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I saw two movies this week - 28 Days Later and Kill Bill. Kill Bill was great, but a bit gorey. I find the older I get, the less I find bucketloads of blood appealing. Outside of that, however, the movie was very, very good and well worth your money.

28 Days Later was amazing. As a horror film, it really stands out from the norm. It was... stylish in a way that horror films never seem to be.

Speaking of horror, I was also a big fan of the Blair Witch Project. Sure it got way too much media exposure, but it really was a unique film. I don't think there was one ounce of gore in the entire movie.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by McKormick Astley posted on 10/22/2003 at 8:16 AM

please read <a href="">my thoughts</a> on kill bill and please i beg you sir camdem, put to rest the questions that linger.

Comment 2 by Todd posted on 10/22/2003 at 12:45 PM

Sir Camden! Raymond, when did you get a royalty status? :)

Comment 3 by Raymond Camden posted on 10/22/2003 at 1:36 PM

Hmm, interesting link Astley. To be honest, I didn't feel the use of rape in his movies was wrong at all. I don't think he made it any less brutal in his 'style' of doing things. The rape in Kill Bill (or attempted rape as the Bride lay in the hospital) was very disgusting, and I never felt like Tarantino was trying to make it cool or anything like that.

I find that the more a movie makes me think, the better the movie is, especially after a little time has passed. My opinion of Kill Bill is higher today than it was yesterday.

Comment 4 by Jim Biancolo posted on 10/22/2003 at 3:14 PM

I agree with Raymond: if you're trying to make your villains villainous, rape is pretty abhorrent, and thus effective. I don't think Tarantino makes rape cool or more palatable by making it stylized, especially since his entire oeuvre is one big stylized universe; it fits the context. IMO, the actions of the rapists are pretty clearly loathsome in Tarantino's movies, stylized or not. And I don't think it's an accident that the rapists die particularly horrible, painful deaths.

Comment 5 by McKormick Astley posted on 10/22/2003 at 3:30 PM

In response to Jim, everyone seems to die a pretty painful and horrible death. They are all bad people doing bad things to other bad people.

But this is a made up story about made up things in made up places. I think that directors need to take responsibility for their subject matter.

Are you arguing that QT has created this movie to make us think and rethink about violence? Did he sit back and say, this world has become to violent, I should write a movie that involves an animated pedophile so that people realize that . . . what?

QT is a great story teller and can create a mood on screen like none other. I just find that his use of rape (and pedophilia) to be unsettling and in this case inappropriate.

(since getting CFMX Dev's Handbook, i have bestowed upon RC the Astley honor of Knighthood - it means nothing except you may get free meals at certain participating Denny's restaurants)

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 10/22/2003 at 3:40 PM

So, it's the context of the rape, or the way you think QT makes it look appealing/cool/whatever, that bothers you then, right? Because again, I didn't leave the film thinking he was trying to make them look good. The whole scene in the hospital was horrifying to me, not cool.

Comment 7 by Jim Biancolo posted on 10/22/2003 at 4:13 PM

Hi McKormick, this is a pretty big and endless can of worms we're opening, but what the heck, let's give it a try. :-) Line by line...

> everyone seems to die a pretty painful
> and horrible death [not just the rapists]

True, but I still think the rapists get special lingering treatment (mixing movies: the tongue, the door, the promise of forthcoming off-screen medieval torture, etc.). I do think that the rapists die particularly horribly (IMO) is some indication as to Tarantino's opinion of the depths of their villiany, but that's incidential to my main opinion, which is that Tarantino is not glorifying or rendering rape as cool in any manner.

> Are you arguing that QT has created this
> movie to make us think and rethink about
> violence?

Nope. By his own admission Tarantino made a movie that he himself would want to watch. A movie that he would find fun and enjoyable in the tradition of all those "Grindhouse" films (a term that is really coming to annoy me, I might add). I don't think he intended this to be a high art treatise on violence. However, that it *does* make us think about violence is an interesting side effect. I've thought more about my enjoyment of this movie, and action movies in general, than I have in a long time. Why is it socially acceptable to watch (and even cheer on) on-screen murder and mayhem? Does it become okay when it's a good guy killing a bad guy? What if the good guy isn't so good or the bad guy isn't so bad? Is it less okay to watch a quick death vs. a slow death? A bloody death vs. a clean death? Why is Kill Bill singled out as pornographic (by some critics) in its violence, but not Die Hard or Lethal Weapon or any others of their ilk? I have no answers to these questions yet, but Kill Bill has made me ask them like no other action movie has, and I personally think that's a good thing. I still love action movies, revenge movies, kung-fu movies, etc., but I'm going to keep examining why. But I digress...

> I just find that his use of rape (and
> pedophilia) to be unsettling and in this
> case inappropriate.

Sometimes it's good to be unsettled. But what is the source of your unsettlement? From your original post, it sounds like the problem is not the inclusion of the rape, but the fact that Tarantino makes it "stylized, hip-looking, ultra-cool, mood-building"? I did not find it so. Stylizing and mood-building, yes, but cool or hip? Definitely not. I was repelled by it, moreso than anything else in the movie.

The thing I find interesting is that you object to the stylized rape, but not the stylized violence, which includes dismemberments, scaplings, the gunning down of an entire innocent wedding party, the beating and attempted murder of the visibly-pregnant bride, etc. It makes more sense to me to object to the whole kit and kaboodle rather than singling out the sexual stuff.

Comment 8 by McKormick Astley posted on 10/22/2003 at 5:10 PM

it is true, i am a constant contradiction. why this and not that. . . who knows, but for now, why this.

Ray (and others), you are correct. I don't think QT believes rape or pedophilia to be cool. However, I don't think the words, "Lucky for her, he was a pedophile" have ever been uttered in a movie before.

Yes, this is a can of worms and I'm sorry to have involved you in my digression. To say, though, that the movie (violence, rape, whatever) has redemption in the fact that it causes one to think is not valid for me. Although it can result in positive discussion and/or decision, it's like being punched in the face by your older brother so that he can show you how much it hurts to be punched in the face.

I didn't mean the act of the rape looked hip, rather it was a hip-looking scene that included rape.

Comment 9 by Jim Biancolo posted on 10/22/2003 at 5:41 PM

Don't apologize! It's not even a digression. The original post was about Kill Bill, and so's this discussion (a discussion I'm enjoying, by the way).

Anyway, we disagree on whether or not a movie (or any other work of art) is redeemed by making you think. Being made to think is a good thing, and can be one goal of confrontational or unsettling art. That said, I don't think Tarantino's use of violence, sexual or otherwise, was *designed* to make us think. Like I said, here being made to think is just an interesting (and optional) side effect. I think the movie was designed only to entertain us, in some cases by making us hate the villains more than we might if they were mere scumbags rather than rapist/pedophile scumbags. Tarantino is playing with our emotions, and I suspect trying to tweak more emotional resonance out of the revenge by making the villains more evil. Interesting how he counterbalances this by deflating our emotional response to Uma's revenge spree via Vivica Fox's daughter, or Lucy Liu's traumatic childhood.

Comment 10 by McKormick Astley posted on 10/22/2003 at 6:48 PM

maybe that's my issue. i don't think QT is trying to do anything except make a cool movie. i appreciate being made to think, but in this case, i guess for me, in those scenes, the balance between taste, subject matter, theme, style and visual expression was out of balance.