Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review: American Zombie

Zombies used to scare me when I was a kid. Back in the day (assuming that day was located somewhere around the time Leif Garrett was a household name), zombie movies weren’t even rated. Seminal zombie classic Dawn of the Dead was released in 1978 with the warning that “No One Under 17 Will Be Admitted”.

It made pre-teen horror geeks like myself drool, wondering what brain-searing images might be up on the screen.

They could have just said: "Prepare to get brainfucked through your eye socket" and it may have been more subtle.

Then Michael Jackson (no disrespect, may he rest in peace, sham-on) ruined everything with his dancing zombies in Thriller. Sure it was fun, inventive, and cool. But it made zombies seem, well, silly.

Or more to the point, it made me realize how silly zombies already were. They were slow moving (yeah, I know, not anymore, but we are talking pre-28 days Later) and really dumb. A zombie attack was like being chased by a herd of carnivorous turtles. Anyone dumb and slow enough to get caught and eaten probably should have been thinned from the herd anyway (just as Darwin intended it ... when he created the Universe in 7 days in a laboratory in Cambridge ... it's true ... just read the Bible).

I'm going to eat you ... if you just hold still and wait right there for 20 minutes ... rigormortis acting up in the right hip.

Anyhoo, in 2008 the zombie genre and the mockumentary genre had a mumblecore baby called American Zombie and I finally got around to watching it. Though it hasn't changed my feeling that zombies are silly, I found it to be a thoroughly fun, clever, well acted piece worth an add in your Netflix queue.

We're Here! We're Dead! Get Used to It!

Our protagonist is Grace Lee, an overly-earnest and politically correct documentarian, who teams up with her old college friend John to make a documentary about how zombies are a new political minority seeking its rights.

For all five of you who read my blog (love you guys!!), you know that I have had a hard time with True Blood because of the whole “Vampire Rights as Gay Rights Analogy” thing. It’s clever and funny, but it also bugs, because vampires are predators and(just put me in the humorless liberal club on this one ... something I will be sure to be embarrassed about in 5-10 years) gays are not predators.

So, the idea of a “zombie rights” movie had me a little skeptical from the outset. But, I think filmmaker Grace Lee succeeded in making a very amusing low-budget dark comedy.

The members of the “non-living community” are explained to be misunderstood. They aren’t mindless, flesh eating monsters, but people afflicted with the R428 virus which makes them undead, but still thinking, feeling, and one assumes eating ... er ... something.

Ivan, the perhaps-not-so-terrible

We have Ivan, the overweight teen who works at a convenience store and writes a zine (you gotta love that zombies still have zines!); Judy, an Asian zombie who works for a vegan organic food company; Joel, the revolutionary who leads Z.A.G. – the Zombie Advocacy Group; and Lisa, a middle-aged zombie with a bad dye job.

What makes the film work as a comedy (it’s not a horror movie by any stretch), is that we have a very funny conflict between respectful, painfully P.C. Grace and aggressive, pushy John. John asks the questions that Grace will not out of politeness. Important questions like … do you eat the flesh or brains of the living? It’s all very well played, their resentments well buried deep beneath their calculated filmmaker exteriors.

It also succeeds as a satire of modern urban liberalism. The zombies are all very lefty, sweet-natured, hippie types. But no matter how tame vegan Judy seems as she is tending her organic tomatoes, she is still a fucking zombie right? And, well, zombies are dangerous ... or aren't they?

Judy looking perfectly passive ... but will she cut a bitch?

Zombies as a metaphor for the pacifist left turns out to be quite inspired. Grace seems to be poking fun at us hippie types who have shunned our natural aggression and buried it deep into the psychological shadows, only to have it emerge in neurotic and unexpected places (like having a meltdown when Whole Foods doesn't have the Unsweetened Organic Hemp Milk that you like ... for example ... not speaking from personal experience).

Can zombies be happy as shut down, civilized, TV-watching, passive-aggressive Americans ... or do they need something more? It's a fun question and the movie has fun playing around with it.

