And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Predator (1987)

"I can see Oregon's potheads from here. De cloud of smoke is  unmistakable."The 1980s saw a remasculization of American cinema. After long years languishing inside various genre ghettos (from sci-fi to vigilante to blaxploitation), the Action film took on a shambling semblance of life all its own. When you look at Westerns, Cop Dramas, or Spy Pics from the 60s and 70s, distinct hallmarks of their diverse genres remain apparent, intact. By 1982, with First Blood, we see these conventions reincarnated as a horrific Frankenstein of a thing, neither fish nor foul. A death mongering genre that dominated the Industry well into the 1990s, putting butts in seats worldwide with its fetish for explosions and ever-more-elaborate weaponry.

The late-80s saw the genre reach its (*ahem*) creative height. Beginning with 1985’s Rambo II, and continuing through Lethal Weapon, tonight’s subject (both 1987), and director John McTiernan’s next film, Die Hard (1988), the Action movie grew comfortable with its internal logic (or lack thereof) and began to stretch its wings out, taking on new and strange shapes its finely-trained audience hardly recognized. McTiernan himself would drag it through several of these bends, leading the genre to high highs with…well…let’s say Die Hard: With a Vengeance…and eventual suicide. (Well, what else can you call Last Action Hero?) {More}



Batman and Robin (1997)

Joel Schumacher shows what he really thinks of us.So here it is: the final nail in the coffin, the death knell of the Golden Age of superhero movies. As with any artistic Age, it’s boundaries are plastic and open for debate, should any nerd care to distract him- (or her-) self. But you’d be hard pressed to find a nerd who doesn’t view this movie for exactly what it is: the lowest of the low, the scum of the fucking earth, the most useless, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat out of Hollywood, a town ruled by effete assholes who see not at all wrong with dumping toxic, imaginative waste straight into their target audience’s eyes, so long as there are as many eyes as possible.

Sorry. Channeled Trainspotting there for a moment. Where were we? Ah, yes…we were marveling at Joel Schumacher’s continued slide into camp and self-parodying idiocy. All in the name of keeping this franchise “family friendly.” In practice, you and I both know this means, “so dumb your trailer-trash, hick cousins from Possumscrotum, Texas, will beg, cry, scream and, eventually, drag their parents into theaters. We’ve spent the last six months stoking their little, ADD-addled minds with trailers and toy commercials. If we don’t get their butts in those seats, our Japanese masters stand to loose hundreds of billions of yen! We can’t allow that!” {More}



Batman and Robin (1997)

Joel Schumacher shows what he really thinks of us.So here it is: the final nail in the coffin, the death knell of the Golden Age of superhero movies. As with any artistic Age, it’s boundaries are plastic and open for debate, should any nerd care to distract him- (or her-) self. But you’d be hard pressed to find a nerd who doesn’t view this movie for exactly what it is: the lowest of the low, the scum of the fucking earth, the most useless, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat out of Hollywood, a town ruled by effete assholes who see not at all wrong with dumping toxic, imaginative waste straight into their target audience’s eyes, so long as there are as many eyes as possible.

Sorry. Channeled Trainspotting there for a moment. Where were we? Ah, yes…we were marveling at Joel Schumacher’s continued slide into camp and self-parodying idiocy. All in the name of keeping this franchise “family friendly.” In practice, you and I both know this means, “so dumb your trailer-trash, hick cousins from Possumscrotum, Texas, will beg, cry, scream and, eventually, drag their parents into theaters. We’ve spent the last six months stoking their little, ADD-addled minds with trailers and toy commercials. If we don’t get their butts in those seats, our Japanese masters stand to loose hundreds of billions of yen! We can’t allow that!” {More}