27 January 2014

Two Hours of Guilt


Horror movies don't horrify me for the most part because they're bland and shit and I tend to find myself relating to the killer. I think these days the studios generally care more about cheap shocks than actual scares and so spend less time creating relatable characters and more time deciding how many ways there are to stab a person in the tits. Instead of ‘characters’ we now have these airheaded mongtards that say and do things so stupid that you want them to get their face ripped off just to shut them the fuck up. To change the subject slightly there are also period films which I have issues with because they can also be a bit po-faced and worthy. I'll honestly watch any film with an open mind but if it involves a Queen who died over a hundred years ago then the odds are it's going to be a proper bitch to get through. Just three hours of people staring out of a window whilst contemplating their duty and whinging like the boring twats that they are. However I'm pleased to announce that in an effort to address both these issues, a character driven horror/period film has just been released which is set during the ever so cheerful period of the slave trade. If you're white and fancy feeling guilty as fuck for a couple of hours then I can't recommend 12 Years a Slave strongly enough.

Okay, so to summarise.. the film is set in America before their civil war and so at a time when owning people was a perfectly acceptable past-time. Solomon Northup is a free black chap just living his life and indulging in his basic human rights as though he thinks we're all allowed to be equal. Well as nice a thought as this is, he quickly ends up with egg on his face as he wakes up one morning to find himself chained to a floor after an evening out on the piss with two shady gents. Don't you just hate it when you treat yourself to one night of getting rat arsed with strangers and then before you know it you've been stripped and sold into slavery just because you had the God damn nerve to be black... It's happened to the best of us I guess! Anyway, from this point on Solomon finds himself being thrown from pillar to whipping post by his various masters who bat him back and forth like a dark ping-pong ball during a bigots game of wiff-waff. With his owners varying in unkindness on 'The Great Twat-ometer Of Evil' and over the course of twelve years Solomon patiently waits for an opportunity to escape as though all the horrendous abuse isn't quite his idea of a good time. I won't ruin what happens by saying whether or not he does manage to get away in the end and so to find out, you'll either have to watch the film or read the book that it's based on which was written by the man himself several years later... Or you could just work it out from that I suppose.

I can whip you or we can watch Jonah Hex.. you choose!
Anywho, so obviously this movie probably wouldn't technically be labelled as a horror film but after enduring it for two hours it really fucking should be. Like I said, it takes a lot to horrify me but the graphic depiction of how we crackers used to treat black people really was nothing short of demented. It's one thing to know that people used to get whipped but it's another to see it happen to a young woman whose only crime was being owned by a wealthy-but-mental knobend. Seeing pieces of her back flick off was absolutely horrendous as she screamed for death in an unforgiving sequence that was so much more powerful than any mere history book could possibly ever get across to me... and not just because I don't read history books. If this film has a purpose beyond simply re-telling the story of Solomon Northup it's also to remind our species of just how cruel we can be and have been to anybody we outnumber. In fact, the movie was so miserable in its depiction of our inhumanity that it reminded me of one of those dystopian sci-fi films in which society has gone to shit and we're all rounded up and tortured by either broken, naked robots or damned dirty apes. Except instead of being completely fictitious, this is a true story, has already happened and the evil cunts were us.

The treatment of the slaves is shown in all its mad bastard grimness with the owners and traders beating down on their hostages with more force and fury than a teenaged boy at a regional wank-a-thon. When I first got my dog she used to shit in the house and so to stop her doing it I was told to shove her nose into the mess. However because I'm not a psychopath I couldn't do that and so instead next time she took a kitchen dump I pointed it out to her and then flicked her on the nose. That was seven years ago and I still feel guilty about it now even though all she did was look at me with mild curiosity and briefly wondered why I'd just been such a bell-end to her. My point is that I really regret something my dog would have forgotten about a minute later and so how in God's name could those owners treat the slaves with such violence and so little empathy? Maybe this is one aspect that 12 Years A Slave doesn't really delve into as it seems more concerned with what happened than why it happened. Of his various owners, Solomon finds himself belonging to Benedict Cumberbatch who is depicted as being fairly sane however even he at his kindest still owns people and so is complicit to the cruelty being inflicted throughout the system. The basic equation to work it out is simply One person + People owned = One ignorant fucknugget. Although no reason for how we can be so horrible is suggested beyond a mass mental illness of the collective honky mind, though religion seems to be a common defence for it. Cumberbatch and Solomon's next owner Fassbender both quote the Bible as a way of justifying their own dickishness because if God says it's right then it damn well must be. To be honest, it'd be easy to blame God for allowing the slave trade to happen considering he's omnipotent but as he's also a fictional character that's been spunked into the world by our paranoid minds, I guess we're still at least a little responsible.

What do you mean Brad Pitt is in this film?!
These reasons above are why I think 12 Years a Slave is a pretty mental horror film and obviously also a great period piece. Somebody else could have made this as a bland, watered down slab of Oscar bait rather than the traumatic slice of shitty life that it is and so let’s all be grateful that Lee Daniel's and Oprah Winfrey were busy. Although that's not to say that it won't necessarily win any Oscars by the way, just that if it does it'll be by being true to itself and not because it was already lubed up and gaping for the voters pleasure. It's directed by Steve 'not that one' McQueen, who has brought the same kind of unflinching tone over from his previous films however this time adding the odd flash of influence from Terrence Malick. In case you've not seen a Malick film, this basically means that every time something interesting happens then you cut to a shot of some grass for ten minutes to highlight how important everything is. His previous film Shame very nearly put me off ever jizzing again and so if you've ever dreamed of legally being somebodies bitch then maybe give this one a bit of a miss. Everything about his direction here is pretty spot-on from the framing to the pacing to the performances with a hanging scene being a particularly great way of demonstrating the nonchalant horror of the time. In fact despite the hanging scene lasting a good few minutes, the film affected me so strongly that I'm not even going to make a David Carradine wanking joke about it... which is a shame because I have a good one too. However as well as direction, the other thing that makes this film so powerful is of course the cast who are all pretty much perfect. Chiwetel Ejiofor is brilliant, Fassbender is excellent, Cumberbatch is great and Brad Pitt... well he definitely turned up... so fuck it- lets stick Pitt’s face on the poster!

Anyway to wrap all this up I suppose I can't stress enough how important this film is and how much you should see it. I had a snack to eat during it and I have honestly never felt more awful in my life for chowing down on a chocolate flake as some starving black guy got branded by an evil land baron. I'd been waiting for the one moment I could have it but in the end I had to just eat before my treat melted. The whole situation was a real tragedy. Once a year we hold a minute’s silence for those who have died during all the wars however after seeing 12 Years a Slave I think we should start having one days silence a month to repent for our bastard ancestors actions during this unforgivable shit stain on history. Although having said that, I suppose it does seem to be coming kind of common place at the minute to make films about slavery. I won't bother comparing 12 Years a Slave to Django Unchained though because so many other people already have, this blog is already way to long and I'm dying for a piss right now. To summarise- they're completely different to each other. There was also Lincoln which came out recently but although I haven't seen it, I think I might have to if only to try and restore any faith in our horrible, horrible species. I used to worry about the inevitable expansion of the Sun one day destroying everything humanity has worked towards however now I worry that by the time it happens we nasty cunts might have worked out a way of surviving. See this film and feel the guilt!

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