American Zombie does a lot with its limited budget. I am not going to nit pick any details that don’t work, because there are so many that do.

It is very well shot, especially considering it is done completely handheld. One scene in particular stands out: As things start to go off the rails and Grace is in the back seat dealing with a crisis, the camera slips and focuses simply on the car window, drops of rain reflecting the flashing lights of cars that pass by. The visuals are meditative and quiet as we listen to the drama unfolding off screen. It’s a lovely, simple and cinematic moment that made me wonder what Grace Lee would be capable of given just a little more money.

Are you listening Hollywood?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GWM, over 30, blond, blue eyes, horror geek, 5'11", 165, Versatile

I am very lucky, albeit lazy, blogger. On a week when my blogging output was lower than Glenn Beck's IQ, two fantabulous bloggers (Totally Jinxed and The Spooky Vegan) have given me The Versatile Blogger Award. See it in all of it's green loveliness below:

So first of all THANK YOU to these talented bloggers for giving me this honor on a week that I felt I really didn't deserve it. It even made Glenn Beck cry when he heard it ... either that or he poked himself in the eye with his sippy cup ...

But now, I must earn it for there be rules attached to said award. Sees them below...

The rules attached to this award are:
• Thank the person who gave it to you (Thanks again, Jinx and Spooky!!)
• Share 7 things about yourself.
• Pass the award along to 15 who you have recently discovered and who you think fantastic for whatever reason.
• Contact the blogs you picked and let them know about the award.

7 Things About Myself:
1) One of my favorite movies is "Joe Versus the Volcano" (I know, but it's seriously a hidden gem and Meg Ryan's best work ... no, I'm serious ... where are you going?)
2) I have an incredibly low threshhold for pain.
3) I'm friends with someone who does those celebutard "body language" interpretations on the TV, which I think is fucking hysterical.
4) I'm also Facebook friends with the guy that wrote Friday the 13th (the original), which makes me love both the Internet and America a little bit more.
5) My cat is named "Ripley" after Ellen Ripley in Alien.
6) I once went on a date with someone who was on the 80s sitcom Head of the Class.
7) I have an almost unnatural fear of imposing rules on others (this will be important later!)
8) I sleep in separate beds.
9) I can't count.

Bloggers that J'Adore:
Like I said, I have a weird aversion to imposing rules on people (see #7 above), and clearly this post proves I have some difficulty following them as well. I know at this point you are probably thinking "Save it hippie", but it's the truth.

But I would like to give some love (and the award) to the following bloggers who are just a bunch of smart coolheads that you should check out. First to the bloggers that gave me this award.

Jinx at Totally Jinxed will just riff on whatever catches her fancy (beards, Ron Perlman, and being David Bowie in Labyrinth) or do an in-depth movie review of a movie I had no idea exists. My Netflix queue grows exponentially just by virtue of her being in my Google Reader. She also seems like an extremely nice person with extremely red hair. And she has a stuffed pirahna. You gotta give it up for girlfriend.

The Spooky Vegan loves Halloween and who doesn't love someone who loves Halloween? She mixes up her Halloween fetishism with handy recipes for those who don't dig the taste of cow mucus and muscle tissue. I can seriously say it is the only place on the internet that will provide an "I Spit on Your Grave" review and a Tuscan Bread Summer Salad recipe in the same week. I know, right? You so want to be her friend.

And here are a list of other bloggers that I think are worthy of the title (in no particular order) and why ...

- the jaded viewer (because he fucking swears alot and I fucking love that.)

- Day of the Woman (because she's like the kid sister I never had ... ok at this point in my life, she could be my daughter ... just don't try to steal her signature "Peace, Love, Brains" sign off, cuz' she will cut a bitch...)

- My New Plaid Pants (I just assume everyone already reads this ... and if you aren't ... why not? Jason Adams is smart, freakin' hysterical and totally mo's out at the sight of Jake Gyllenhall ... or Ryan Reynolds ... or ... well, you get the picture.)

