Green Inferno (A delayed reaction…)

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the-green-inferno

Green Inferno (2014)

Director: Eli Roth

Writer: Eli Roth, Guillermo Amoedo

Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns

Damsel Bruja and I decided to watch Eli Roth’s much talked about film, Green Inferno (2014) together. It was on Cinemax. It was a Saturday and we were bored just sitting there on our respective couches, so we decided to text each other throughout the movie. The exchange below is the result.

What can I say about this film that hasn’t already been said ad nauseam? Well, it’s moronic. I mean. People are killed by CGI ants and marinated in marijuana before being eaten. If I had to grade this movie, I’d give it a C+. It wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but it certainly wasn’t the best. I expected more. The political hullabaloo surrounding the release added to the hype. It was fun viewing, if only because there was NOTHING ELSE on TV.

Was it offensive? I can see why others would think so, but I was too busy laughing at poop and dislodged eyeballs to take this half-baked splatter fest seriously.

There is swearing. There is spoilers. We weren’t being politically correct. You have been warned.

 

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Earthlings (2005) The most graphic movie I’ve ever seen

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>>>>Trigger Warning: Graphic Violence To Animals <<<<<

Consider this your last warning before I jump into my review. Don’t be a hero. If you’re disturbed by graphic, non-fictionalized torture, do not read on or click the trailers. Okay?

Call it a propaganda film if you like, but the real brutality depicted in Earthlings (2005) is gripping, intense, and undeniable.

Earthlings (2005)

Writer and director: Shaun Monson

Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix with music by Moby

This is an animal rights documentary. You’re wondering how a vegan propaganda film justifies space on this indie horror blog, but I’ll assure you the horrors revealed here are worse than any pulptastic, splatterfest film out there. Because the violence is all true. The images are real. And while this documentary is not perfect and teeters cartoonishly on the edge on self-righteous fervor, there is an undeniable truth in its message. The goal of this film is to disturb you. Watch the trailer and I assure you it will.

Shaun Monson’s unflinching “found-footage” style combined with Joaquin Phoenix’s pleasant, unnerving narration creates a potent reaction. After debating whether or not to include the trailer, I decided to post it for you. But DO NOT WATCH if you don’t think you can handle the sight of a helpless fox, tortured and skinned alive or the boasts of an “animal trainer” who clubs a screaming circus elephant for fun.

“This is horrible but it doesn’t affect me–I don’t do this to animals” is what you’re thinking. But you do. You’re complicit in ways you probably aren’t even aware of. We all are. And that’s what’s so fucking terrifying about this documentary.

The end message wants you to be vegan. And I say, fuck that. Don’t be vegan unless you really, truly want to. Omnivorism isn’t evil. How humans strip other living creatures of dignity and respect by torturing and brutalizing them is. Veganism is just one solution, not THE SOLUTION to lessen animal suffering. You don’t have to be a vegan to boycott Sea World, zoos, and circuses, or not buy products tested on animals. You don’t have to be vegan to take the extra two minutes to grab the certified humane eggs at the grocery store. You don’t have to be vegan to not wear fur. You don’t have to be vegan to support your local farm and butcher, and reject factory farming. You don’t have to be vegan to choose sustainable fisheries over cheaper, mercury-laden seafood from Asia. You don’t have to be vegan to not support fishing that fuels the Thai fishing slave industry. For fuck’s sake activism isn’t an all or nothing exercise!

Where this documentary falls short (as all/most vegan propaganda films do) is providing practical steps for omnivores after delivering its message. Because of that, I can’t give this movie an A. The highest I can rate it is a B. That said, I still encourage you to watch it. Especially if you aren’t aware of any of the issues I previously discussed.

Full disclosure: I had been a vegetarian for ten years prior to watching Earthlings. But after watching it, I became a vegan. So there you go, Mr. Director, Mr. Shaun Monson. Add another “convert” to your roster. As a new vegan, I won’t tell anyone else to follow my path as I became a vegan because I was already attracted to it and had been warming up to the idea for many, many years. Like I said before, you do not have to be a vegan to be a credible ally for animal welfare.

Earthlings isn’t for everyone, although I do think everyone should watch it.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus

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Steve Kozeniewski, Published by Severed Press (2014)

Published by Severed Press (2014)

Buy the book HERE and connect with the author

Amazon – http://amazon.com/author/kozeniewski
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KozAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/outfortune
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7183355.Stephen_Kozeniewski
Blog – http://manuscriptsburn.blogspot.com
Mailing List – http://kozauthor.campayn.com/contact_list_form/signup/10334

The Damsels love when authors submit their books for us to review, especially when it’s well-written speculative fiction. Stephen Kozeniewski’s “Billy and the Cloneasaurus” is biting, thoughtful dystopian fiction from Severed Press. Clones, dinosaurs, and a corrupted “Williamerica” paint a frightening alternate reality where the idea of individuality and capitalism are distorted to the nth degree. It’s a call-to-arms, if you will, and a well-timed one at that. Critics of dystopian fiction always bemoan the genre’s inherent “preachiness” and bitch far too much about the potential for pretentiousness on the authors’ part. Be assured, dear readers, that “Billy and the Clonesaurus” doesn’t fall prey to preachiness or pretentiousness. I would happily say so if it did. Mean-spirited zingers are fun to write but funnier to read. And I do try to please.

The novel’s satirical undertone is entertaining and relevant. HOWEVER (and there must be a capitalized however in any review, right?) given the author’s unsubtle disdain for clichés, I couldn’t help but be irritated by his approach to one of the minor (but which should have been major) characters, which is, perhaps, the novel’s biggest flaw.

SYNOPSIS

Six billion identical clones make up the entire population of Earth, and William 790-6 (57th Iteration) is exactly like everybody else. In his one year of life he will toil in suburban mediocrity and spend as much cash as possible in order to please his corporate masters. When 790’s first birthday (and scheduled execution) finally rolls around, a freak accident spares his life.

Living past his expiration date changes 790 profoundly. Unlike other clones he becomes capable of questioning the futility of his own existence. Seeking answers in the wilderness, he discovers a windmill with some very strange occupants, including a freakish, dinosaur-like monstrosity. Which is especially strange since every animal on earth is supposed to be extinct…

Without giving away spoilers, one of the “occupants” in the mysterious windmill happens to be a woman. And like most dystopian stories (written by men) women are treated as an afterthought to the Grand Political Message or as mere accessories to the Crippling Male Angst that drives the subversive action to its conclusion. Willa suffers from the same fate, unfortunately, which knocked the five-star rating I had going in down to a four.

It seems Willa’s only function is to literally have sex with the male hero. Odd. Because she would be in a better position than any of the other Williams to Save The World (or at least play SOME part in it) due to her radical upbringing and fondness for politics. But no. Willa is just the well-read virgin who waits in her room while her father and Billy make all the important decisions. I’m ignoring the weird incest/clone, uncomfortable age difference here for propriety.

The ending wasn’t surprising or satisfying, but happily-ever-afters and dystopian horror don’t play well together. This book entertained and I would recommend it to lovers of bizarro and speculative fiction. Four stars out of five for “Billy and the Cloneasaurus.”