Do Slasher Movies Have Any Redeeming Value?

My take on this is; Absolutely not.

I understand the wide scope of material that art can embrace. I also detest censorship of any art whatsoever. I just fail to see the worth in filling one’s mind with graphically detailed images of ultra-violence and (more commonly) predation upon women.

What purpose do they serve, other than pandering to some of the most base and crass impulses people can possibly have? What valid purpose does endless footage of people being turned into pulp and mincemeat serve towards the end of elevating our spirits and minds? I comprehend that one’s entire life need not be spent in pursuit of that which uplifts. Yet, it remains incomprehensible to me how or why people would willingly seek to fill their brains with such repellent and lurid imagery.

I enjoy being able to recollect stirring or inspirational experiences from my past. Knowingly arranging it so that my mind should be occasionally flooded with remembrance of such twisted and psychotic material goes well beyond what I consider acceptable. I fully understand that some might argue how such media serves to sublimate socially taboo urges or inclinations. Still, I consider pandering to them in the first place as (at least) minor validation of such tendencies.

It would be too easy to compare slasher movies to soft core pornography. I find this inappropriate, as soft core pornography serves some sort of useful and benign function by comparison. A more apt resemblance might be found in “snuff” flicks or Hentai rape animation. Many valid arguments could be made showing that numerous books also deal with such questionable subject matter. I find that slasher films represent an enormous diversion of resources compared to printed material. There is also an element of “realistic” simulation involved in movie making that begins to place a societal stamp of approval upon such productions.

In an age of increasing violence and especially violent juvenile crime, I am obliged to reconsider the worth of such glorified savagery. To paraphrase Michael Nesmith:

“It’s unbelievable that grown men and women would stoop to such depths to make a few lousy million dollars.”[ul]Elephant Parts[/ul]

Do they really need a purpose beyond that? Porn basically serves the same purpose.

I’m a huge fan of slasher films. I’m not going to defend them as high art or anything, but I think they’re an entirely valid form of entertainment when viewed as camp.

See, but I love seeing the new ways that Jason kills his victims in every new movie. It’s silly, gory, and exploitative, and I can’t get enough of it. Why would I want to watch some lame romantic comedy or something when I can see some guy getting a harpoon through his eye?

The fact that I enjoy myself at the films and can appreciate the camp aesthetic that comes along with them is all the redeeming value I need.

What’s wrong with violence and predation against women? I strongly dislike whiny moralizers, always trying to take away my fun. :mad: :wink: :smiley:

Seriously, if I couldn’t get my thrills from slasher flicks, and hentai games, then I would have to turn to real-life stuff, and nobody here wants that.

They’re entertainment, for crying out loud! Isn’t that enough?

I mean, if I want to see redeeming social value in a movie, I’ll watch Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. If I want the vicarious thrill of watching zombies pummel each other four an hour and a half, I’ll watch Freddy vs. Jason.

On the other hand, the whole “vicarious” angle might just provide some redemption in and of itself. If I get my violent thrills just by watching a couple of actors in latex masks, I don’t try and find such “excitement” in the real world.

The same could be said for video games, too…I can gun down rampaging hordes, or race through major cities in a muscle car, but without actually hurting anyone…the only “people” I’m “killing” are computer generated phantoms. Most people, I think, are able to make the same distinction.

Check out Carol Clover’s Men, Women and Chainsaws for an interesting reading of slasher films. Even lowest-common-denominator entertainment can be approached – fruitfully – from a higher-brow perspective.

I’m not a huge fan of slasher films – but that’s because most of them are poorly made. But the genre has its high points – Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween, Psycho – and has proven a fertile source for higher-rent movies that get called “thrillers” – Silence of the Lambs.

So far as I’m concerned, the fact that many people get both pleasure and intellectual stimulation from the genre means that it’s worthwhile.

However, I’d certainly not encourage everyone to start watching slasher films. If you’re not interested, don’t watch. If you think you’ll be more disturbed than entertained, don’t watch. If you think your brain will “fill up” with nasty imagery, don’t watch.

“Psycho” is most definitely not a slasher movie by any stretch of the imagination. You never once see a blade entering a body. Hitchcock was very pointed about that subject.

there’s tons and tons of entertainment that has no redeeming value…
Romance Novels (in my opinion worse then horror movies giving many girls a really sick and weird notion of love and reinforcing the idea that a man will stop cheating/treating you like crap if you just love him enough and hang in there)
Reality TV
90% of all sitcoms (yes I know that’s a made up stat but that’s why I hardly post in great debates)
90% of all music…

Anyone that becomes predatory after watching House of 1000 Corpses is on the edge anyway.

That doesn’t change the fact that Psycho is the first slasher movie.

You dislike horror movies, I and many other people love them. Can’t we just leave it at that? And why is it necessary to insult nearly every fan of these movies with your unsupported rants?

Because they elicit a basic human emotion just like most other genre films try to. They elicit fear in their case (if they’re well done). Don’t people ride rollercoasters for the same thrill?

