JASON SEXLESS: The rise of Generation Lame and their effect on the future of horror, or the studios have abandoned you for a 15-year-old asshole.
by Louis Fowler
(Author's note: Yes, I know that F13 does have nudity in it. This isn't really about that as much as it is about the current state of horror and who the films are being marketed to. Got that?)
In a recent interview with a horror website, FRIDAY THE 13TH remake producer Brad Fuller said this about the movie that opens today:
“We shot the movie and we do all of our nudity and we test the movie. That’s always a stressful thing. And the one thing that we felt bullet proof on was the kids were going to love the nudity in the movie.
We were convinced that it was going to go over well, and the craziest thing was, the most hated thing about the movie in the first cut of the movie was that there was too much nudity. And the majority of those comments came from boys under 25 which was totally baffling, and ironically, the women had no problem with it, but boys under 25 did.”
So let me get this straight: men, 25 and under, are against nudity in horror films. Is that the gist? Was the screening audience was full of fey, penis-less Joss Whedons-in-training? And, more importantly, when you hear news like that, doesn't it just make you hate this new generation?
This new generation, let's call them Generation Lame, will destroy all that we know and love about, well, not only “genre” pop culture, but all pop culture in general. I mean, have you heard Fall Out Boy?
When we were younger, horror had balls. It was cool for a director to say “fuck the MPAA” in FANGORIA. Now, PG-13 is the order of the day and filmmakers not only want to work with the MPAA, but they post thank you letters on their blogs. Welcome to the neutered world of Generation Lame.
So who exactly is Generation Lame? Take a look around you. See that girl with the multi-colored streaked hair and the Paramore t-shirt? You know, the one who's crying and Facebooking about how her dad doesn't “understand her”...she's one. Oh, hey, and what about that skinny guy over there? He's wearing corduroys, a professionally disheveled hair-style and a scarf? He's one of them. His iPod is full of “Brooklyn-based indie art-rock collectives” and, what's this, he's reading a book on Che Guevara! Hey man, you're different! You have an identity! Now cut yourself!
Males in Generation Lame have no balls. They were raised by single moms who verbally ravaged, on a regular basis, their weekend dads. They are all dime-a-dozen sensitives who cry at the drop of a hat, keep diaries that they write in in coffee shops and voted for Obama, although they don't know why. They are, in essence, the new women. Anyday now, their bodies will adapt and they'll start their periods. But hey, look on the bright side—it's a new thing for them to write a poem about!
The girls in Generation Lame, on the other hand, using the banner of feminism (girl power!), have become nothing more than vapid, emotionless quick lays. Instead of being “somebody”, it's all about “the scene”. It's all about ripping up a t-shirt of a band they know the logo of, but not the music. A band like the Ramones—it'll go great with those tights and chunky boots! Because daddy never loved them, they fuck and fuck and fuck. All that progress down the tubes, ladies. Way to go.
Sex is so easy for teens today. When I was a teenager, it took work. Lots of man-hours just to touch a breast. And that was at sixteen, seventeen. There were no blowjob parties for my generation. You were lucky to get a blowjob once. You were lucky to get a blowjob in college. Remember when, in school, if you caught a glimpse of some chick's panties, that was enough to satisfy you for months? Now, you can catch celebrity vagina-shots on the news. Who cares about panties, right?
In only a matter of ten years—and yes, I do blame the Internet—sex has becomes so completely devalued and so attainable for Generation Lame that, even with all this available pussy, the males of Generation Lame are, waaah, even more depressed than ever. Look at the bands they start: instead of writing songs about partying, getting laid and saying “fuck you” to “the man”, they write songs about how being in love with them is like being in THE BELL JAR. Instead of a wailing guitar solo, there's some dread-locked trustafarian playing the tabla. And that's the rock bands!
