Trailer for bobcat Goldthwait's movie God Bless America

[Video Link] Er…


    1. I frowned. I don’t know, it just seemed overblown, stupid, tacky, and disgusting for no good reason outside of to piss off establishment.

      I’m not opposed to watching a violent flick, some of my favorite movies get fairly graphic. This particular movie just looks flat-out stupid. It feels like bobcat is trying to cash in on controversy. I’m not buying.

  1. Sadly, the seemingly very large number of right-leaning people with absolutely no sense of irony will just point to it and say that this is exactly what “liberals” dream of doing.

    1.  I wish I had dreams this cool. Also right-leaning people don’t think any liberal wants a Camaro (they’re wrong, muscle-cars are a guilty pleasure of mine) they think we wank to Prius (how do you pluralize that? “Priui”?) or Smart cars.

      1. It’s Prii (which would offend my collegiate Latin teacher to no end).

        Oh, and  as soon as this liberal wins the lottery/gets a good book deal, he’ll be searching for a ’70 fastback Mustang to build into a street rod that sucks down copious amounts of CO2-emitting gasoline.

        The catch is that it won’t be driven every day. That way, I can keep Al Gore happy.

        1.  This thread is moderately old by now so I’m not even feeling guilty about going this far off topic but I’ve got a similar fantasy involving a 66′ Lincoln Continental (suicide rear-doors, obv) dropped and chopped and blacked out like mad with a bio-diesel engine and a raging turboner.

      2. Priodes? Prii? Prius? Yeah, I think it’s Prius. A herd of Prius. Or maybe it’s a flock? A carpool lane of Preund?

  2. Wow, if they can keep it funny and not scary– make us hate the people getting killed– this could be fun.
    Also: *Bobcat

      1. I really hated Natural Born Killers. Talk about a movie that “tried too hard” there. I’m not sure about this film, there’s something I’m picking up on that I dislike but I really can’t tell from the trailer and I’m not sure it’d be worth sitting through to find out :/

        1.  NBK was a great example of a talented filmmaker (and, make no mistake, no matter what his excesses and mistakes, Oliver Stone is a very good filmmaker) who can’t really grasp his subject matter and ends up throwing anything he can at the screen. (Stone himself referred to it as the most expensive student art film ever made.)

          1. Talk about hypersensitivity and reading comprehension issues. I only go to movies if they *look* interesting enough to spend a few hours of time on.  There’s such a thing as being so open minded your brain falls out… try harder for it you’re almost there!

            Also: you might try scrolling down one comment to see an example of me with a movie that impressed me when it went *differently* than I expected. Wow. Amazing, isn’t it? It’s almost like you have no idea what you’re even talking about.

      1. Yeah, Falling Down ended up surprising me because the “white guy has enough and takes out the trash” plot was exposed to just be “self destructive privileged guy messes up his kid’s life worse and… self destructs” which was actually a heroic tragedy. Well done, IMO, for US films for sure.

    1. Veronica Sawyer: You know what I want? 
      [shoots J.D] 
      Veronica Sawyer: Cool guys like you out of my life.
      (thanks, IMDB, for helping me remember that dialog)

  3. His name is Bobcat Goldthwait, not “bobcat Goldthwait.” Also, this film look pretty good. Doesn’t seem any worse than “Natural Born Killers” or “Badlands.” 

  4. Heathers + Natural Born Killers + Falling Down + Noise + The Network + Bobcat Goldthwait?   Yeah, I’ll probably go see it.

    1. See, I dunno.

      People being dicks does induce the sort of rage and frustration that makes this appeal to the id and the darker side of the mind. It’s just a movie, and a healthy dose of non-damaging virtual violence can be cathartic in ways.

      But at the same time, I somehow doubt we’ll ever see a similar movie in which the main character reacts in the opposite way – responding to uncivil behavior with kindness and compassion. Our culture is simply too violent – it’d never succeed on a large scale. We wouldn’t have the patience to put up with it, or the suspension of disbelief.

      It’s easy for us to believe that someone would go on a shooting spree over how unpleasant the world can be, and it’s hard for us to believe that someone would turn the other cheek, love their enemy, and forgive the wrongs of the world. Ironic, considering how many people claim to be Christians… no?

