Sunday, September 17, 2006

On a somewhat related note,

(to the Feminist War/Stoning crap, not the intro thread, I mean)

my friend fastlad has this great post on the gender/sexuality politics of American 60's B movies. Sex Panic! Mock the slut! Stone the slut! KILL the slut! for fun and prizes! how dare she express sexual autonomy! and now just look at what she's unleashed: you see what filthy BEASTS men are really, it's always been the same and can NEVER EVER CHANGE... uhhh, wait, no, that doesn't mean what you think it means; it's uh. different. very very totally COMPLETELY different. like, WAY. like RADICALLY, it's different, when we. um. do. hey, look, shiny thing--

60's B Movies. Titillating, cheap, via media's into the anxious cold war/erotic subconscious of the era? Well, yes, clearly. Certainly they share recurring motifs: skip the obvious nuclear threat and your left with the desire for (and rage toward) women, the begrudging acknowledgement of female sexuality and female eroticism, and the consistent and particular contempt for women who are conscious of their own sexual allure, resulting in punishment (usually made literal, through murder/death).

The men in these films have only just emerged from the caves. No one ever sees anything remarkable about this. Enslaved by their own desires and propelled by them, men fight each other for tribal dominance, and they take whatever it is they desire by force. (And any woman who dares to do likewise is automatically a monster).

Since coming to America I have been struck time and again by the frequency of the Sex/Death trope in what you might once have called the American B movie genre (but these horror/slasher/teen sexcapade films have all gone mainstream now and the motifs of late night shlock have become standard fare, recognizable in the cultural mainstream).

But what gets me - hence this rant - is the galling fraudulence. Everyone knows that the bestial male will slash all before him in pursuit of his reluctant prize, everyone knows that the alluring girl will be humiliated terrorized and then killed, yet here they are once again performing the same old bogus dance, quite literally dying on their feet if you will, with the audience anticipating the same old catharsis they have paid $10 bucks to see.


***

There are a number of embedded links to relevant and vastly entertaining YouTube links; go to the original post to click through to 'em.


Also check out the video at this post. WE'RE NOT GAY!!

4 comments:

Rootietoot said...

so what about those James Bond movies with women who kick butt and take names? Improbable names aside...(I mean really. Pussy Galore?) No one could accuse them of being helpless. Unless they wanted to be.

belledame222 said...

Those came later. Or, maybe not, but, well...different genre. he's talking about a really specific kind of film. Cheesy horror flicks, you know?

JackGoff said...

That "Not Gay" movie is fucking hilarious!! XD

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