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Will Devil's Rejects Help or Hurt Modern horror movies?


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#1 of 64 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted July 16 2005 - 06:07 AM

After reading about this film (but not seeing it for myself) I understand that this movie will be very gritty, dark, and violent.

It will also actually carry an R rating, which is getting rare for horror movies in today's market.

I have a hope that this will start a trend for marketing horror movies for people my age (25-35+). Movies that will appeal to viewers who don't care to watch another Japanese ghost story remake or Dawson's Creek with werewolves and a gorgeous cast.

I haven't had a tense moment in a horror movie in years and it makes me wonder if I'm jaded or if horror movies have just sucked that badly. I have a lot of hope that this movie will scare me and if anyone can do it, I would think a horror freak like Rob Zombie with a budget would have the best shot at it.

I just don't think they try hard enough to add tension to horror movies anymore. They love the cat jumping out of the closet instant scare complete with a burst of louder music to induce a jump instead of building a scary story.

I just think that Devil's Rejects is going to be a film that is marketed more towards a older audience instead of the 16 year olds who think it is daring to sneak into the theater.

#2 of 64 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted July 16 2005 - 08:14 AM

I saw a clip on Conan and just that creepy clown is enough for me to freak out.
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#3 of 64 OFFLINE   Chris Hopper

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Posted July 16 2005 - 10:06 AM

Hopefully it will bring in a new era of horror movies that focuses on disturbing psychological content instead of the cheap "jump shots" horror has relied on for several years now. I loved 'House of a 1000 Corpses'. I thought it was a great revisit to classical 70's and 80's horror
that went out of its way to disturb the viewer instead of jolt them with a cat, rat, or villan jumping out of the darkness from a quiet scene with the ever-so-nosy teenager. I have a lot of faith in Rob's ability, and honestly, the thought of this film being grittier and more disturbing than 'Corpses' makes me giddy. After seeing 'Land of the Dead' all I can do is prey not to be let down again. Blu, have you seen LOTD?

If you have not I am going to break your heart and let you know that even Romero stooped to the lowest common denominator and used the rat jumping out of the darkness for a cheap jolt.


What puzzles me is the amount of old horror fans who say they liked LOTD. I thought for a while I was watching a new 'Die Hard' movie with zombies in it. Sorry about my LOTD rant, my point just being that even good classic directors are conforming to Hollywoods new cheap scare/thoughtless direction.

Though I encourage originality I hope that Rob encourages copycats because this new age of horror is getting on my last nerve. It is good to know there are at least some out there with similar opinions of horrors new direction.

Thanks for starting this thread. I think there is a lot to discuss here.

#4 of 64 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted July 16 2005 - 10:14 AM

I have seen LOTD, I was stunned at the premise of this movie!
In that kind of world the only thing that was still valuable was
the quest for money?!?!?!
That made no sense at all with all of the chaos around them!!!

I hated Hide and Seek, Boogeyman, Saw, and any number of other so called horror movies I had some hope in.

The last modern horror movie I felt any kind of tension was in the first half hour of Jeepers Creepers. It was a great idea and the first part was well executed and then it fell apart.

Anyway, I hope Devil's Rejects does accomplish a new revolution in actual horror movies!

#5 of 64 OFFLINE   Chris Hopper

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Posted July 16 2005 - 11:26 AM

I had great hopes for Saw myself, but was let down by the horrible acting
(you get what you pay for). It was also very nice of them to wrap it up in a nice neat little package at the end. Strangley enough, walking out of the theatre I heard a couple of guys explaining the movie to a girl who said "I don't get it." Has society come to this? Does everything have to have the nice wrapped up ending? Another movie that failed in all the right places for me was 'Darkness Falls'. I have tried to push this movie so far out of my head I cannot give all the reasons I hated it, but at the time of viewing I think I catagorized it as the most formulaic and worst movie I had ever seen. On a positive side I have to say I liked '28 Days Later'. Though it had a theatrical happy ending I have to say it was one of the first happy endings I was shocked to see. Through good direction and acting I was exhilarated by the ending no matter the outcome. I have seen the altenate endings and I liked them all because I liked the characters and every ending caused some kind of reaction in me. The development of the characters actually made me care for them, which is another constant flaw I find with the new wave of Hollywood horror. I could care less what happens to any of them.