Look: if you're a female, and you like horror, awesome, Great. Welcome to the club and pass the Alice Cooper. I will treat you like an equal, as long as you're not lame. But let's be honest though: horror is primarily a man's genre. Sure, women can try to co-opt it all they like, but it's typically for and by men. Like porno used to be. Not to be a dick, pardon the pun, but that's the way it is.
(Don't be offended—movies like SEX AND THE CITY are out there for the ladies, and they are marketed as such, and I'm not going to try and cash-in on your genre. You can have it and enjoy it to your heart's content!)
Well, let me rephrase that: that's they way they were. Horror flicks in the 60s, 70s and especially 80s were the men's true crime/adventure pulp mags of our generation. Lurid, exploitative stories that, sure, pitted a virginal, marriageable woman against the terror of an insane slasher, but, more importantly, featured women put into various horrific situations, usually after she has shown her breasts. The criminally arousing mixture of sex and slaughter were the only things horror producers of the day cared about; they wanted creative, gory kills and lots of nudity. Yes, it was wholly misogynistic, but it was the status quo and we liked it. We loved it.
You know who hated it? Washington DC. Tipper Gore. Your pastor. Jerry Falwell. Your mom.
Looking at the quote from Brad Fuller above, it's obvious to me that those guys won. It's ironic, too: today's youth is a moral-lacking, Godless bunch, yet they are completely devout to the whims of the extreme right. They are total sell-outs and they don't even know it. That's the beauty of Generation Lame.
You can say that MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D surprisingly broke the trend, with it's extended nude stalk-and-slash, but that's one mainstream, non-straight-to-video horror flick out of what? Fifty? Even then, it needed the gimmick of 3-D to sell it. And, yeah, we have all those wonderful “torture porns”, but even general, especially older, horror fans are tired of those. They want a story with their sleaze again. They want a return to those 80s glories. Why do you think we get so excited about a fun straight-to-video find, like, say, JACK BROOKS or HATCHET?
We, as older horror fans, have got to face facts: the movie studios only want to cater to the younger demographic. The movie studios only want to cater to Generation Lame. The movie theater experience, as you and I know it, it's pretty much dead, folks. Let the kids have their PROM NIGHT—I have my own private sanctuary: my couch and my DVD player. No teens texting in front of me, no teens talking behind me. No one but me and my dog. The way it ought to be.
And sure, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D did just fine at the box office, but you know what is almost at $200 million? TWILIGHT!
The studios are listening to Generation Lame, loud and clear! Think about this: the biggest vampire movie in years—I can even think of one in the past ten years that was a huge box office success—is a film about vampires who, well, share their feelings. They are pale, fashionable, skinny, well-coiffed and cry. A lot. Just like the audience who is going to see it.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE made some money, but you can bet that, in the next few years, in mainstream movie theaters, we are going to see more TWILIGHT-esque movies than straight, old school horror flicks. (I'm guessing it's easier to make a teen vampire drama, where the only special effects you need are a 49 cent pair of wax teeth, as compared to the abundant latex-and-Karo syrup viscera of straight horror.)
Face it, old men. Face it, true horror fans: the studios have abandoned you. They want to know what Generation Lame wants in a movie, not you. They want to pack their test screenings with people who can't even get into an R-rated movie, all of whom, even though they have no bills, no worries and an abundance of intercourse, are depressed. They want indie-rock vampires.
You're old and, now, you're worthless to them. No one cares what you think anymore. Get used to it.
I haven't seen FRIDAY THE 13TH yet, I plan on seeing later today. It's rated R, and that's a plus, and I'm excited because yes, it's a Jason movie, but my expectations? So very low. For the whole experience. The movie will be alright I'm sure, but the whole time, I'll be sitting there knowing it wasn't made for me. It was made for the Generation Lame teenagers behind me who come in about half-way through (after buying tickets for HOTEL FOR DOGS, natch), kicking my chair and giggling. They are the new Jason fans, and thank God they don't have to see bare breasts!
On the other hand, now JASON X—there's a movie that was made for me! Maybe I'll skip the movie theater and just watch that tonight...