      1. Responding with kindness and compassion doesn’t work because it’s seen as accepting of the rudeness instead of opposing it. The usual elitist liberal response to such things is sarcasm. But there are two problems with that. First, the targets often don’t get it. And they may honestly be doing things beyond the limits of sarcasm to work.

        But secondly and more importantly, some of these are post-sarcasm creations. Kim Cardassian and the “God Hates Fags” people want to be snarked at. They were designed from the start to be objects of hate because that is the path to getting attention and thus money. If you want to get rid of them, you need stronger measures.

        Not that I am necessarily endorsing a 9mm.

        1. I have a magic mantra that makes all such types walk away pretty much instantly.

          Repeat after me: “I am a Unitarian”

        2. Kim Cardassian is the exact pointless celebrity that has populated celebrity circles since the dawn of “the celebrity” as a concept. She’s famous for having sex with people, having a decent body, and then just because people keep talking about her. There’s nothing rude or purposefully hurtful about that. It’s kind of weird to compare her to a bunch of bullies who purposefully try to use emotional pain inflicted on others, and who brainwash and terrorize their own kids, in order to get airtime and power. 

          Anyway, I find confrontational helps. I do think liberals should be more confrontational if they *want* to get anywhere. But confrontational without being stupid about it is hard to pull off,  which is why so many hold back I think. 

          1. I also think that the origin of the family’s fame, her father’s successful defense of O.J. Simpson’s double homicide, is part of the revulsion.

          2.  The higher echelons of a monkey society are just the same.

            Seriously, what are the members of the dominant monkey classes doing to deserve their position? Fucking and flinging poop at underlings.

            The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The modern age of ‘celebrity’ is a simian renaissance. :)

          3. I don’t mean the Kardashian the person, but Kardashian the construct. Like the Jersey Shore or Real Housewives constructs. The shows are much more than the modern version of the society page. And they are not meant to draw admiration.

        3.  I don’t care how often someone does it, the misspelling of her last name as “Cardassian” still amuses me.

        4. “Responding with kindness and compassion doesn’t work because it’s seen as accepting of the rudeness instead of opposing it.”

          I’d go further: in the US, it’s generally regarded as proof of stupidity and willingness to be victimized.  We’re a culture that respects violence and despises quiet diplomacy.

          1. The ending of that film is shocking, vastly more shocking than films that end with nucleartillery-psychomonstric-bloodsplosions.  It just rips the rug out from under every assumption that you rack up while watching.

            Of course, it also features the line, “I’d tell you to blow it out your ass, but my dick’s in the way.”  And Joe Dallesandro’s in it.

          1.  Yeah, but it’s even more pomo deconstructionist than DFW’s stuff — they tell the same story like four different ways.  And it’s pretty boring every time.  Not recommended.

        1. Is there a pill for that?  Because that is the person I really, really want to be.  No BS.  The person reacting with kindness to uncivil behavior person.

        2. I love that movie like a house on fire.  Saw it in the theater and is one of the few movies I’ve actually listened to the commentary track for. 

      1. I… my next thought after leaving that comment was, “I wonder what Louis CK is up to?” then, because he’s been hiding since December, I watched some of his old comedy specials. I feel like there is something deeper going on here and that it is probably not worth investigating.

  5. It’s like stuff that everyone fantasizes about doing, but doesn’t because of lack of a brain tumor!

  6. Bobcat has proven to be a pretty decent director/writer with “Worlds Greatest Dad”, starring Robin Williams. It was a weird movie, that’s for sure – but one of the best Robin Williams performances I’ve scene in quite some time. 

    1. I second the recommendation for World’s Greatest Dad. A spot on satire. Need a third recommendation? How about John Waters – World’s Greatest Dad was on his Top Ten films of 2009 list (along with Von Trier’s Antichrist…)

    1. So, this is somehow a Wonderful Thing???

      Didn’t you wonder WTF was going on? Thus, wonderful. And we changed our tagline years ago to A Compendium of Greasy Peccadilloes just so that we wouldn’t have to see that Wonderful Thing comment anymore.

