Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Condemned Cinema, Pt. I - The Boondock Saints

Troy Duffy's The Boondock Saints, a superb action film which challenges the justifications man can make about God. The film follows two-religiously-devoted-brothers whom after a deadly mishap become two-religiously-devoted-baddie-serial-killing-brothers. As their spree of killing continues, they gain a following of people calling them the 'saints' of Boston mainly because they are getting rid of the men in the large crime syndicates. If the two brothers were killing drug dealers, I don't think the people would be too happy considering everyone in Boston deals fucking drugs. Anyway, throughout the film the morality of the men is questioned many, many, many times. Are they good? Are they evil? Are they doing 'God's work'? Director Troy Duffy never gives us a straight answer except for the Saint's own. What they're doing was told to them by God, therefore justifying their murders of the mad men. Now with that said, many readers are probably thinking that the religious wall they hind behind that defends their so called 'divine interventions' with a glock is the major controversy of the film. My answer to that is NO. NO the religious themes are not the controversy. NO the controversy has absolutely nothing to do with any of the dark criminal undertones and homosexual subplots in the film, but about the violence. The violence? What? Since when is violence in America deemed inappropriate?! Since when have perversely violent films been considered 'controversial'? I have a simple answer for that, it lies on a certain date.

April 20th, 1999. Many of you know April 20th as 4/20, but what was the significance of it in 1999? The Columbine High School shooting started at 11:19 a.m. and ended at 12:08 p.m. An episode in American history that shook the very core of every citizen. Two teenage kids, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into their high school with the following weapons: Intratec TEC-DC9, Hi-Point 995 Carbine, Savage 67H pump-action shotgun and a Stevens 311D double barrelled sawed-off shotgun. The two teenagers led a violent rampage which resulted in 15 deaths (including their own suicides) and 24 others injured. What could be considered one of largest the turning points in how America runs their school systems FUCKED The Boondock Saints right in its holy ass. Columbine was a tragedy, that's not what we're discussing here though, what we are discussing is how the American public uses their censorship puppies (MPAA, ESRB, etc.) to slap an NC-17 or an M on anything they don't want widely watched or played. The Boondock Saints received the very worst of it.

After the Columbine massacre the MPAA became very hard pressed against over the top violent films. More films we're being rated R for less amounts of violence then the regular violent R-rated flick. However, none received the frightening NC-17 marker which basically takes a gun and shoots your film in the fucking face. It kills all chances of making a decent box office buck or even a widespread audience. Your only bet is that it plays at the small art house films that aren't prude to the well known extreme amounts of sex Hollywood parades under its belt. The main problem with a film like The Boondock Saints playing at one of those theatres is that mostly old people are the heaviest film goers at the art house cinemas. They like the artsy fartsy shit that I also fancy. With old people though, a film like The Boondock Saints probably wouldn't run over so well. It's extremely violent and perverse. From it's aforementioned homosexual subplots to it's overusage of the word FUCK Saints carries a "DO-NOT-TOUCH-ME" banner on it like a fucking leper.

Once it screened for the MPAA it was automatically slapped with the dreaded NC-17 because the violence was so extreme that the MPAA felt America couldn't handle something like that right after Columbine. It was later edited and re-rated to garner an R-rating and a January of 2000 release. One very faulty fuck up lies in the MPAA's decision though. Columbine occurred in 1999, and 1999 just happens to be my favorite year of film, so I know it pretty well; and if the MPAA didn't feel that the American public was ready for the The Boondock Saints then why the fuck would we be ready for Fight Club (10/19/1999) which centers around an underground terrorist society that eventually starts blowing up buildings and has an ending surrounding extreme amounts of unstable psychological characters. Why would we be ready for Magnolia (12/17/1999) which has large amounts of attempted and successful suicide and a large amount of dark undertones involving but not limited to, murder, deceit, adultery. How the fuck could we be ready for that?! How could we be ready for The Green Mile (12/10/1999) which centers around an enormous African-American man charged with the rape and murder of two little girls and spends the rest of the film on DEATH ROW. The film features scenes of execution and murder. How could we not be shaking in our boots for Girl, Interrupted (12/21/1999) which takes place at a mental institution for other fucked up teenagers who come off suicide and drug binges.

So it's you, MPAA! That I call out against for making the controversy of The Boondock Saints complete fucking bullshit. It's you that keeps the small film down, and the box office bash striving! It's you the kicks the dreams of filmmakers to the curb because their film is too 'edgy' when a month later you approve a more upscale version of it a-okay. So MPAA, fuck you. Instead of writing about The Boondock Saints I could've written about the next film in this series, Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, but you had to go out and create your own controversy for a film you re-rated R for "strong violence, language and sexual content" which is more tame than the film you fucks put out in October under the name of Boys Don't Cry which you stated was R for "violence including an intense brutal rape scene, sexuality, language and drug use." So the new controversy is, was The Boondock Saints as shocking as the MPAA said? Or was it just the fall guy for a slew of box office gold to get theirs?

This has been part one of ten.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

agreed! the movie is great! people shoot each other randomly because it's so easy to get a freaking gun here and nobody cares. the film is brilliant. can't wait till the 2nd comes out. and i'm a girl who usually doesn't like action films.