Brent Bozell

Several years ago, I was visiting with a neighbor, a career military man, a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I asked him what his most harrowing experience was. None of those, he answered. He then walked me through his assignment in the military police, in San Francisco during the '50s, when his job was to go undercover to penetrate the lowest, darkest corner of society and expose what to most was simply unthinkable: the snuff-film world, the dark, seedy rooms where men sat, having paid hundreds of dollars apiece, watching grainy 8-millimeter footage of real humans being tortured and killed.

We wondered then if a "civilized" society could ever accept this genre in the open. It's worth asking again because we are inching ever closer to it.

As long as there's been a Hollywood, there have been "horror" movies. But what qualifies as horror in the eyes of today's horror movie manufactures is altogether different from anything Alfred Hitchcock considered as art.

Take Darren Bousman, director of the forthcoming horror flick "Saw IV." He eagerly told that in his new movie, "there is a scene where I physically regurgitated in my mouth. There is stuff in this movie that I'm dying to see, whether it gets past the MPAA (ratings board)." Scenes that make the directors vomit make them happy? Bousman told a horror-movie website he's looking forward to his next movie, a horror-film-meets-musical: "There's nudity, there's violence, there's tons of hot girls, there's breaking out in song while ripping spinal cords out. It's great!"

Perhaps you're thinking that these remarks sound like over-enthusiastic pre-release publicity, and I agree. But now take Eli Roth, the maker of the recent flop "Hostel: Part II." His delight with gory moviemaking is breathtaking. He told Interview magazine, "Everybody says that I'm different on the days we're shooting the gore -- that I'm just extra happy. I try to have that same excitement and enthusiasm for every scene, but when we're doing some really disgusting scene, I'll catch myself gleefully jumping up and down at the monitor. I'm so happy I could cry."

And then he said something even more remarkable: "We're in a really violent wave, and I hope it never ends. Hopefully, we'll get to the point where there are absolutely no restrictions on any kind of violence in movies."

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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