into the "torture porn" category. Is it gory? Yes. But I don't recall a great deal of sex or sexual inuendo in the movie. Hostel on the other hand, I felt that the whole point of the movie was you could buy anything you wanted in poverty stricken countries for peanuts, from sex with a child to the ability to kill them afterward. Should this ring alarm bells in our psyche? It depends on who you are I guess. Having seen child prostitution in a few countries first hand, the movie wasn't that much of a shock to me anymore than Black Hawk Down was to anyone who has ever served in combat and had everything go shit sideways.

Should we accept this as "normal"? If it is for some people and it sells, I say why not. It's really not that different than the bad guys winning in movies like Fast Five and the like.

Kommie raises a valid point, but did jump right into the porn end of the pool. You know why you don't see men getting choked Kommie? Simple. It doesn't sell movies. Seeing some chick with her throat stuffed and some dudes hand on her throat making her turn colors gives the impression that this is ok and it sells a ton of movies. Those movies don't worry me nearly as much as some of the things you find on such sites as scream and cream, rip that bitch, etc.

In short, "art" is like beauty, it is defined by the beholder and unless you're prepared to watch reruns of Sesame Street for the rest of your life, it's not something you as an individual are going to do much about. Sex sells, it really is that simple.
 

Bunnee

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Apr 25, 2008
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I liked Hostel 1 and 2.

The saw movies I'm totally into. More for the plot than the gore, because I tend to turn away and not look at the gory bits. Plus, I'm absolutely fascinated by the traps. I love watching the "How-we-did-this" clips on the bonus footage.

Did you know the saw movie with the huge ice blocks? It's actually a water melon when they squish his head! Pretty nifty if you ask me.

People watch them out of morbid curiosity. "We" want to see death, violence, rape and tourture. Sad but true.
 

Zeabot

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Oct 25, 2013
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"We" want to see death, violence, rape and tourture
Yes. That is exactly right. My wife is a less-than-average football fan, but watches it with me for a little while on Sundays. EVERYTIME there is a big hit or injury, she shows more attention to the sport than before. I'm going to guess she is not the only one that requests a dvr rewind to watch it again.