Day 165: We’ll Tear Your Soles Apart

Two weeks ago I gave Dave Golder an old pair of trainers. Today he’s wearing them as part of a year long challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research. My Granddad suffered from dementia for several years before his death a few years ago, and I have seen how much strain such a terrible condition can put on not just sufferers, but also those who care for them, normally members of their own family. Please read this blog, and follow the link to donate to such a worthy cause. Thank you.

The Sole Of Sci-Fi

Sole Of Sci-Fi raises some Hell in the latest installment of the charity challenge…

June 14

So, Day 165. It may not sound like a landmark, but in a way it is. Because it means there are exactly 200 days left of this challenge. A little bit of a worry when I’ve only got five pairs of trainers currently lined up, but on the other hand it’s one hell of a psychological barrier to break through. And in just a few weeks, I’ll have reached the halfway mark. That’ll be a massive relief.

Today’s Hellraiser theme boasts a much better headline than photo. In my head, the photo was going to be a Photoshop masterpiece, but in practice, I think I still have a lot to learn. But you get the idea. And the “tear your soles” gag was too good to miss. The Hi-Tech trainers were donated by Ian Comber (apparently…

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Shock, but without the Horror!

Whenever you hear people talking about a film, it’s not uncommon to want to see it yourself in order to see what everyone is talking about. In most cases, this often happens when people talk about how good a film is. This week however, I watched a film because of people saying how disgusting, sick, and downright wrong it is. And I’m glad I did.

If you’re wondering what film it was I watched this week, it was Dirty Sanchez: The Movie. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s similar to Jackass, in that it is the movie of a TV show in which a group of people do completely outrageous and dangerous stunts for the entertainment of each other, and the audience at home. Although the scenario is similar, Dirty Sanchez makes Jackass look like children’s TV, as it takes things to the extreme, and then caries on going.

Basically the film contains, to name but a few, tattoos in painful places, the consumption of what remains after a liposuction operation, and as if that wasn’t enough, Keith Richards as Satan! It is possibly the sickest most disgusting film I have ever seen, and I lost count of how many times it made me cringe. . . . Which is why I loved watching it!

First, let me explain that not everything they do is dangerous or disgusting, some is just immature. For instance, whilst asleep, Pancho is given something of a make over to make him resemble both the Incredible Hulk, and then Mikhail Gorbachev. Silly and immature, but still on the level of something that could be done to anyone whilst asleep. Others however, such as the Beer enema are of an acquired taste.

And this is the reason I loved watching it. Most horror films are lucky if they make me jump, I watched The Exorcist when I was seventeen and wondered what all the fuss was about, and I’ve been bored watching banned so called ‘video nasties‘.

Because of my apparent ‘immunity’ to films that most people wouldn’t consider watching, it takes something on the level of Dirty Sanchez to get a reaction from me. For most people, an important part of watching a film is for the different reactions that they can evoke, both good and bad. There are times I have envied people who watch horror films for the purpose of cringing from what they see on the screen, but I think I have finally been able to get a better idea of what it must be like.

Admittedly the fact that what they do is real, completely non-fictional and without the use of special effects helps with the cringe factor, but also because you can’t actually believe they are doing some of the things they do. Despite the ‘do not try this at home’ warning, most people wouldn’t try these things simply because of the amount of guts that these stunts need. I must admit that watching a fully grown man mortified of spiders, who cuts of the end of his finger to regain his pride, is actually quite humbling.

I know I wouldn’t be able to.

Blood and Popcorn

WARNING, MAY CONTAIN UNPOPULAR OPINIONS. . .

As a big fan of horror movies, I am regularly aware of those people who worry about us, thinking that we must be sick in the head in some fashion. I am particularly aware of this, as I still live with one of them. Whilst there are those far worse than my mum, when watching Saw II, she still had to ask if I actually found it entertaining. Although to be fair to her, she did wait until at least five minutes into the film before asking.
The scene in question was of a man who, having been kidnapped and sedated, now found himself in a situation in which he must cut out his own eye in order to survive. Anyone who has seen the entirety of the film will be able to confirm that, despite large amounts of on screen blood, it is not merely mindless violence, but can in fact be seen as mindful violence. ‘Jigsaw’, the ‘killer’ of the film places his victims in a situation from which they have every means of escape. Rather than simply killing them, he does what he does as he believes that knowledge of death will help them appreciate the lives they could lead, in a sort of ‘life is wasted on the living’ kind of way.
In a similar way to Se7en, it is not the violence, but the villains rationalisation for their actions that is the scariest part, particularly when they begin to sway you to understanding their point of view. Anyone who walked out half way through and missed the ending however, wouldn’t fully have seen this. (I’m not mentioning names . . . )
Yes, people die in horrible ways, and I have to admit that yes, I found it entertaining, but when criticizing films like these, many people forget two things. Firstly, despite various technological advances the human race has made, we still have a long way to go before becoming advanced ourselves. Evolutionarily speaking, we are still just apes for whom violence and the seven deadly sins make up a large part of who we are. Secondly, there are far worse things than special effects that people consider to be ‘entertaining’.
Working in my local WH Smiths, I have come to notice that the best selling magazines are most probably the ‘Granny Mags’. The cheap weekly magazines in which members of the public have sold their stories and pictures of events that have happened in their own lives. Events like rape, violence, and murder. Basically anything less than a stabbing would just be a footnote in the corner. As one magazine proudly boasts, “Life! Death! Prizes!” The only reason I can assume people buy these are because life, death and prizes are entertaining.
Likewise with books. Our biography section has now been split into two equal halves, the traditional biographies of the rich and famous (the majority of whom should be neither), now have to be crammed into exactly the same shelving space as the ‘tragic life stories’. Put simply, we now sell more books about people who had abused childhoods, than those who have actually done something positive worth reading about.

If that sounds offensive to abused children, its not meant to be and I apologise. I’m merely trying to point out that many of the people who will happily blame fictional movies for so many bad things in the world, are the same ones who are equally as happy to spend money reading about those things they are blaming the movies for.

If you think that watching movies in which people die in horrible circumstances make people like me sick in the head, then that’s your opinion and you are of course entitled to it. It is absolutely wrong, but you are still entitled to it.
Given the choice of fictional pretend violence, or real life parents abusing their own children, I know which one I’d rather spend my money on.