Re-watched this the other night. I have to admit it is the ONLY Peckinpah film I have ever seen (and I have seen it twice now), but GOSH GOLLY GEE the symbolism/foreshadowing in this movie seemed awfully ham-handed, even for the '60’s. Don’t read further if you desperately WANT to see this movie and don’t want it spoiled for you!
Quaint little scenic English village where every male in town is a drunk or nearly all the time to be found in the local pub, even the “authority figure”. All the men have massive anger issues. All the women are “asking for it”, brazenly going braless, topless, or wearing skirts so brief as to be almost non-existent. There’s a “village idiot”, tho sometimes it’s deliberately a bit blurry as to whether he, or Dustin Hoffman’s character, is the REAL village idiot to the locals. BOTH “idiots” (or outcasts) end up together at the end, against virtually everyone else. American guys, especially of the “nerdy” variety, aren’t real men. When you have workmen mount a bear trap (which your wife collects, because she’s a repressed maneater of the WORST ilk) over your fireplace and the camera dwells lovingly & lingerlingly upon this act, SOMEONE (and usually one of the workmen hanging the thing) is going to get terribly hurt by this contraption before the end. Pets make excellent victims. And so on…
Maybe I am missing big old chunks of importance here, but can “Straw Dogs” be the best Peckinpah had to offer? Please enlighten, and don’t spare me, if I am just dead wrong. Perhaps I should watch some more of his work? Which would you recommend? I’m not squeamish about violence (or sex) in my movies at all, but I would like to be less bludgeoned by obvious allegory. Am I SOL, liking a touch more nuance to my characters, with regard to Sam Peckinpah?