Words like "sickening" are tossed around the studio as the three overwhelmingly ill-informed hand-wringers ramble on, poorly covering a subject that they know nothing about. O'Reilly even states that this type of horror "could never have happened in America ten years ago," blissfully ignorant to the fact that gore flicks have been around since (at least) the days of Herschell Gordon Lewis. (Like, the 1960s!)
Billy's guests are Dr. Virginia Klein, "a psychotherapist," and James Hirsen, the smug author of a book called Hollywood Nation -- a book that has a piece of effusive front-cover blurbage from none other than Michael Medved. (As if that's a person you want praise from.) So obviously Bill is really interested in covering both sides of the Horror Movie argument. Sheesh. Klein seems to claim that the only people who like Saw 3 are those who "are on tranquilizers" or "like toys." (Don't feel bad; I don't have any idea what she's talking about either.) Dr. Klein ends up a total wiffle-ball washout, and here's why: The "psychology" of horror flicks is so simple that I don't even feel the need to explain it here -- but she STILL gets it completely wrong! She blathers and blithers for a few minutes before Billy Boy shoots it on over to Mr. Hirsen, the "Hollywood Insider." Ahem.
Hirsen's insights into the realm of "extreme horror" are as such: Horror fans refer to the goods at "ultra-violence." We do? Hey Hirsen: Ever heard of A Clockwork Orange? Came out in 1971? Ever heard of Kubrick? Give it a rent one day. It delivers some actual insight into the nature of violence, and no, there's no Cliff's Notes, sorry. Hirsen also bemoans the fact that the hardcore horror movies take place in "an amoral universe in which you can't tell who the good guys are and the bad guys are." THIS is a guy who actually writes about film? Did he actually just imply that movies have no business dealing in that grey moral area between white-hatted heroes and mustache-twirling villains? Whaaat? And he has the stones to go on FOX NEWS and use the phrase "amoral universe"?? Holy freakin' macaroni, who allowed this clip to air on national television? It's so inept I'm almost embarrassed for the participants; they even have the balls to say that our young horror filmmakers are celebrated "because of money." As if there's any other gauge of value in Hollywood besides money. Nope, just in the horror gerne, I suppose. Very insightful, fellas. Eli Roth should apologize for his success, but Adam Shankman is the next Billy Wilder because his flicks make money? Whatever.
And then there's O'Reilly himself. Y'know, I've always been more than content to simply ignore O'Reilly, but he's so ill-prepared and obtuse in this clip... He yearns for the old horror movies like Dracula and Frankenstein -- not because they're beautifully made and grimly effective pieces of cinema, but because they "cut away" from the violent material. Brilliant. He then goes on to describe a few generic atrocities that may or may not appear in the Saw series ("Eyeballs gouged out! Hands being lopped off! women being defiled!") before casually reminding his viewers that Fox also makes horror movies. (Way to cover your ass there, Bill.) The raving dolt even implies that Warner Brothers has to come out and "explain" and apologize for why they made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And yet Sony doesn't have to "explain" why they made White Chicks? Fox doesn't deserve a nationally-televised rap on the knuckles from O'Reilly the Holy for that last Lindsay Lohan flick? Please.
Argh, I gotta wrap this rant up; I'm just too aggravated to continue. Horror has always been seen as the black sheep of the movie world, and frankly I'm sick to freakin' death of this B.S. This moronic video is yet another piece of low-minded and shamelessly elitist nonsense that exists only to prove, what, -- That Bill O'Reilly is Too Good for horror movies? Fine, more for the rest of us, you aimlessly nattering blowhard. And, with all humility, I'll close this geeky diatribe with an offer-slash-challenge to Mr. O'Reilly: Bill, seriously: Next time you want to hang the horror genre in effigy without even bothering to find ONE person who'll come to its defense, I challenge you to drop me an email and let me represent the pro to your clueless con. And good luck with your crusade against horror films; I'm sure all the people you just labeled sick, twisted deviants who have the GALL to enjoy this stuff will take your opinions as if they came from someone with half a brain. Grr.
[Thanks to Bloody-Disgusting.com for pointing me towards the video clip, because it enabled me to rant endlessly and have fun doing it. Also, it looks like Saw 3 director Darren Lynn Bousman was penning his own response to O'Reilly at the same time I was -- and we even make some of the exact same (and very valid) points. Heh.]