    2. Don’t reveal/examine common fantasies.  Push it all down deep inside you.  (…tick, tick, tick…)

  7. Bobcat and that guy from One Crazy Summer make me wish this was some kind of spin-off/seque where they get the old gang back together and kill all the cute and fuzzy bunnies. 

  8. By coincidence, the last thing I read before clicking over to bb was the Wikipedia page on Jared Loughner.

    So the only person that trailer made me want to shoot is Bobcat.

  9. “Red State” is another movie that exposes the dark, bloated underbelly of the American dream.  It’s a hell of a mind fuck and I think everybody over 18 should watch it.  It’s nowhere near as fun as Goldthwait’s film appears to be, however.

    edit: “dark, bloated underbelly of the American dream” is a wholly owned trademark of Jello Biafra. Please don’t sue me, Jello.

    1. Red State starts out alright and is intriguing for about the first 30 minutes, then it just gets stupid.

  10.  So is this supposed to appeal to people who think too highly of themselves because they don’t like “lower” forms of entertainment?

  11. Holy God, this is like someone took the fiction I wrote when I was sixteen, updated it, and ran with it. This is the dream of every person who identified with the Columbine kids, who were beat up and then punished for getting in a fight, for the chance to get your own back in an orgy of blood and terror and violence.

    I’ve gotten better about dealing with it, but there’s still a part of me that would not only let the whole world burn, but would be running around with a flamethrower. This movie is written to make that part of me purr like a kitten.

    I am SO there. And getting an enormous tub of popcorn. Two hours of fag bashers, whiny celebutantes, and assorted douchecanoes getting whacked sounds like it’ll scratch every misanthropic itch I’ve ever had.

    1. This is the dream of every person who identified with the Columbine kids, who were beat up and then punished for getting in a fight

      The Columbine shooters weren’t victims; they were psychopaths who bullied and terrorized the people around them. The initial reports of their motivations were purely socio-political spin.

      1. Oh, I know. But the initial story is one that spoke quite clearly to a lot of us misfits. It happened after I graduated, but I recognized those kids, by archetype, as part of our little subculture of freaks. And the desire to lash out is still quite strong – even with an awesome life, with a successful career, there’s still a part of me that recognizes that darkness.

        We never would have done anything – lots of cheap pot and booze took care of that. But identifying with the *idea* that they present, no matter the actual facts, is probably ingrained into a fair portion of the metalheads / punkers from the early to mid ’90s. It’s not something that you’re supposed to talk about, obviously, but scratch any late 20s – mid 30s working or middle class white social outcast, and you’ll find that same attitude staring back from the darkness.

        1. Right on the money.  I’m sososo relieved that tragedy happened after my clique graduated HS: we never meant any real harm, but the ‘warning signs’ were all there.  The weapons in school, the trench coats, the nihilism…

          For a while our hobby was imagining how to take over the school and fortify it against law enforcement..we had a campus diagram (I facepalm just imagining what kind of trouble that would have brought down in an alternate universe).

          But a few spray painted anarchy symbols and burned garbage cans notwithstanding, no actual people were harmed during the years of our formative youth…and now most of us are fairly successful, law abiding (mostly) adults.  (Except T.; he’s an ex-con with severe impulse control issues: watch out for that guy…)

          I digress: this movie will scandalize the squares…but the preview made me laugh.  Bring it on…I look forward to the righteous indignation it will undoubtably incur.

      2. ZOMG – I just like Antinous – repent, sinners, the end is near ;o)

        My favorite band, KMFDM, had one of their song lyrics on their web site. Some how they dodged the negative press and issued a statement condemning them.

    2. I agree with cathartic benefits, and I’ll see it. I only wish the targets were further up the food chain than shown in the trailer…

  12. I’d still rather live in a country where people talked on their cell phones during movies and the TV was tacky than in a country where there was nothing to eat, no clean drinking water and my children were abducted by the local war lord to become child soldiers. 

    1. False dichotomy. There are plenty of places people are polite, respectful to each other,  have freedom to express themselves, and are safe. That the USA or many other western countries are missing the first 2 doesn’t mean the only other option is the polar opposite.

        1.  Exactly. What is this promised land that is right around the corner, if we’d only do ______? America needs to get a grip. Surprise! People do things that are annoying.