- Billy Loves Stu (Gay horror blogger extraordinaire Pax Romano serves up lots of juicy horror homo tidbits ... I only wish he'd change that darn font color ... )

- Final Girl (because Stacie Ponder is the queen mother of all horror bloggers and has a wit so dry, you need an IV drip)

- Mrs. Hall (because she does starkly confessional blogging, digging down into her human suffering without the predictable ironic distance of most of the blogosphere ... and then will gush about how that Jason Stackhouse - that lean, mean sex machine of True Blood - makes her ladyparts smile. How can you not love?)

- Rick Rossovitch (ok, this guy almost never blogs and each entry has exactly one tag: "stream of consciousness," but I have been obsessed with Mr. Rossivitch since the 80s when he looked like this ...
... to the 90s when he shot his TV show Pacific Blue outside of my house in Venice and fed all my silver fox daddy fantasies while looking like this ...

... and has since apparently retired to work on his house in Ojai and do some random blogging about incredibly random things while looking, er, like this ...
(I would still so be his little mini fire truck, that's alls I'm sayin.)

OK, so Rick doesn't deserve the award, but I've never figured out a proper place to vent my obsession with Mr. Rossovich. So here 'tis. Plus his blog is fascinating in a post-celebrity freak out kind of way.

So, I know that was just 9 and I'm breaking the rules and junk, but please go check out these folks and follow their blogs. It will make you a better person and more people will want to have sex with you just for doing it.

Peace, Love and ... er ... that's all, just Peace and Love...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves: The Viscera Film Festival

Post-Mortem Depression is one of the sponsors (through a modest donation, mind you) of an awesome event in Downtown LA this weekend: THE VISCERA FILM FESTIVAL. If you are in the area and do not have per-existing plans (sadly yours truly does ... cue the loser sound ... WAHWAAAAH!), then you should go check it out:

$15 measly dollars for 35 short films. Plus an after party where you get to hang out with cool filmmakers like Shannon Lark, Stacie Ponder, and Jen and Sylvia Soska (and discuss why I'm such a loser having pre-existing plans during such a cool happening).

So, please go. Because a woman's place is in the director's chair ... not just in front of the camera getting chased by the oogely-boogelys....

Here's the lineup:

4 pm:
Special guests and filmmakers take center stage on the bloody carpet to discuss with Press about their projects and the women in film movement.
4:45 pm:
Shannon Lark and Heidi Martinuzzi introduce the festival. Amber Benson, escorted by Jeff Dylan Graham, presents the Comedic Program.
Drones (Trailer)Amber Benson and Busch – 2:10 minutes
A man discovers a universal threat to his life, job and the planet.
Dead Hooker in a Trunk (Trailer) - Jen and Sylvia Soska – 1:17 minutes
Four unlikely friends discover a dead body in their trunk after a night of heavy partying. Unable to go to the police, they find themselves on the run from the police, the killer, and the devil himself.

Space Girls (Trailer) – Stacie Ponder – 1 minute
SPACE GIRLS is about…well, it’s about girls in space. They shoot ray guns, they fight big monsters, and they fly around in rocket ships.

Sprinkles (Trailer) - Roger A. Scheck and Brooke Lewis – 1:01 minutes
High-priced call girl Maura (Brooke Lewis) has a seemingly chance encounter with a client, Gary (Don Danielson), while on a business trip.

Movie Monster Insurance - Paula Haifley - 3:56 minutes
Isn’t it time you protected your family? Call 666-MONSTER to learn more about Movie Monster Insurance. Do it today. Do it for your family.

BRAINS – Shannon Lark and Amber Steele - 4.09 minutes
A parody of Kelly’s youtube sensation “SHOES.” She’s going to get what she wants!

Confederate Zombie Massacre - Devi Snively - 16:04 minutes
It’s love and gore in the Civil War!

Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day - Faye Hoerauf & Jessica Baxter - 13:33 minutes
When an unexpected snowstorm strikes Seattle, the dead rise from their graves to prey on the city’s helpless citizens. From the confines of their living room, a group of unlikely heroes emerge to stop the flesh-hungry hordes, only to discover that zombies aren’t the only evil they are up against.

Barbee Butcher - Sophie Lagues - :25 seconds
A greenish clay creature cuts a Barbie doll into pieces with the aim of turning itself into a femme fatale … but with unexpected results!

I Spit on Eli Roth - Devi Snively - 5:04 minutes
A cautionary tale about what happens to men who underestimate women in the horror genre.
Heading Home - Jane Rose - 10:30 minutes
Marie knows that terrible things are afoot in her husband’s lab: strange sounds come from behind the door; the butcher brings grotesque deliveries to their house; children are disappearing from town. But will her decision to interfere in Edward’s macabre research unleash an even greater horror?

Taste of Flesh, Taste of Fear - Stacie Ponder - 9:56 minutes
The only thing that could possibly be better than a B-grade lesbian vampire movie is a B-grade lesbian vampire movie made with Dollar Store knockoff Barbie Dolls!

15 minute intermission

Cerina Vincent, escorted by A.J. Bowen, presents the Experimental/Psychological Program.
Ludlow Trailer – Stacie Ponder – :60 minutes
An abused young woman flees her boyfriend in the desert, where she tries to make sense of contradictory memories, experiences, and hallucinations.

The Commune Trailer - Lis Fies - 1:43 minutes
A young virgin finds herself isolated in a remote commune of religious “family” members with a sinister agenda to ensure their supernatural survival.

I’m a Little TeapotSallie Smith - 21 seconds
Explores the connection between childhood memories and the realization of sudden death.
Distraught - Brenda Fies - 5:38 minutes
Fame has its price.
Hollywood Skin - Maude Michaud - 10 minutes
A young woman moves to Hollywood with the hopes of becoming an actress, but slowly descends into madness as she keep accumulating rejections.

Mary Jane Go Round - Ginnetta Correli - 4:21 minutes
Based on the novella called the Lost Episodes of Beatie Scareli.

When Sally Met Frank - Victoria Waghorn - 9 minutes
A satirical love story of women’s obsession with the beauty myth and a fun commentary on our society’s increased desire for homogenization of the masses.

Lip Stick - Shannon Lark and Stacie Ponder - 10:34 minutes
A lonely woman with an overwhelming obsession of masturbation and self deprecation must extricate herself from what consumes her every moment.
Sisters - Belinda Green-Smith - 4:07 minutes
Two Sisters hiking in the woods fall in a vast underground cavern and soon discover they are not alone.

The Date - Jennifer Gigantino and Natasia Schibinger - 2:55 minutes
A blind date goes terribly wrong.

Salome’s Picnic - Victoria Waghorn - 1:00 minute
A passionate couple lie beyond, entwined in a deep embrace, doing what lovers do. Or do they?

Fantasy - Izabel Grondin - 15:09 minutes
Marc and Chantal have nothing in common but for a peculiar fantasy. Tonight they meet for the first time.

Beautiful As You Are - Doug Mallette and Mary Katherine Sisco - 6:10 minutes
A long time TV addict finds his mate.

15 minute intermission

Brea Grant, escorted by Paul Solet, presents the Scary Program.

Legend of the Red Reaper (Trailer) - Jose Zambrano Cassella, Matt Dean, Tara Cardinal - 1.42 minutes
For a thousand years, the Reapers guarded mankind from the demons that wait in the dark. Now, at the beginning of a new age, the Reapers are betrayed and slaughtered. Only one Reaper remains – Red, and she’s out to exact revenge.
Side Effect - Liz Adams - 13 minutes
A blood-curdling tale of science gone wrong in a pill-popping culture where the cure is more deadly than the disease.