From 'House of 1000 Corpses' I could see that Rob is a fan of horror films making horror films. With these new directors you see people fresh out of film school getting to make thier movies because they have some kind of personal ties to the studio. The movies follow formula after formula. It is like they are directing from a textbook. I tend to wonder if Wes Craven started this trend with the exploitation of formula in 'Scream'? Some people have even said 'House of 1000 Corpses' is a 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' rip off, but I have to say in my opinion that it is a non-traditional homage. What really is a shame was the remake of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'. You can see the true desperation when all the new films stop ripping off ideas and just start remaking the films. I also kind of thought it was funny for Romero to use a vehicle similar to the vehecle used in the remake of 'Dawn of the Dead' in 'Land of the Dead'. Maybe that is his big social commentary. I get the materialist commentary he tries to make in the film, but with his uninteresting characters and constant explosions I just don't care.

I think Rob is bringing a new dimension to horror. People who love the movies making the movies. It is not a finacial project or a career choice, it is a labor of love. I am sure he is happy with the money he makes, but I bet he is happier with the response of the fans of the horror genre. He had a forum set up on the net for 'Devil Rejects' and he was the moderator. He asked and answered questions to fans. You could see the love he had for horror. I mean... he had set up haunted houses before he got the money to make 'House of 1000 Corpses', that is passion. I think all this man is capable of doing is helping horror. He is stretching the limits of the R rating and playing to what few modern taboos are left. Like I said before I am hoping for copycats. At least other diehard fans making horror. I hope that is the effect Devil Rejects will end up making on horror movies.

#6 of 64 OFFLINE   BrettGallman

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Posted July 16 2005 - 04:46 PM

While many of today's "horror" movies aren't very good, I don't think we should really use their "cheap scare" tactics as an example. A lot of classic horror movies (Alien, Halloween) use these, it's just that they go beyond them and develop a good story too. I think most modern horror movies have been too watered down by the PG-13 craze, but I don't think it's really the worst problem. It's more that these movies don't have any substance to compensate for the lack of gore. In my opinion, horror movies can be well done with two different methods:

A. A decent story, nothing particularly original, but the presentation is shocking in some way, usually due to violence. Basically, the gore compensates for a thin plot. I would say "House of a Thousand Corpses" would fall into this, as really, it's just "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with a different crazy family. I'll also throw "Friday the 13th" in here (and I'm one of the biggest Friday fans around), as I'll admit the story is nothing particularly special, but the gore really puts the movie over the top.

B. Simply a very original story with a director that can deliver. It doesn't have to be particularly gory, just atmospheric and suspensful. Examples of this would be something like "Alien" or the original "Halloween."

A movie like "The Ring," even though it's a remake, is a lot like the second scenario, as it's nothing really shockingly violent but still very effective. This proves that a good horror movie can be done and still be PG-13; the problem comes when these PG-13 movies become thin on both story and scares, which I think is the biggest problem.

Of course, that little pattern isn't perfect, because plenty of movies are able to do both.

And regarding Dead Reckoning (the vehicle in Land of the Dead): The DOTD remake actually copied this idea from Romero himself, as it has been known that such a vehicle would be part of the fourth "Dead" film for a while. I'm pretty sure Romero's had a treatment for "Land of the Dead" for a long time, and it just now got made.


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#7 of 64 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted July 17 2005 - 03:05 AM

I agree, cheap scare tactics shouldn't be held up alone in terms of the lack of substance, tension, and intensity of modern horror movies. Psycho was brilliant and everyone knows that it had no gore at all. Texas Chainsaw had very little but I havne't seen that one since high school, it had that kind of impact on me!