      1. Are you saying that we can have “polite and respectful to each other” or “have freedom to express themselves and are safe”, pick one?

        But along with the other responses to your comment, please tell us where these magic lands you’re talking about can be found?

        Are there ponys?

  13. Why replace the “Gods Hates Fags” thing with “God Hates Jews”?
    Maybe there’s some plot device for the reason?
    It still stands out as a sore thumb, as if the writer/producer wouldn’t want to attack ‘fag hate’, as if “Jew Hate” would be a good substitution.

    Oh, I think I know the answer there, that church would see it, and sue, for mega bucks, for any attacks on them.

    1. “Oh, I think I know the answer there, that church would see it, and sue, for mega bucks, for any attacks on them.”

      That is, in fact, how they get their money.  It’s no accident that virtually all of the adults are trained as lawyers.

    2. “fags” and “jews” placards – the same colour and design – are both visible in the same frame early on, so one doesn’t replace the other.

  14. After looking at the trailer again, and having no idea about the movie.

    I can see the ending now.
    He becomes the “pop star” anti-hero, media darling which he hates, but enjoys the attention and press; becoming what he despises.
    And ends with him doing a John Waters a blaze of gorey, killing the studio audience.

  15. Roger Ebert gave the film “Kick Ass” one out of four stars. He called the film “morally reprehensible”, appalled by the violent scenes in which a kid murders dozens of gang members. “When kids in the age range of this movie’s home video audience are shooting one another every day in America, that kind of stops being funny.” However, since some of the targets in Goldthwaite’s movie are apparently going to be right-wing shibboleths Ebert will probably be more kind to this film.

      1.  The fact that he gave that dog 4 stars and Blue Velvet only one reminds me that, although I think that Ebert is a wonderful writer who is probably my favorite film critic of all time, I still sometimes read his reviews and can’t understand how he comes by his ratings.

        1. Yeah- he is one of the only film critics whose opinion I value. But sometimes he is way off. I think personal taste plays a role.

          And NBK was pretty good.

        2. I can imagine Blue Velvet being quite dividing, but it is objectively a very good piece of cinema – a critic that doesn’t recognise that shouldn’t be trusted.

    1. I don’t entirely agree with Ebert on this, but I did find Kick-Ass less enjoyable because I had trouble rooting for the heroes and I felt like the movie really glorified what they were doing.
      I prefer Super because it took a slightly different approach and showed the violence for what it was and still made the characters likable (or at least made me feel for them).

  16. I should be appalled by this but oddly I’m not.  Senseless violence, even against those richly deserving a boot in the pants, is supposed to be disapproved of.  But it looks funny, like it’s actually a satire of a mercenary revenge story.  Maybe if I imagine that they’re really just very loud paintball guns…

  17. Let me guess the ending: he doesn’t actually have a tumor because his doctor is incompetent.  Cops can’t touch him because he becomes a celebrity folk hero.  At the end, he’s killed by (pick one) 1)a crazed gunman who hates celebrities or 2) a senseless accident.

  18. I don’t know why, but I don’t find a grown man killing a sixteen year old girl funny…  Heathers sorta made it more ok for some reason.  Anyway, I hope the film sticks to its, um, guns and doesn’t happy some crappy “here’s the message” ending.

    1.  If it were okay to kill teenagers because they act bratty, obnoxious, or stupid, every high school in America would be empty. Perhaps the movie itself will end up being more complex than what is shown here, but the trailer’s tone of “haha, don’t you wish you could do this?! These idiots deserve it!” does not sit well with me.

    2.  Heathers works because the characters are naturally in each others’ social environment; it’s all teen-on-teen, and everyone who remembers being a teenager remembers how cruel and brutal the social environment can be.  Like Buffy, it’s just exaggerating things that are already there.

      This? Not so much.  I think it’ll have moments of genuine funny, but it’s still playing into the mentality it pretends to satirize. I wish more writers in this field could see the difference between Natural Born Killers and, say, Popcorn.

