No sooner had I asked Helen (who likes boxing, monster movies, and other violent manifestations of culture) whether she likes the Saw movies and been reassured to find that she doesn’t…than I learned that a friend of mine, Courtney Balaker (who herself portrayed a vampire in the film Sleepless Nights), helped produce the horror movie The Collector, out today, which began life as a proposed Saw prequel (about a burglar entering a home only to find that a madman is already holding the family inside hostage).
Her husband Ted Balaker’s works, such as these libertarian shorts about iPods-vs.-protectionism and P.J. O’Rourke, are probably better suited to keeping me happy, but you sort of have to see your friend’s horror movie, no matter how sadistic, don’t you? (Heck, I even said in a comments thread on my entry from two days ago that I’d read a comic book if the author gave me a copy and asked me to.) And a movie about hostage-taking and home invasion is in some sense a movie celebrating freedom and property anyway, isn’t it?
Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not worried one bit about the quality of the The Collector (which I gather has already gotten positive reviews — and should not be confused with the somewhat similarly-premised 60s novel/movie of the same title about a lovelorn kidnapper). I’m flat-out admitting I’m afraid of The Collector. And I don’t mean I’ll leap or weep there in the theatre. I mean I’m worried about the long-term effect on my psyche. I’ve never seen any of the Saw movies, but I fear I will nonetheless take to the grave my memory of just hearing a flesh-rending scene described by my friend Diana Fleischman (ironically, a vegan who I believe was involved romantically with a vivisectionist at some point and has a family name with “meat” in it, so she sort of sounds like a horror movie waiting to happen — but more about her tomorrow).
Well, if I do see The Collector, I guess August will be one terrifying month, since this coming Wednesday (8pm), of course, will be our Debate at Lolita Bar between Lillian Waters and Jen Dziura on the eerie question “Have We Ever Been Visited by Extraterrestrials?”
And by the way, if neither The Collector nor UFOs scare you, maybe you’re ready to face Jen Dziura’s alarming one-woman comedy show on August 7 (one week from tonight at 9:30pm) about What Philosophy Majors Do After College (a topic clearly meant to strike terror into the hearts of people like me, Dan Greenberg, Koli Mitra, Ken Dornstein, Holly Caldwell, and a few others who spring to mind — Holly even getting laughed at once by a job-placement expert when she revealed her major, but that was before she became a patent attorney).
Note that by buying tickets to the show through the green ticket service linked above you are supposedly able to choose which of multiple good causes right in your own area to donate part of the proceeds to — and I decided to think of the children, since I don’t notice much in the way of animals needing rescue on the Upper East Side.
While I often seek out real photos and videos of horrible things that happen in the world (beheadings, animal rights related footage, generally gross stuff) I think horror movies are just way too much of a superstimulus for me. I mistakenly saw an independent horror movie called “The Signal” at SXSW a few years back because my friend said it was a movie about technology (he only read the first sentence of the review). It was actually a movie about a radio and television signal that turned most everyone into raving homicidal lunatics including one man who killed a whole group of people close up with a pesticide canister. I was freaked out for weeks.
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