The remake....horrible, beyond horrible.

I actually liked the Ring, it was original...at the time and told a good story although it didn't scare me and I didn't find myself clutching a pillow for protection.

It just seems that if today's modern filmmakers would learn how to create tension again and get out of the PC-PG13 craze then everyone would benefit.

#8 of 64 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted July 18 2005 - 08:43 AM

While many of today's "horror" movies aren't very good, I don't think we should really use their "cheap scare" tactics as an example. A lot of classic horror movies (Alien, Friday the 13th, Halloween) use these, it's just that they go beyond them and develop a good story too.


Well, they've been throwing cats at people from just out of frame for fifty years and I doubt they'll stop the practice anytime soon, no matter that it's simply moronic (have you ever known a cat to screetch and then leap on someone? If this has actually happened once in the history of the real world I would be surprised. It's the most childish kind of "boo!" in movies). The second stupidest "shock," usually with a burst of idiotic music, or at least a startled
"Huh!" is when someone puts his hand suddenly upon the shoulder of his friend in the dark as they are both looking around and have separated, and after a long, tense build-up. There is no way someone would do that, and take the chance of being mistaken for the killer and punched (or shot), or taking the chance of giving his buddy heart failure. He would softly announce himself. Human behavior in this type of movie is so far removed from reality that I do not understand why more people aren't insulted.

#9 of 64 OFFLINE   Andy Sheets

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Posted July 18 2005 - 10:51 AM

I think among the problems is aside from its recent Japanese remake crazie, Hollywood generally aims horror films directly at 14 year olds (well, they do that for most genres now, but anyway...). One of the important elements of horror stories is the trauma of seeing what you thought you knew completely get completely upended and that's simply not as effective with teenaged protagonists because they haven't lived long enough to have really experienced life and developed a solid worldview that can be shattered into tiny bits. Young people are just naive mannequins that squirt blood when they're poked.

#10 of 64 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted July 18 2005 - 02:26 PM

Good points have been raised so far in this thread, and I tend to agree with most if not all of them. I too am tiring of horror films that are only in it for the quick scare with no tension or suspense.

The worst type of scare tactic that I could go the rest of my days without seeing again are the fake-outs or false scares, you know, the one's where a freind of another charactor suddenly grabs their shoulder and they laugh, or when one charactor plays a prank on another charactor by jumping out of a closet or something of that nature.

For a prime example of this cheapest, and lamest I might add, of scare tactic's, check out the abysmal Halloween Resurrection, that film is filled to the brim with them.

I miss the days when horror films knew when to just be silent, silence in a horror film can speak more volumes than any dialogue or score. John Carpenter knew this, and so did William Friedkin, which is why I love The Exorcist, The Fog and Halloween, although Halloween did have a score that accompanied most of the scenes, but it worked in service of the film.

The rating of a horror film, and my tolerance for it, varies from film to film depending on what is expected from the material. If a new Friday the 13th film comes out, I absolutly expect it to be 'R' because those films are about the gore, they're structured around it and the audience goes in with the expectation of seeing plently of it.

However, when a film like The Others comes along, that truly wants to scare me with brain teasing tension and isn't in it for the gore, I can immediately forgive it's 'PG-13' rating because a film can sufficianty scare me within that rating, boy can it ever! Those are getting rarer, though, a film needs a good story and a skilled director to effectively pull that off.

Now, Rob Zombie is proving to be quite the gifted horror filmmaker, as far as unmercifully pounding his audience into a state of shock. House of 1,000 Corpses was the equivelant of being strapped into an electric chair and fried with 10,000 volts for 90 minutes and I loved every moment of it, it's borrowing from other horror films didn't bother me, really.