      1. Exactly, it works because it’s just a heightened fantastical recreation of teen social relationships. 

  19. I admit I would be a lot more intrigued by the trailer if the treatment of the pricks was ironic in nature. 

    1.  It is, it’s just subtle and a lot people don’t get “subtle” irony…..

      Let me point it out for you. Instead of taking his own life because he was disgusted with how everyone was treating everyone else, he decided to teach them to think of others.  It’s SUBTLE. It’s brilliant and I want to see that movie!

  20. Yeah, I was really bothered by the grown man killing the spoiled little shit. I’d have no problem with little girl-on-little girl violence, though. I can’t explain why. 

    1. I know what you mean, but at the same time it establishes a no nonsense attitude for the movie that I appreciate.

    2. If he didn’t kill a victim because of their age the whole plot would fall apart.

      It works because it looks so nondiscriminatory – take that away and you’ve got nothing.

  21. Meh. If all it’s got going for it is a couple of people going around shooting those who annoy them, I’ll pass. Mass murder isn’t exactly funny, even if the cliche’d “unlikely pair” doing it are a guy with a brain tumor and a 16 year old girl.

    And the whole “let’s get even with the pricks” schtick was done a long, long time ago, starting with the guy who came up with the whole concept of hell. You know, the whole “sinners will go to hell and suffer eternal torment when they die” thing.

    1.  You missed the boat. That’s all I can say. Watch it again, and pretend for a minute it’s being done to you! That YOU are the one being shot. Not the main character.

      1. Do you watch The Wizard of Oz and pretend to be the witch who gets squished by Dorothy’s house?

  22. This movie is just cynical violence-porn, its approval in these comments reflects a sick, savage, decadent society. 

    1. Wouldn’t that just indicate that Goldthwaite got his point across? Expression isn’t just a treatise— artists can use several different psychological processes in their craft to achieve meaning. Apparently Goldthwaite used transgression, a process which only the audience can fulfill.

    2. It would be nice to live somewhere without a sick, savage, decadent society.  When you find one, we’ll go.

    3.  Ever see a horror movie?  Is this just taboo because the victims are vacuous idiots and there’s motivation behind it?

    4.  Don’t you find it just slightly more likely that a movie trailer that goes over so well with the froofy liberal trollbait here at BB (I count myself among them) is a reaction to a sick, savage, decadent society?

      The word “catharsis” mean anything to you?  You think everyone who listens to metal is angry all the time?

  23. @james24 – yup. I’m surprised at the low quality of peoples’ comments here on BB. I guess it’s to be expected from people that use default gray-guy avatars. The guy in the film is actually the biggest loser for watching all that shit tv. Just shoot the tv and then go out and help someone’s life be a little better, maybe starting with yourself.

    1.  But that wouldn’t be a compelling movie? I get the idea, it’s fantasy, and bobcat has an awesome sense of humor.  I see the humor in it, I was also shocked at the blatant blackness of it as well.  But once I took a minute to review it. I see the genius of it.  Imagine for a minute that Bobcat is trying to teach people that your inconsiderate, rude and blatant disregard for others brought this about and you should rethink your “words” and actions and treat others the way you want to be treated.

      1.  My thought exactly. The “Golden Rule” would be a stronger social imperative if everyone had a gun visible on their hip. Obviously it’s pretty easy to ignore in our culture at the moment. 

    2. “I guess it’s to be expected from people that use default gray-guy avatars.”

      What a strange comment.

    3. “then go out and help someone’s life be a little better, maybe starting with yourself.”

      Doesn’t humor make people’s lives better? It does mine! Bobcat obviously put plenty of time and effort into making this movie, but as fictional characters go, screwed-up losers are often funnier than people doing good and meaningful things with their lives. Do you think comedy writers should strive to make their characters into good role models?

  24. While I have thought about this kind of stuff before. I eventually shoved a stick up my ass. Mindless violence is one thing but the logic here is “murder everyone you don’t like” which is scary if you turn the tables. I’ve said it out loud “I wish everyone on the Jersey Shore would die.” The problem is that a world run by douchebags is still better than a world where it’s ok to kill people you don’t like. If the ending somehow winds up being a positive one it would be rad. If not oh well it’s just a movie.

