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  • The Young One

    The Young One

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The end of The Young One resembles the end of a typical mid-sixties race-issue movie like The Defiant Ones or In the Heat of the Night. Miller helps Traver escape a lynch mob that’s after him on trumped up rape charges. But his choice does not represent any spiritual growth or moral awakening. If anything, his decision represents a slippery evasion -it means he won’t have to face up to his crimes. 

    If you squint hard enough, it looks like…

  • Westworld

    Westworld

    If this movie represented the real world, who would be the robots, who would be the tourists, who would be the technicians, and who would be the Delos Corporation? Assuming the world is under control, it has to be controlled by someone for the benefit of someone else at the expense of others. In spite of the old west hokum, Westworld still resonates because of the paranoia-inducing class structure it lays out. 

    It’s ironic that such an exploitative system would…

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  • The Grapes of Death

    The Grapes of Death

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    “Have you noticed that men seem to be more affected by it?”

    In Grapes of Death, a commercial industrial process turns the inhabitants of a rural village into puss-oozing murderous cretins. But the film is more than just a Marxist allegory because it uses gender, rather than class, as a source of dread and paranoia. 

    The film begins when a poor vineyard worker is made sick by an insecticide he is spraying on the vines. The owner tells him to…

  • A Shock to the System

    A Shock to the System

    Tickling people’s shameful fantasies and desires under the pretense of offering something of redeeming social value is an old trick. Before pornography was widely available, traveling tent shows offered lectures on ‘reproductive health.’ Carnivals often dressed up freak shows with pseudo scientific jargon which probably made people feel a bit better about gawking at a two-headed baby in a jar (which was probably fake anyway).

    Satire can serve a similar sanitizing function. It helps to have the distance that satire…