The Resurrectionist - Susan Bell - 14:45 minutes
Terrorized by supernatural happenings, Fredrick is at the mercy of an angry ghost as it reveals its chilling story. And the nightmare won’t stop until retribution is found.

17th Man - Yimeng Jin - 23:00 minutes
A dark-tale thriller about a best-selling author haunted by his fictitious femme fatale. When she comes to life after he tries to put an end to her in his final book “The 17th Man”… a psychological mind-game of deception ensues and only one can survive!

Don’t Lose Heart - Matt Mitchell and Talieysn Brown - 10:00 minutes
Lucy wants out, but all the zombies want to do is get in!

Mockingbird - Marichelle Daywalt - 1:40 minutes
Description: Sometimes the most terrifying things are heard, not seen

- Heidi Martinuzzi and Leslie Delano - 20 minutes
Jenny (Jaime Andrews) and her husband Eric (Joe Bob Briggs) sit at a diner eating a cheap meal of burgers, fries and chocolate cake. Through their everincreasing arguments and Jenny’s constant visits to the ladies room, the audience will start to learn how close to losing her sanity Jenny really is, and how oblivious Eric is when it comes to Jenny’s disorder.
Switch - Melanie Light - 4:14 minutes
A man on his drive home from work gets more than he bargains for when he follows a woman into the snowy woods.
Void - Meredith Berg - 20 minutes
Follow an FBI agent into the VOID as she enters a small town where a mysterious killer roams and strange phenomena abound. As her investigation deepens and desperate phone calls to her son go unanswered, she’ll come closer and closer to an inconceivable truth.

Consumed - Lis Fies - 6:20 minutes
Hero is her one and only, forever.

5 minute intermission for voting.
Filmmakers in attendence come up on stage for a 20-minute Q n A!


Viscera Statues will be given to attending Filmmakers.

Cerina Vincent, Brea Grant, and Amber Benson will give out the Awards in Best Direction, Best Cinematography, and Audience Favorite.

Afterparty on the roof till the bar closes!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Head Trauma: Top 10 Willy Inducing Moments

The Horror Digest did a list of the top 10 Willy Inducing moments, prompting Final Girl to follow suit. Since I would follow these two bloggers anywhere (yes even if they jumped off a cliff, Mom), here are mine … (THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD)

10. Suspiria – Leap into razorwire
When our poor non-final girl, Sarah, is chased by an oogely-boogely down the darkened hallways of the spooky dorm, we know she’s gonna get it. The only question is how and when? Suspiria answers both questions with cruel brilliance. Trapped in razor wire, she is helpless against a viscious stabbing.

9. Zombie – Eye meet splinter
Eye trauma is icky. You don’t really see it too much in horror movies. But in Zombie, not only do we have eye trauma … we have drawn out, oh-my-God-I-can’t-watch-it kind of eye trauma. Italians are crazy.

8. Night Train Murders – Knife to the hoo
The only thing worse than eye trauma is hoo trauma. And by hoo, I mean junk, gennies, nads, your means to the nasty. It’s also rare to see in horror. We Americans like our eyes and our hoos … but not those Italians!

7. Carrie – Mama attacks
Carrie White is shy, tender, a raw nerve. You want to take care of her, defend her against her evil Mother and dreadful peers. So when her mom stabs her with a knife, it’s both heartbreaking and willy inducing. “Why mama, why?”

6. Wolf Creek – Head on a Stick
Our resourceful, heroic, and chaste final girl Liz saves her friend Kristy, then goes back into the lion’s den looking for a car. But the sneaky (and unreasonably attractive) filmmaker Greg McLean pulls a fast one. Liz, the goodhearted and brave, gets stabbed in the back by maniacal Mick. He severs her spinal cord, SO SHE CAN FEEL PAIN, BUT CAN'T MOVE. (Wait! She’s NOT our final girl? She’s paralyzed and going to be tortured horribly? She’s now just a head on a stick?) What we don’t see is unimaginable.

