Movies

Going to a Western Horror Show

Boy is Ed, my neighbor next door, spooked right along with me. Fact is, I’m still trying to get my stomach to stop rolling around as thoughts come back to haunt me. I can’t say if it has happened to others, but both Ed and I found ourselves gasping as we cringed through endless graphic killings in the movie “Django Unchained.” Ed never goes to the movies, at least hasn’t for twenty years. I am feeling guilty that it was me who said to him, “Come with me to the movie. I think it’s a western about bounty hunters!”

What does it take to get two grown men feeling sick to their stomachs? Well, from the first segments of the movie, brutality and sudden killing slaps you in the face. This movie is a horror film in that the director leaves nothing to the imagination, but puts the audience ankle deep in the middle of killing and blood and gore. If murder and mayhem are what audiences want, Ed and I are the exceptions. Turns out, the movie is about two bounty hunters: Django, a runaway slave, and the man who frees him, a German named Dr. King Schultz. He frees Django so he can identify three men the German wants to collect bounties on.

It seems to me, no one is likable in this whole sad movie. Schultz and Django team up as bounty hunters who shoot from a distance or face to face the outlaws they are hunting, without any concern for taking them alive. In old westerns, they would be lower than dirt for their calculated, cold-blooded murder of outlaws for the price on their heads. When the pair set off to rescue Django’s wife, who is a slave, the movie goes from bad to worse. Whites in the south come to the screen as sadists, morons or absolute monsters that watch in joy as a runaway slave is torn apart by dogs. Slave owners are nightmare characters who watch their slaves fight and win their match by breaking the bones of their opponent. Their owners then give them a hammer to finish the job. By the end of the movie, Django has freed his wife and killed so many people he comes across as just one more monster like everyone else in the movie.

I have been reading on the internet and it says, “Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’, slave saga is a Best Picture Oscar nominee.” Ed and I say yes, it is worth an Oscar for making people want to heave and for showing people at their worst. The date at the beginning of the movie says 1853 and today slavery is outlawed, but sadly, gory movies of endless killings are box office hits here in 2013.

Movies are not actual truth and can be dismissed. Not so with God. The Bible warns that at any time people can know of God but not glorify Him or give thanks for Him. Their thinking can be futile -full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They become God-haters, senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. What a sad, sorrowful thing when these things rule lives. Thankfully, God is about forgiveness, love, mercy and serving others and there is real hope in these.

 

 

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Raymond Maher
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