How does a guy get his head microwaved? That is an issue raised (although left unanswered) by Erik Childress in his roundup of the last two weeks of At the Movies. He starts by quoting Ben Lyons on The Last House on the Left:
"Now it’s no secret I have difficulty stomaching disgusting, horrific scenes of torture and mutilation in movies."
Erik then slams Ben (among others) for not distinguishing between well executed gore and lame gore (although I don't mind some decent gore myself, I will leave out the more . . . er . . . scatological references from the quote):
Jeffrey Lyons, who spent more time than any one person should endure with conservative Michael Medved, has been known over the years to dismiss films of this type. Maybe not the hypocrite that Medved is preaching how Hollywood is destroying America but openly advocating the last administration’s foray into ACTUAL torture, but there is subjectivity and there is objectivity. The only reason it’s no secret that Ben Lyons has “difficulty stomaching” these types of movies is because this column called him out for saying that life is too short to stomach horror movies . . .
But where does the difference lie? Is Lyons ready to dismiss films like Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs or even Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill on merely moral grounds or because the violence is a little too graphic for his taste? How would he react to Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (the inspiration for the film) which features distraught father Max Von Sydow picking up a little kid and throwing him into a wall? Would his first question be "who is this Bergman?" or "isn't that Ming the Merciless?"
For the record, I have seen The Virgin Spring, but I had to Google "Ming the Merciless".
Read Erik's entire article here.