  25. So “right” and “wrong” have been replaced by “things that don’t annoy me” and “things that annoy me”. Check. Got it. Count me out. Sign me up for timeless virtues and self-discipline and live and let live and spending time with people who treat me well and does anybody still watch TV anymore with Netflix, Hulu etc available? Also none of us is perfect but if we knew of someone who was perfect (even if we thought that person was mythological) wouldn’t we be well served to keep that person in mind as a model for how to deal with stuff?

  26. okay, i detest most new movies, but this one? not so much… in fact, it looks awesome. just what the whirrled needs now: a few random caps in its ass!

  27. Bobcat makes a cogent argument for unfettered gun ownership. Why should just unemployed alcoholic trailer dwellers and psychotics get to have all the fun?

  28. Whoooooole lotta high horses in this here comment thread. Can’t help but feel as if the people who go out of their way to say that the concept is “disgusting” or “disturbing” are the ones who are just trying to deny to themselves that they’ve also had this sort of violent fantasy.

    Guess what, your self-righteous fake moral panic over a *trailer for a fictional movie* is not impressing (nor fooling) anyone.

  29. The density  and complex ambiguity of World’s Greatest Dad made it a very good film. I suspect the movie will be more layered than the trailer leads you to believe.


      this movie is why over here in europe we simply smile and shake our head when we look across the atlantic ocean.

      Cool, it’s working then.

      You see, the US may be a large, varied, and complex society (kind of like Europe as a whole), but it’s getting a bit crowded. Folks who form a monolithic opinion on it based upon the media they see would just make it a bit more crowded!

      Of course we’re all obsessed with guns. Every one of us!

      Of course all movies are big Hollywood productions!

      Of course an adumbration of US culture could be written on a postage stamp!

  30. Strangely I only LOLed when the guy videoing the shootings in the cinema got shot himself. Maybe a comment on citizen journalism. Or rubbernecking.

    1. Or that even when people are gunned down in a cinema there’s always one asshole completely detached from the event trying to capture it to get a few likes on YouTube.

      That much I thought was obvious.

  31. Pretty shameful, I’m not surprised boingers like it. It might scratch your itch for a moment but will continue the unravelling of one of the only things we have left going for us as a society: self respect, and the respect of others. 

    What happens in the media is NOT real life, even though we fall into a state of belief and absorb the mores and psychological effects of what we watch… it is NOT real life. Someone is cashing in on you, pushing the boundaries of your mental state in the hopes that they shock you enough to entertain you and make some dollars, always be wary of how someone’s making money off you.

    violence is not entertainment

    if you fall for that you’re just opting for the lowest common denominator which is the same damn lazy choice being made time and time again, it is destroying our world.

    Don’t get so disgusted by what’s on tv that you go watch a movie about it: turn the fucking thing off and DO something that makes you worth the time you were given on this planet.

    Your children and grandchildren deserve more.

    1. re: “violence is not entertainment”

      Scoff – yes it is. Are you just trolling or what? The oldest tales we have are filled with violence. Beowulf, anyone? Ye Old Testament? Tom and Jerry? The Three Stooges? Shakespeare not only tortures high school kids forced to read him, but the tales are full of violence. They used to have pig bladders full of blood for special effects.

      Man is violent. LIFE is violent. We have our iPads and comfy chairs and laptops and we forget the struggle we had to get to this point. Violence is a part of who we are. But most of us are placated with Modern Warfare or movies. We have safe outlets now that we are “civilized”.

      So you may not like it,. You can be disgusted by it – but it is part of who we are and most certainly something that can be used for entertainment.

      1. maybe you are right, and some of “us” need violence in some form to placate the reptilian self, but if you are in a vacuum and cannot see the effect it is having on our society, on our children, on our psyches, then you are just as blind as I.

         The last thing the world needs right now is more angry violent men with an excuse to go nuts and kill people. Especially with the justification of a little girl wielding a gun beside him. 

        What you do in your comfy chair with your ipad is your concern, but entities with an enormous budget, and enormous reach that can effectively change our unconscious make up MUST be more responsible for the effects of their action.

        You can go on excusing these horrific trends wreaking havoc in the world by bring up “our” nature or you can evolve a little, please.