Now, that said, I am getting increasingly sensitive, as I get older, to films that contain gore within a too realistic subtext, films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Seven aren't really horror films to me, to me they are films that are only there to disturb by containing their violence in a package that reflects real life in a manner that I would rather not experience because of how I feel when they are over. 'Ho1kC' doesn't fall into this category because it's violence is so over the top that it ventures into parody almost, IMO anyway, you milege may vary.

With those I just mentioned, I don't feel like i've just watched a fun horror film, I feel bad, disturbed and depressed. However, I suppose if that's the way they were intended to make me feel, I guess they succeeded, but they just aren't for me anymore.

As for The Devils Rejects, from what i've read and heard so far, this film is not going to mess around, the impression I have so far without seeing it, is that it will be one of the most lethally depraved horror films to come out in a long time. I don't think i'll see this in theaters, but because I loved the orginal I will see it on dvd later where I can have more control over my own personal experience with it.

Will the film help or hurt horror? I think that the final box office numbers will tell the tale.
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#11 of 64 OFFLINE   Shawn_KE

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Posted July 18 2005 - 03:55 PM

Thought 1000 Corpses was the worst horror movie ever. Devils Rejects has to be better right???

#12 of 64 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted July 18 2005 - 04:08 PM

We'll soon find out, Shawn. But from all accounts, it looks to be very intense.
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#13 of 64 OFFLINE   Justin_S

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Posted July 18 2005 - 04:26 PM

I think 2005 has been the worst year for horror since 1998. After a pretty lengthy dry spell in the 90s, I actually happen to think things really turned around in 99. I think the overall quality that started with that year's horror output has lasted all the way through last year. This year has gone back down the drain. There has been so much garbage released this year, and only one or two worthwhile efforts. With the current wave of generic, PG-13 tripe, as well as all the useless remakes, I think The Devil's Rejects can only help horror.

I actually didn't care for House of 1000 Corpses when I first saw it. I thought it was overdone, and that Zombie was trying way too hard. I decided to give it another chance on DVD, and wound up enjoying it a lot more. Since then, its really grown on me, and I now think that, while flawed, its a fine first effort.

From everything I've read and seen on The Devil's Rejects, it looks obvious to me that Zombie has learned from his past mistakes. Between the course of just these two films, it looks like he's come a thousand miles as a filmmaker. Rejects looks much more serious, much more focused, and all around better executed. Of course, I'll reserve judgement until I see the film, but that's the vibe I'm getting so far. Hopefully he'll do the genre and himself proud.

Anyway, I agree that jump scares are worthless. I especially hate scenes that spend what seems like an eternity just to set up a false scare. Of course, a film can have false scares and still be a fantastic horror effort. I was just watching Candyman last night, and while it had a few false scares, I consider this to be one of the genre's crowning achievments from the 90s. I also thought Land of the Dead was a wonderful film. The jump scare with the rat seemed out of place, but the rest of the film was too good to let that one moment ruin things for me. The generic trash films that use jump scares as their only backbone for frights are what's truly pathetic. I do wish the jump scare would be eliminated entirely though.

Anyway, aside from LOTD and Haute Tension (which I don't count as being from 05, but will put it here anyway), this year has been nothing but generic trash when it comes to genre pictures. With most of the so called fright films in the forecast, it looks like the downward spiral is only going to continue.

This brings me to a fitting example, a film I saw preview before Schrader's Dominion. It was a unique looking slasher film titled Cry Wolf. The trailer was intriguing, and it actually got me looking forward to seeing it. Well, just the other day I learned that the film will be rated PG-13. My enthusiasm was killed in an instant. I have no problem with PG-13 horror films when they're of a type that fits the PG-13 rating. As John mentioned, The Others is a fine example of that. However, a PG-13 slasher film is one of the stupidest things a studio could come up with. If ever there was a perfect example of how ridiculous the PG-13 trend has gotten, Cry Wolf is it.