5. Audition – That f-in bag
If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. As spoilery as this post has been, I can’t spoil this.

4. Hellraiser – "Jesus Wept"
When skinless masochist asshole Frank Cotton gets caught by the cenobites, we cringe as hooks and chains pull his skin every which way. After a losing battle against his demons, Frank is locked in a metal spider web crucifixion. Knowing he is doomed, he delivers a most chilling line: “Jesus Wept,” then gets pulled apart. Willies!

3. Angel Heart – "Who was the Boy?"
Though the special effects on this movie are dated, it is so frigging creepy and Mickey Rourke and Robert DeNiro are so fucking good that it doesn't matter. By the time the mystery of the voodoo-loving crooner Johnny Favorite is revealed (“WHO WAS THE BOY?!”) and Robert DeNiro reveals himself as Lucifer (with glowing yellow eyes no less) ... and that creepy baby, the willies are crawling all over me.

2. Tie: Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave – THAT scene
Last House on the Left (the original) is in many ways a terrible movie. It is super low budget and has lots of awkward dumb moments. However, the rape and murder scene is so grisly and the aftermath so believable, that it can't help but linger with you. To me, it felt like I witnessed something horrible and did nothing to stop it. I felt implicated in the crime.

I Spit on Your Grave is a better movie in many ways. It is shot better. The acting is better. And the rape scene is even more horrific. The contrast of the suffering of the victim with the good-old-boy tomfoolery of the attackers is devastating. It goes on for WAY too long. Even when you think it should stop. It makes you suffer the way she suffers. Many reviewers had a problem with that. I came away being even more horrified by the brutality of rape.

1. Texas Chainsaw Masacre – Sally’s run
Texas Chainsaw is relentless, weird and unsettling. It sits at the intersection of the Venn diagram between slasher and grindhouse. Leatherface - a hulking he/she, a not-so-hot tranny mess - is but ONE of a family of killers that our final girl Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) has to face. Though Leatherface has his signature chainsaw, his lesser-known brother (known simply as Hitchhiker) has a nasty-ass straight-razor. As Sally is fleeing, Hitchhiker mercilessly slashes at her over and over again, cutting her back as she flees. I just want to scream at the screen “Leave her alone! She’s suffered enough!” But this movie has no mercy and always leaves me exhausted by the time we get to this horrific willy inducing finale.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hideous Linky

File this under "Things I should Love, but Don't" .... True Blood.

I know, I know. It's got gaysexiness up the wazoo and vampires and werewolves and all that. I know, I know. Bad gay horror geek.

Billy Loves Stu has a nice overview of the link between teh gay and teh vampire that is ages old.

It makes me feel even more guilty for having given up on it after Season 1. I don't even want to get into why I don't love it or why the last episode of season one made me throw up my hands and delete the Episode recording from my DVR.

It is the trifecta of horror, funny and gaysexiness and all the things that I should love.

But it goes down like ice cream, pickles and pizza to me. Things that I like separately, but when put all together ... not-so-much.

I want to love. I just can't. I have my reasons.

Off Topic: Why I f-in HATED 'The Hangover'

I like to think of myself as a reasonable person. I'm pro-homo without being anti-hetero. I'm a leftie, but don't always disagree with my Republican friends about everything. I'm an athiest, but support Christian organizations that do things that I am unwilling or unable to do -- like feed the poor in Africa.

So when I find myself in a minority opinion, it rarely is anything that would dip below the 35% of polled Americans rate. Not to say that this is a good thing, but it is generally true.

Well, The Hangover changed that. With its Certified Fresh rating from, fawning reviews, and gonzo box office, I can neither deny nor fathom its popularity.

I loathed this movie so deeply and completely that I felt sort of like I did after the 2004 elections. I had a sense that the world had gone mad. Like the Presidential debates that year, I just kept wondering if I was watching the same show as everyone else.