        1. “maybe you are right, and some of “us” need violence in some form to placate the reptilian self”

          The idea that violent entertainment is just placating some lower-order mindless aspect of the self is really oversimplifying the psychology involved, I think. Would you say the same about all fictionalized depictions of sex, that they’re just satisfying our basic instincts and that the context in terms of the story is irrelevant to our enjoyment? I think enjoyment of violence often has to do with symbolic ideas of what the characters being attacked represent, especially in a movie like this where the characters seem to cartoonish representations of aspects of society that annoy us. The enjoyment of the violence in a movie like this comes from much the same place as all sorts of other contrarian urges–say, a really merciless written piece (by someone like Christopher Hitchens, say) that tears down some widely-held position, or the urge to say something blasphemous or taboo-violating just to offend the self-righteous defenders of the social order. If it were really solely a matter of base instincts and the lizard brain/id rather than involving this sort of higher cognitive stuff, then we would just enjoy violence for the sake of violence and wouldn’t really care who was getting attacked or what they represented, but that’s rarely the case even in the dumbest of violent movies.


          maybe you are right, and some of “us” need violence in some form to placate the reptilian self, but if you are in a vacuum and cannot see the effect it is having on our society, on our children, on our psyches, then you are just as blind as I.

          So, we’re violent because our media are violent, or our media are violent because we’re violent? Could you clear that up for me one more time, because I keep forgetting which simple explanation is the right one.


        3. “…the effect it is having on our society, on our children, on our psyches, then you are just as blind as I.”

          You’re being a bit naive to the nature of man and his history, as well as laying blame for that nature at the feet of violent media.

          If you go back in time 100, 200, 300+ years you will see more and more violence. People killed and butchered their own meat. I remember Grandpa telling how he was in charge killing the Sunday chicken. He was 7. People watched siblings die as babies or young children from disease. Wars were more common with higher death tolls.  Parents would die while you were still young. Kids were made to work in factories, mines, and farms doing dangerous work. Whuppin’s were more common. There were public execution, etc etc etc.

          One had to grow up faster and was surrounded by violence and hardship. I just focused mainly on things kids would be exposed to, but I am sure you can look back and reflect on how our past was filled with REAL violence.

          Today we push a button and with our godlike powers, blow something up on a screen. Why? It’s fun. Every “anti-gun” person I have gotten to pull a trigger walked away with a smile. They didn’t run out and buy one or change their view usually, but they saw the appeal in it. (Should tell story about James Cameron and Sigorney Weaver here.)

          re: “MUST be more responsible for the effects of their action.”

          But shooting these guns, watching these shows, and playing these games doesn’t make one violent. There have been a lot of people pushing to regulate video game violence, despite lacking proof that they cause violence. The Comics Code ruined comics for years because some asshole was sure they caused delinquency.

          So anyway – we will evolve, and that may include losing our primal understanding of violence. I, for one, hope not (at least entirely). It is our ability to rise above it that makes us who we are.

        4. Did you just invoke “somebody think of the children” ? Yup, you lost the argument.

          Get over yourself, of course violence is used in entertainment, it’s bloody pervasive – always has been, and is in no way a cause for any detrimental aspect of our society.

      2. Seriously, I just read a short story the other day where this guy kills an old man, dismembers him, and hides him under the floorboards simply because he’s so *annoyed* by his creepy “vulture” eye.  I won’t give away the ending though, or which shameful work of trash it is…………………

        thump… thump…thump.. thump….

    2. I take this movie to be a commentary on how shitty everyday life has become in the US due to generally assholish behavior observable in public committed by a population that predominantly self-identifies as Christian. 

      Then again, I get black comedy.  You, on the otherhand, have been concern trolling this entire thread.

      1. Yeeaaahhh…. you can’t take what is obviously the cult of the Westboro Baptist Church and then use it as a label for “a population that predominantly self-identifies as Christian. ”  And obviously they are just a small part of the film. It looks like the go after many of societies ills.

        1. Le sigh. tl;dr – the movie is commentary that 83% of Americans aren’t walking the walk.  Also, “population” is not a synonym for “congregation”.
          And for the last time, WB is neither a church nor a cult.  It is a collective of litigious attention whores.