Anyway, back to Rejects. Every review and article I've read on the film states that it is one of the most brutal, unflinching horror films to hit theaters in a good while. This can only be good. This is the kind of horror we need more of. Horror that has the balls to go all out, horror that doesn't cater to teenage girly girls. I'm really hoping it does well at the box office, because if it doesn't, and another R rated horror films fails, the studios will just churn out more rubbish of the PG-13 and remake variety. If it does well though, hopefully the boneheads will take notice and start giving the horror fans what they want. Not watered down tripe, not remakes of films that are perfect to begin with, but new, ballsy horror. Hell, even if it flops at the box office, it still can only help horror, as at least there's another hardcore horror film out there for folks to sink their teeth into. That's worth everything.

#14 of 64 OFFLINE   Matthew Chmiel

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Posted July 18 2005 - 05:41 PM

The Devil's Rejects is a much better film than Zombie's last effort (House of 100 Corpses, which I thought was shit).

Trust me.

The crowd at CineVegas loved the film. While I didn't love it, I thought it was a damn solid horror film and a fine throwback to the exploitation flicks of the '70s.

#15 of 64 OFFLINE   Bob McLaughlin

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Posted July 19 2005 - 02:14 AM

Did anyone else see Rob Zombie as the guest on "Henry's Film Corner" a few weeks ago? This guy takes film seriously. He doesn't see the point in making a movie if he's forced by the studio to water down his vision, that's one of the reasons his first movie got bounced from studio to studio. You might not like "House of 1,000 Corpses" but it's hard to say it was a compromised piece of work.

He did admit that he's kind of stuck with the MPAA ratings issue, but I think he realizes that most movies live out their life on home video, where you can release an unrated director's cut version.

I am looking forward to "The Devil's Rejects", it looks like one of the MEANEST movies to come along in a while.
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#16 of 64 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted July 19 2005 - 03:53 AM

From what I've heard about The Devil's Rejects, it sounds like it won't be everyone's cup of tea but I think that might just be right. There is room for all kinds of horror and I'm glad that we aren't being fed the same kind over and over.

I generally find Jump Scares to be fine when used in moderation and can be well done if used properly. Fake scares are also a potentially useful tool when not overused. But some movies just throw them out constantly without building to something more substantial so they become quickly tiring. One of the funny results in a movie like Haute Tension is that it has very few jump scares but uses very thick tension to tie you up in knots and doesn't rely on a fake scare or humor to release that tension. That works all the better what with the dependence on those tools by many current horror directors.

I don't see how The Devil's Rejects can hurt horror. If it does indeed land on the side of the more spiteful 70s horror films then I think it'll work as a good counterpunch with Haute Tension and at least show there is niche value in some films that differ from UWe Boll's R-Rated crap and Wes Craven derivative PG-13 goofiness. PG-13 movies can be great if they 'land' there and aren't crafted to be there. The Others and The Ring both solidly landed there and didn't feel like they were compromised to get to that point, whereas some films are structured to be PG-13 outages and filmed explicity with that in mind, what with providing cutaway options to excise the gore.

One thing that's been bothering me for a long time is the idea of rated theatrical releases and unrated video releases. It's a rare case when the unrated release is substantially better than the original (even Haute Tension is only slightly better with the added gore), so the best case scenario is you get a good horror film out to the most eyes even in a watered down version. But then we get an unrated DVD on the heels of this 'as much as we can show you on the big screen' version that contains everything else. In a way, this just says that we can't trust the 17-year old at the ticket counter to keep objectionable material from our eyes but we can trust the 17-year old at the Best Buy counter. And, oddly enough, we can get tons and tons of advertising about 'Unrated' versions of DVD in every newspaper and radio in the country, including big cardboard stands at your brick and mortar with big Unrated stickers on it, but we still can't have the same movie put into an AMC. It seems so completely odd to me that this exists in the same world with some of the same people at the table. I've often dreamed of a situation where a Tom Cruise/Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg film is given an R-Rating which they object to and decides to release it unrated. Maybe its because it covers a special subject or whatever and they want it seen by teens. With the kind of clout they have, would AMC not display their movie? I had initially hoped that Eyes Wide Shut would be the kind of profile film to try their hand at an Unrated or NC-17 release, but even it buckled under the pressure for an R-Rating. What I wouldn't give to see what happened when a heavy weight decided to bypass the MPAA with a quality film well received by the moviegoing public.