And it isn't just that I'm simply too gay to get the rowdy hetero bromance aspect of the script. I really liked director Todd Phillips' first effort Old School (despite the over-the-top gay blow job instructor). I think he's a good director. Like that film, this one is expertly shot and the performances are all solid.

My problem is in the script by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore ... specifically the theme of the story.

Whether you like it or not, all movies are morality tales. No matter how awful the behavior of our protagonists, they are our avatars. They get to do the things that we can't (or at least shouldn't). We are able to experience their misadventures without the repercussions.

But the protagonists MUST experience the repercussions. Whether their flawed humanity is played for humor, horror, or drama, they either learn the lesson and triumph or they don't and suffer.

But in The Hangover, we are forced on a road trip with four douchebags who act like utter turds AND DON'T LEARN A FUCKING THING.

It all starts out with a promising comedy setup, mind you. The four protagonists get fucked up in Vegas during a rowdy bachelor party. They wake up with broken furniture, broken bones, a tiger, a chicken, a baby etc. The plot revolves around figuring out what happened and getting the groom to the wedding.

As the movie progressed, I was surprised to discover that the comedy smash of 2009 was not making me laugh. The comedy was lost on me. I just kept thinking what fucking assholes these guys were. Zack Galifianakis is a seriously disturbed whack-job who drugs his friends and is also a pedophile who ends up in charge of the baby (COMEDY!). Bradley Cooper plays a narcissistic douche who puts them all in constant danger for some pathetic shot at recapturing his youth. Ed Helms plays a henpecked nerd who can't stand up to his wife.

Among our antagonists is Mr. Chow, a lisping Asian stereotype that plays like a live-action re-enactment of Mr. Magoo's sidekick Charley. He spouts inspired lines like "What you talking about Willis?" (AUTHOR!). And of course we have comic genius Mike Tyson playing himself.

I hated all of them -- protagonists and antagonists alike. I was hoping that I would at least get the satisfaction of watching them suffer consequences and grow up a bit. But that was not to come. I was about to learn that in the moral universe of The Hangover, things are a little different.

In every movie, there is a theme. Even in an immoral universe, there is a theme. For instance in The Godfather, the theme would be "Family first." Most films, at some point, will explicitly state the theme. This is where we learn what the moral center of the story is.

In The Hangover, the theme is (appropriately?) stated my Mike Tyson. Yes, it's the morally grounded Mike Tyson (who bit off a man's ear and beat his wife) who shrugs off our douche-tagonists' shenanigans and states the theme:

"We all do dumb shit when we're fucked up."

That's it! Not, "Hey you middle-aged assholes are in need of serious self-examination, perhaps a twelve-step program or (in Zack's case) medication."

"We all do dumb shit when we're fucked up."

Like a Douche ex Machina, Mr. Tyson solves everyone's problem by telling them that they aren't the problem. Apparently causing thousands of dollars in property damage and putting your friends and a baby in mortal danger for no frickin' reason is cool ... as long as you are drunk.

drunk guy totally passed out"We all do dumb shit when we're fucked up."

Take that Mothers Against Drunk Driving!

"We all do dumb shit when we're fucked up."

If douchebaggery ever needed a statement of principle, they now have it.

"We all do dumb shit when we're fucked up."

It's at this point in the movie that I started actively rooting for the protagonists to die.

And don't even get me started on the three female characters, of which there are three types: (1) Shrew (too hard), (2) Hooker/Stripper (too soft), (3) Overly understanding fiance with "boys will be boys" attitude (just right!).

So everything sort of works out for our unlikeable protagonists. Bradley Cooper is off the hook for instigating the whole nightmare. Ed Helms dumps his wife for the stripper/hooker (WIN!). The groom somehow forgives all of his friends by the time his wedding starts, so he's as dubious as the rest of them. Zack Galifianakis, I assume, lives to molest again (HILARIOUS SEQUEL POTENTIAL!).

So there it is. Why I hate this movie. It's now off my chest. I'm among a small minority, but I won't be quiet any longer. And if you don't like it, talk to my Grandma...