          1. From the brain washing that goes on there, according to one of the sons who got away, it’s run like a cult with the father the overlord over all they do.

    3. violence is not entertainment

      You would hate Shakespeare.

      I also suggest that you read Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment.

    1. We are led by our instincts, our reactions to sex, violence, food, etc are powerful, and are used mercilessly to sell to us….is this not true?

      I respect a story, storytelling is one of our most important tools as cognizant creatures, archetypes are powerful, and so is our ability to create a formula with them that appeals to our higher selves and leads us FORWARD. 

      Do we have a higher self that serves a more important purpose than our instinctual self? My answer to this is YES and to stimulate that higher self takes thought, intention and effort. The instinctual self is basic, it helps us survive and has done so since the time of caves and predators and “might is right” but I would like to think that in these times, thought and intention and effort are more useful than sex and violence and food. For example, we need food to survive, our instinctual self is powerfully attracted to fats, because in the past fat meant survival, in this day and age we can see that too much fats carry toxins, clog our hearts and really reduce our rate of survival, therefore by ignoring that instinctual drive, using information, having intention and by paying attention we are more successful creatures….do you see what I mean?

      I haven’t watched the movie, I don’t know what the story is, but I know that much of the mass media out there emphasizes our animal selves, because paying attention takes too much effort for the most part and we are too busy to do it. So we are being led into a more base existence just by exposure to their irresponsible raping of our unconscious.

      The last thing I expected was for the impressive nerds on boingboing to fall for something as fatty as this, the world needs your brains, dammit.

      1. “For example, we need food to survive, our instinctual self is powerfully attracted to fats, because in the past fat meant survival, in this day and age we can see that fats carry toxins, clog our hearts and really reduce our rate of survival, therefore by ignoring that instinctual drive, using information, having intention and by paying attention we are more successful creatures….do you see what I mean?”

        I don’t. Your view of fats is based in advertising. Fat is quite good for you. Too little fat and your neurons start getting stripped for their fat. Stop listening to nutritionists and get back to just eating food that doesn’t claim to be more than it just is. Same goes for movies.

  32. Violence is always a short-term solution creating a foundation for more violence. It’s the great American arrogance that assumes the second part doesn’t happen… that we can assert individual control over anything we don’t like because it’s our natural born right to do so. That none of us should bear the responsibility of our collective actions.

    The fantasy of violence is alluring and can be humorous because it *is* stupid and futile. The heavy-handed irony (not subtle people) and sarcasm is darkly funny… but I’m not sure the average moviegoer will get it.

    Generations of religious hatred, intolerance and fundamentalism are in every page of humanity’s history. America is unique because not only does it celebrate dominance over the entire world with hard and soft power, but it does so under the guise that as individuals with (some) civil rights, we can embody this whenever we want, fuck all merely because we can. 

    Like Rampage, I expect this to be seen more as violence-porn than satire.

    1.  Google scholar search for “child development violence.”  This isn’t some special American thing, it’s a universal human thing.  Also, get over yourself.

      1. I believe I said “humanity” and then noted that historically Americans are unique in their soft and hard power on the planet. We live in a culture that emphasizes our personal detachment from these things. Also, get over your exceptionalism.

  33. Those of you who made this into a liberal/conservative debate should try again.  People are people; this movie has to do with us, not with them; take ownership of our fucked up society.  

  34. Some of you artsy fartsy types seem to think the people critical of this trailer are not getting it, or are even completely unfamiliar with art and fiction, but even if the movie itself does have a deep layer of meaning inside of it, it’s not conveyed in the trailer. All I see in the trailer is pandering to people who think they are special by not liking popular television shows. The possible messages I can glean from it seem too simplistic and threadbare to justify its shooting spree wrapper.

    There is one possibility though. If the trailer is intentionally dishonest, and halfway through the movie the spree shooters get killed by police, and the rest of it shows mourning parents burying their kids, and the suffering of the newly created widows and orphans. So then the people cheering on the shooters are forced to do some serious self examination. Now that would hold more interest than yet another tiresome critique of popular culture.

  35.  They can put a man on the moonThey can make soap out of peopleAnd food out of wood . . . They can create a diseaseAnd then claim it’s the cure.-King Missile

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