Torture-Porn Is Dead, Bring On Methsploitation

Just Say NoI made a joke about it over at MeeVee but I’m beginning to think that the latest anti-drug ads from The Meth Project are really a sign that we need a new movement in horror film, back to the sixties and seventies drug-exploitation movies, only with all the cinematic sophistication that we’ve developed over the years. The torture-porn thing is gross, misogynistic, and no longer shocking. Just watch the first anti-meth ad, the one with the shower scene (at right). Yes, it’s got the traditional horror plot of a sweet defenseless girl doing something bad and getting into trouble, but more importantly it brings in what I hope will be this decade’s horror theme: She is her own monster.

Look at “I Am Legend” – or, at least, look at “I Am Legend” as it was written, without the tacked-on happy ending: The zombie vampire monsters are human and have their own society, and don’t understand why Will Smith is hunting them and capturing them and killing them. He’s the monster. We’re the monsters and we’ve created ourselves as such. That’s what I want to see from horror movies. Instead we get “Saw III.” Blech.

Here’s my plot: Nice kids fall in with a bad crowd, take lots of drugs and gradually become psychotic. Insert any kind of terrifying hallucination you like; the protagonists won’t know which ones are real. Definitely have a scene in which someone is actually covered in bugs because they live in filth, but refuses to brush them off because they think they’re just hallucinating. As in “Requiem For A Dream,” everyone else should have a parallel drug problem, but one which allows them to function in society. Functional alcoholics, wake-and-bake burnouts, whatever, so long as they manage to hold down jobs and preserve a semblance of normality, while the tweakers get into identity theft and then forget which stolen persona they’ve adopted is actually theirs. Basically the drug is a metaphor for the horrible scabrous monster that lives inside all of us. When you apply for ONDCP grant money to defray production costs, tell them that the horrible scabrous monster that lives inside all of us is a metaphor for drug abuse.

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