When I was writing my review of 2001 Maniacs earlier, it occured to me why the genre has taken such a distinct hit in quality over the last few years. The most public cause is the evolution of the film industry. Everything is numbers these days. If a picture breaks the bank, the next day 7 other movies just like it are greenlit. Inevitably, everything gets homogenized and the meat grinder turns out the same processed sludge time and time again.
While that is true, it doesn’t account for why directors can’t direct or writers can’t write. Numbers still explain it, but not box office reciepts. Birthdays. It’s all about time and age. And The Boobie Paradox.
When you were a teenager and were watching a horror movie with your buddies, what stood out most? It was never, ever the plot or film structure. It was the hint of a bare breast. That is all that mattered at the time. We watched horror movies to see the things we weren’t allowed to see or think about in middle/high school life. And our teenaged brains were exageratting computers. Any input was instantly altered and stored differently. Movies were recounted to friends as bursting with nudity, when in reality there was maybe a minute or two of partially clothed sex.
And that’s how we remembered the genre. Nothing was remembered at an accurate scale. Nudity was never ending. At that age it is a mathematical impossiblity for a male’s memory to not exponentionally multiply the amount of breasts a movie actually has. I dub this irrefutable scientific principle the Boobie Paradox.
Those guys who were teens 15-20 years ago are the horror directors of today. They’re still clinging to their false memories that ’80s horror was overflowing with sex and violence. And it shows in their movies, in an all too crippling way. You can’t just have a peep show, you’ve got to have full monty.
Not that ’80s horror was without its share of nudity. It was a hallmark of the genre, no doubt. But it was fleeting on screen. It was rarely explicit in nature (I’m talking only studio fare here, not grindhouse stuff). And it was, dare I say, tasteful. It was sexuality and it worked.
Now it’s just broken. The equation is out of balance. The X is out of proportion. The nudity doesn’t balance the characters anymore. Sexuality is forfeit to unnecessary physicalities. And it hurts the genre. Oh, how it hurts! Nothing kills the suspension of disbelief like a bunch of tits out of nowhere.
Anyways, in summation: Teenagers who grew up are killing the horror genre. And breasts.