I'm just wish we had a rating system which was objective in accounting for what was in the movie and some kind of parental release was available where they could state that they had no problems if their kid saw a movie with 'Graphic Violence' instead of 'No one under age 17 can see this movie ever...until three months when they can buy it with extra scenes of gore which didn't make the NC-17 cut'. I am so overwhelmingly glad I grew up in the early 80s for all the great movies I saw, including R-Rated material I saw alone.

#17 of 64 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted July 19 2005 - 04:42 AM

I had the same experience as a few others here have had with House of 1000 Corpses, it tends to grow on you like a fungus. First viewing was not great although I did see where he was going with it and some of the scenes were pretty damn good, particularly the scene with Otis ranting at the girl (I don't remember her character's name): "Listen, you Malibu middle class Barbie piece of shit, I'm tryin' to work here. Work? You ever work? Yeah, I'll bet you have. Scoopin' ice cream to your shit-heel friends on summer break.", that was a solid tense scene & raised my hopes that the film would be more than it was....it wasn't and even though it does grow on you I still don't think it lived up to it's full potential.

My personal problem with many of todays horror films is that they for the most part are all pay off but no suspense or what little suspense that they do have is almost always payed off in a red herring, a cat jumping out of a closet, turning the corner to see a friend jumping in your face etc. etc. ......put crudely it's all sex with no foreplay and/or clumsy foreplay.Posted Image

Another problem I have with much of the current output is that the director's may have learned the "atmosphere" lesson from the good horror directors of the past that they watched growing up but they didn't learn juxtaposition, I.E. not all shots have to be creepy or lit like a music video with blue lights everywhere & it is not nnecessary for every creepy house interior to look like a H.R. Giger painting, in the common there can be horror too.
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#18 of 64 OFFLINE   Mikel_Cooperman

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Posted July 19 2005 - 06:54 AM

I remember movies in the 70's like Burnt Offerings, The Fog and The Entity that were creepy and scary and were...Rated R. Unfortunately as others have mentioned, you don't see that anymore.
Maybe Rob Zombie will help get us back there. Though 1000 Corpses was shocking it didnt have all that great of a story. Why cant you have a good story and good scares and...good gore?

#19 of 64 OFFLINE   Bob McLaughlin

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Posted July 19 2005 - 07:40 AM

Alex, I think it's the theaters that won't carry unrated movies, because a lot of times they can't advertise them because a lot of newspapers won't carry ads for unrated movies. NC-17 was supposed to solve all those types of problems but it hardly gets used. I agree it's funny that the end result of the current system is that it's easier for underage kids to watch an unrated movie at home alone than in a theater amongst others.

I cut my movie teeth in the 80's and watched all the rated R movies I wanted, without parents or guardians. I was never once refused admission to any movie I wanted to see, no matter what my age. I didn't look old for my age, I just don't think the theater workers cared.

I think the big studio honchos have this idea that they are widening their potential audience by getting things down to PG-13. Unfortunately they are diluting and weakening the movie a lot of the time.
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#20 of 64 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted July 19 2005 - 08:00 AM

Quote:
I think the big studio honchos have this idea that they are widening their potential audience by getting things down to PG-13. Unfortunately they are diluting and weakening the movie a lot of the time

Well that's what always happens when businessmen/bankers get involved with "art".....but then again they are only delivering what they think todays audiences want just as they always have since the beginning.
Nothings really changed, the pendulum will swing again, mark my words.
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