Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seriously: Let's Kill Everybody.

Slasher movies suck really bad.

Actually, all movies suck really bad.

Actually actually, everything except for comics sucks really bad.

Actually actually actually, comics suck really bad.

Whoa, wait. Back up a second.

Slasher movies suck really bad. I think we can all agree on this, fans and non-fans alike. Therein lies the charm, right? The I-don't-know-what, as the French say. I have the same sort of love affair with the Police Academy movies: I know full well they suck really bad, yet I can't stay away (a fairly apt metaphor for most of my relationships, now that I think about it).

I've been spending a lot of time watching slasher movies lately, as well as reading and writing about them in conjunction with the other site (not "blog," mind you, but "site," dear reader; semantics are everything) I run, Let's Kill Everybody! The one seemingly unifying suck factor with these flicks, though, is that they so often come close to not sucking, which is a very fatal flaw in American popular culture. Sometimes, it's because the budget is simply too tiny, but more often than not, it's what I interpret as just plain laziness on the part of the creators (a crime which will be dealt with most severely once I take over). I believe I merely need to point to the deluge of sequels to and/or rip-offs of the classics like Halloween and Friday the 13th, et al, to support this claim.

But movies in general are a sticky wicket as far as this goes. They cost an obscene amount of money to make, and so they're often produced with a fairly broad appeal designed to recoup the most money. This does not strictly preclude any genuine artistic expression, mind, but why bother with all that shit when the people just want tits and explosions (full disclosure: these are three of my favorite things)?

I'll allow the above is a very simplified version of things, and as usual I'm taking a quasi-Marxist leaning, although I am very bored with that stance (I dunno, I'm weird). But what I'm getting at is that this is an area where, once again, comics proves itself to be the superior medium, in this case because they are cheap to produce and to buy, relatively speaking (maybe not if you have a habit like mine, which is tantamount to, say, heroin, or even Fabergé eggs). Take WildStorm's A Nightmare on Elm Street series, which I recently raved up over at Pop Matters. Special effects in the movies may seem more "real," but they're still really just static, two-dimensional images, not unlike those in a comic book. And though it sounds cliché, if you take the fertile imaginations of two truly creative individuals like writer Chuck Dixon and penciller Kevin West (and Kick-Ass Karl Marx sez: "Kids! You can trust a comic book writer/artist, 'cause they clearly ain't in it for the money!"), then you don't need to rely on flash-bang gee-whiz effects. Although there may not be surround-sound capabilities with comics, you can still have Freddy Krueger fighting an Aztec sleep demon and have it be as believable, as "real" as anything in a motion picture. Plus it only costs you, the reader, three bucks if you buy 'em new, and you don't have to sit in a theatre full of pinheads or a living room full of loudmouthed roommates to enjoy it.

So the movies are cool if you're underage and can't bring dates to your bedroom to make out. But other than that, I'll take a comical book any day of the week.