What do you define as a “slasher movie” anyway? Some guy running around a neighborhood with a big ass knife chopping up teenagers? Halloween is a classic example of that, and well done to boot. How about an alien running around a spaceship chewing up crewmembers? That would be Alien. They both have the same basic plot. Run away from the killer, find your friends dead one by one, figure out how to defeat the killer in the end. Granted, Alien had a better back story and innovative setting, but Halloween distilled it down to the basics. Then Carpenter took things to a whole new level with The Thing. Slasher flick? Some people wouldn’t think so, but it sure plays out like one. Now apply that same theme to Psycho. Hitchcock may have been trying to scare us with the dark depths of an otherwise (what seemed to be) normal man’s twisted mentality brought on by an abusive mother instead of a bright shiny knife covered in blood, but old Norm was a slasher of the first degree.

You might ask the same redeeming value question about the rash of surfer movies that came out in the 60s. Babes in bikinis, hunks in trunks. Mindless fun but still entertaining (sometimes).

I generally fail to see the purpose of many so-called “chick flicks”, but there are some gems out there. Doesn’t mean that some people don’t find them having a redeeming value.

Perhaps slasher films are cathartic. They usually occur in everyday settings and happen to the people most likely to watch the films (i.e teenagers). It’s a silly fear, but seeing it acted out on screen allows a big fear (being killed by a nut with no respect for human life) to become manageable.

Besides, it’s pretty cool seeing the inventive ways the killer will come up with to kill his next victim.

Some more about Clover and her important book Interrobang!? mentioned:

And finally, from Jo Bob Briggs himself:

Can I just say that ‘Elephant Parts’ cracks me up :smiley:

I’ve also read essays that frame slasher films as critiques on the family.

I’d also draw a hell of a distinction between “Psycho” (the Hitchcock version, anyway) and "Friday the 13th, Part Anything).

The same can be said for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So what? If “Slasher Flick” is defined by the level of gore contained in the movie, Saving Private Ryan would rank up there with the gnarliest films in the Firday the 13th franchise.

As others have pointed out, it’s dificult to view slasher flicks as anything other than empowering for women. Generally, there are more male corpses by the end than female corpses, and the protagonist is almost invariably a woman. In fact, if you tallied up all the female leads in Hollywood movie history, I would wager the overwhelming majority of them come from slasher flicks. And, most interestingly, this is emphatically not out of purient interest. The female lead in these movies is always the one woman who doesn’t get naked at any point in the movie, and if her boyfriend survives the movie, it’s because he’s the only guy in the movie who wasn’t primarily interested in his girlfriend for sex. Similarly, slasher flicks consistently present an anti-drug argument in the strongest possible terms: smoke a joint, get your head cut off. This has pretty much served as the basis of US drug policy since the early '80s, really.

Ultimatly, these movies are nothing more than glorified campfire stories. Freddy Kruger is simply the direct descendent of that nameless, one handed escaped mental patient who’s always hanging around Lover’s Point, trying to open car doors with his hook. Why do you think the most famous slasher flick was set in a summer camp? When they work, they are the most perfect evocation of that nameless dread we all felt, after the fire burned down, when we were hiding in our tents trying to convince ourselves that our older brothers were full of shit and that raccoon we heard outside was really a raccoon.

Wang-Ka: Why?

What do you mean by that sentence? A stamp of approval upon such productions? I’m not sure where you are going by that.

Basically a slasher film is a type of monster movie. So if they have not reddming value does Godzilla? Instead of killing millions (implied) by crushing Tokyo, Jason kills off a dozen or so teenagers.

Slasher films used to be morailty plays. It is a joke now but the virginal girl who does not take drugs or drink lives while an Avenging Angel reigns God’s Wrath on the wicked.

Jason (and his mom) is getting reveng on camp employees who would rather have sex then watch over children.

Freddy is also revenging himself on the children of those who practiced vigilante justice on him.

Most slasher killers are getting revenge (sometimes on the wrong people but hey, we all have flaws)

And as stated earlier, they are entertainment. For 90 minutes I don’t think about how my boss is going to kill me for not putting a cover sheet on that TDS report but instead how Cindy is going to killed by that guy that shoots spears out of his eye sockets. And hey, if Cindy can find within herself the strength and courage to defete that deamon then maybe I can stand up to mine.

Exactly! I’m not filling my mind with violence, I’m venting violence outm safely.

Oddly enough, this is my reaction to boxing.

But there you go: some people admire the artistry and excitement, whilst to others it’s just paying to watch people hurt each other.

Not particularly my cuppa.

Of course they have value. They teach our young girls that if they have sex or even if they take their shirts off around boys, they’re going to die.

Redeeming value. Norks. See norks jiggle. Chainsaw go ARRRRUHNGHGHNGHHRR Pert buttocks. See pert buttocks run. Chainsaw go ARRGGHSYUNGAAWRUMBAGRRRWWRR See more norks. Bouncy bouncy. See powerdrill go SQHIISYUSST through eyeball. Arterial spurties. Young males+tastes=norks+grossout factor. Economy of effort. Overanalysed by those who dont understand norks. Bouncy bouncy.