In the conclusion to the least awaited trilogy of the year, Debbie Schlussel makes a series a critical flip-flops that would make John Kerry blush. Apparently, Schlussel was for torture in movies before she was against it--before she was for it and against it at the same time.
The story begins with her review of Taken, in which she describes a scene of Muslim sex slavers getting their comeuppance from Liam Neeson:
One of them is purchasing the women as concubines for his boss, a big, fat, ugly Arab Muslim Sheikh on a yacht...There is a great scene where all of these evil Arabic-speaking scumbags get sent to a permanent conference call with the 72 virgins. That is the kind of stuff people went to movies to see, and they don't get to see it much at all anymore.
This is a movie in which a man is electrocuted (eventually to death) by Neeson in his search for his daughter. Presumably, this sort of torture is "the kind of stuff people went to movies to see."
On the other hand, she dismissed Watchmen as "a movie based on a comic book promoting rape, torture, and brutal killing." For the record, I believe she was saying that these are all bad things, although the comic book did not exactly "promote" them as much as it "depicted" them--as vile acts carried out by horrible people.
That sort of subtlety may be too much for Schlussel, who finds difficulty expressing a consistent viewpoint even in a single article. In her review of The Last House on the Left, she first writes:
Torture/snuff-porn movies like this have no purpose other than to satisfy some warped moviegoers' need for bloodlust. The movie was vile, sickening, and depraved. And we wonder why violent crime and the depravity of criminal acts is escalating, as its portrayal onscreen escalates. What's on the screen influences what's on the street.
Somehow she finds it in herself to write the following words in the very same review:
Some movie critics were disgusted with the cheering on of revenge by the family and planned to write about it. But, to me, that was the only "redeeming" part of seeing this . . . Of note, part of the revenge which people liked was when the parents waterboarded one of the criminal thugs who left their daughter for dead after raping her. It's the second movie I remember where viewers audibly enjoyed the waterboarding of criminal scum (the first was "Passenger 57," when Wesley Snipes waterboards a terrorist hijacker in the plane's toilet). And so they should--this is what we want (minus the rape and torture scenes that come before it). The bad guys deserve it.
Obsessing over--and defending--methods of torture like this, to the point of gleefully recording examples of a specific form of torture that occurs in movies and the audience's vocal applause for it, is simply torture-porn under the guise of film criticism.
But in Schlussel's defense, she is consistent about one thing--she hates Muslims. It is not just the sex slaver/terrorist variety, but all Muslims. You can see that from a St. Patrick's Day link she provides on her front page about the threat of the Muslim population taking over Ireland. She can't really name anything specifically bad that Muslims have done in Ireland, other than now Irish newspapers report on them or that mosques in Ireland are "Well, just like here in America, giant monstrosities."
Her final comment: "Blarney = Looking the Other Way as Islam Invades Ireland." She then found it necessary to add this important update to the article, a letter from a real-live Irish racist:
You forgot to mention we are just about 5 million and if these people keep breeding we will be overwhelmed in a very short time. We suffer from Elites and I mean Elites. It took us 800 hundred years to be free from England and now we are about to spend etentity [sic] serving animals. May God and St. Patrick help us from these Devils.
Now you can see why she liked Taken so much.