Monday, March 27, 2006

Soul-chewing parasites

Should've mentioned film studio marketing hack among my list of least-desired jobs. It's not just what they say, it's how they say it, as if they're proud of being so exploitive.

In a Newsweek story about Hollywood's fixation with unrelenting gore --- cleverly coined as "torture porn" by New York magazine's David Edelstein --- there's some telling quotes from sleazy suits who are making big money off decapitations and such. Love the scant original horror flick, but when they come out once a week, the quality inevitably goes down (as the body count rises).

From the Newsweek article:

Right now, no one has better fingertips for this material than the people at Lions Gate. The studio just won the top Oscar for "Crash," but its executives make no apologies for the bloodier side of their business. "Have I no shame? Is that what you're asking?" says president Tom Ortenberg. "When we see a void in the market, we do our best to fill it. And we didn't feel that there were enough, or really any, R-rated, balls-to-the-wall horror films out there." Without the yoke of a parent company, Lions Gate is free to unleash its inner provocateur, whether that means putting a pair of severed fingers on its "Saw 2" poster—which even Berney, a competitor, calls "a classic"—or playing up the fact that people passed out during previews of "Hostel." "I feel bad that some people had such an extreme reaction," says Tim Palen, co-president of marketing for Lions Gate, "but as a marketer, it was an opportunity to alert people who relish that kind of movie that we've got one for them."

I got an idea for a movie: Soulless zombies masquerade as studio execs in an attempt to take over the world.

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