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Fear of Goblins, Fear of Men: Short Analysis of Todd Sheets' Goblin (1993)
Let me start off by saying that Goblin, directed by Todd Sheets, is not a perfect movie. It's quite unpolished and overall poorly executed not unlike many SOV movies. However, I believe that this movie does have a voice on gender and sexuality issues in horror movies. The same kinds of themes that Slumber Party Massacre (1982) introduced are also addressed in Goblin, in rougher and rawer ways. The main theme is the fear of men, or more specifically phallophobia.
In both movies(SPM and Goblin), the characters, principally the male ones, are very alike. They are mostly passive and occupy the stereotyped roles women are usually filling. This sparks new ways of interpreting the roles of both genders in horror movies. Apart from the fact that all men in Goblin are long-haired (and I even confounded the character of the "Lost hiker", played by Todd Sheets himself, with a short skirt-wearing woman at first), they act in a female manner, for a horror movie at least. Courageousness, usually showed by males, is actually more prominent in females, especially in the one who could be the easiest to be victimized, Sherry, played by Kim Alber, who is pregnant. Whilst one of the male character arduously does "kill" the goblin, it's the character of Tammy, played by Jenny Admire, that is the first one to help constructively her friends by calling for help in the police car. What is interesting to note is also the fact that the survival rate in this movie is high. Where we usually see one or two survivors in typical horror movies, in Goblin, there is actually five survivors, including three women.
Where in Slumber Party Massacre, the main character is afraid of losing her virginity, therefore projecting her fears into a driller killer (the fantastic nature of her fears are actually exploited in a less subtle manner in Slumber Party Massacre II (1987) ), in Goblin, fear of actual rape is exploited. First of all, the Goblin is a half-man, half-creature figure. It seems to be controlled by his instinct, acting in a very animalistic manner. But it could very well be a masked man. Because of that, his identity remains a secret and he could be any man, even one of the male characters. This Goblin figure becomes the symbolic rapist, that any male can become. Most of the death scenes in Goblin are similar physically and metaphorically to an actual rape. The multiple tools used by the killer imitate a penis. The most obvious reference is the death scene in the ladder where some kind of a scythe is used to impale the woman in her genital area. What ensues most of these scenes is the disembowelment of the body of the victims. The killer then fiddles with what came out of the body. The camera usually and closely lingers on the flesh. The ritualistic manner in which these scenes take place, combining them with the way the victims are killed (by impalement), seems to imitate a rape, both physically and psychologically. Rape victims often describe a great feeling of emptiness after their traumatic experience. The disembowelment seems to represent physically this feeling and the way the killer fiddles with the remains recalls the degradation and profanation of the raped body.
Sexuality and nudity is often overbearing in horror movies, especially is recent films. A horror film seems to not be one without showing boobs or sexual intercourse. In Goblin, we get neither. Moreover, what could lead to a scene of a sexual nature is cut short or desexualize. For example, when the character of Jodie, played by Tonia Monahan, decides to change her clothes in the bathroom, the viewer, used to see female nudity in a horror movie, will expect to see breasts. However, none of that happens and the character only changes her shorts (that will later be torn by the killer). The main couples in the movie neither engage in a sexual activity or even kiss. What remains of some kind of sexuality in the movie are the murder scenes that, as I said, represent rape.
Gender and sexuality issues as social issues are nowadays very present in foreign or independent American horror movies ( A Serbian Film (2010), Anatomy from Hell (2004), Otto; or, Up with Dead People (2008) )But this analysis shows that even if a independent obscure movie of a mediocre quality can have something to say on many issues. I'm waiting for the release of Goblin on DVD, I think it deserves to have a better distribution.
Swept Away (2002)
+1 for the photography, +1 for the end=3
Yes, this movie is not good, unfortunately. I wanted it to be acceptable, I tried to forget about the hundreds of bad reviews. But I have to say that this movie has the worst character development in history. She basically gets sexually assaulted and then she's in love with him like 2 seconds later. I actually thought he was raping her and I was very uncomfortable because I expected something funny. And then to see her falling in love with him makes the whole thing even more awkward. Sexism is very present and shocking. Some of the scenes are so long, unfunny and boring. Madonna, bless her, she's alright. You can't expect her to be a Meryl Streep.
What I liked: The photography: It's beautiful but it's hard to make it look bad since the scenery is naturally gorgeous. I also really liked the ending because it's very unexpected and quite tragic if you really believe in their love story.
Worrying Overview of a Damaged Mind
When I first saw this documentary, I felt like something was missing and I wanted to know more about what actually happened. And I think it's my sensationalist side that really wanted that because I realized that this documentary is not really about what happened, it's about how it happened. A lot of us saw the last part of Ricardo Lopez's project where he cuts his hair and paints his face with red painting before killing himself. Sami Saif really did a good job by not showing what was not important to understand how it happened. Lopez's psychological portrait is very well explained and everything was useful. We could feel the most bizarre feeling of confidence and solicitude at the same time in Ricardo's voice.
It was very disturbing and very depressing. Because I really thought that no one in is family saw that he needed help. But he actually had plenty of psychological support. We can see that something is lacking in the medical system because this very smart but sick man needed more than just medication.
Ricardo Lopez proved that we are more dangerous to ourselves than to others.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets The Real Cancun
The only thing I remember about this movie is booze and a strange house in the middle of nowhere. Oh, and blood. Lots of fake blood. I don't really understand what the point of the movie was (scare tourists or show Brazil). It's definitely not memorable enough and there's nothing new to see. They're sweaty, running from people wanting to cut them. I see Texas Chainsaw Massacre with more trees. The nudity was absolutely gratuitous, the characters are giving me a feeling of déjà-vu and the story is just plain bad. I mean, the underwater chase was interminable and repetitive.
What is positive? It shows a very dark Brazil that we could not imagine otherwise. The most violent person in the movie(that bearded guy) is white, for the anti-racism. And I have to say that I do like the end when Josh Duhamel's character is gazing out the window. Not the typical happy-ending-to-the-horror-movie. He looks so miserable. The best scene of the movie, for me, but you unfortunately you have to look through the whole movie to see it.
August Underground's Mordum (2003)
Just plain sick.
Imagine a group of random people playing sadistically with every part and every fluid of their bodies. That's August Underground's Mordum. And that's when we are trying to understand what's going because half of the time, the screen is so dark we can't see the action. They are always in one the smallest corridors with no light. We don't actually know what is going on. At the beginning, we kind of understand the situation, but it doesn't matter for the rest of the movie.
The word that could describe the movie the best is FILTH. Everything about it is filthy. They are always shouting, the men are always masturbating. They eat maggots, vomit, body parts. And it's not like if it was the rape of a bimbo, the women are actually very ugly.
Forget the blow job scene in Pink Flamingos, in AUM, you'll see every kind of paraphilia. I gave it a 2 because at least, they had to come up with this sick idea and they actually thought about bringing a flashlight.