Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Liar Liar, Script on Fire

Welcome back to Horror on Hump Day at R.G. Male’s Dark Corners. It was a good hiatus, but like any vacation all too short. I may ease back into it this week. Next week I should resume with the magical setting discussion. For now I want to talk about a terrible trend that sometimes plagues movie, maybe horror movies in particular. The title says it all. Sometimes the scriptwriter lies to us, and the director is usually implicit for going along with it. There is a specific example I’m thinking of and I’m going to go ahead and name names!

I’m looking at you Victor Salva of Jeepers Creepers fame. I am speaking of the TV show “Fear Itself” airing this summer, and the episode ”In Sickness and in Health”. What we have here in this episode is a perfect of example of a lie being perpetrated upon the audience. Not a misdirection, not a blurring of reality, not a matter of interpretation, not a taint from a character’s perspective, but an out and out lie. Looking at the IMDB entry for this episode, Salva is the listed as writer and the director is “An American Werewolf in London” director John Landis. Doubly heinous that two famed people are involved.

Since actors have little say in these things I can only hope William B. Davis who played a short part in the episode is ashamed of having been attached to this calamity. Perhaps as Cancer-man/The Smoking Man of X-files fame he got perverse enjoyment out of such a non-useful conspiracy as lying to a TV audience. So, what happened in this episode to raise such apathetic ire? The plot is set up to make us believe the premise of the story and all of its tension. Everything points to one conclusion and one conclusion only. However, when it comes to the climax of the plot that conclusion is entirely false. This in and of itself is not a bad thing necessarily.

What is bad is that all of points forming this conclusion make absolutely no sense, what so ever, in light of the actual truth. If this were intended to make the audience go, “Oh, I get it now”, then it is an ‘epic fail’. There is nothing to get. It’s claptrap, meaningless gobbledygook, and a total waste of an hour better spent on a different hour of this otherwise decent new horror mini-movie series. This of course is not the first story to plain lie to the audience and sadly it likely won’t be the last in the history of the genre. Frankly, I would rather much approve of a story that attempted to mislead and misdirect that failed, than one of this kind of story where there is no attempt to try for any sort of believability.

Mood: lethargic.
Music: Travel In Stygian by Iced Earth and One Tin Soldier by Me First & The Gimme Gimmes.

Iced Earth: The Blessed And The Damned (2CD) [Best of]
Buy these at
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Me First & The Gimme Gimmes: Have a Ball

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