Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rat Finke A Boo Boo

I asked you to e-mail Nikki Finke about her comments regarding Hostel 2. I don't know if anybody did, but I do know she e-mailed me. Here's the full text of her mail:

[EDIT: Except, actually, it is apparently preferable for me to paraphrase her comments rather than repeat them verbatim - that's what people leaving comments and sending e-mails have told me. So I have delted the text Nikki Finke sent, as requested by the baying hordes, and will tell you instead just what it was she was going on about.

Her evidence for Hostel 2 being 'disgusting' (applied as a clear perjorative) consisted of two easily dismissible points - one, that the first film was thoroughly 'miscreant' (which is debatable, anyway, but at least appears to be based upon her viewing of the first film - unless anybody knows better and can tell me she hasn't even seen that one); and two, that Eli Roth has commented on how the second film is more violent. Well, Ms. Finke - Hamlet and Macbeth are more violent than a touring stage production of Scooby Doo and his Amazing Van-Lovin' Gang but that doesn't render either of them disgusting.

She commented on Roth being proud that Hostel 2 is disgusting. I dare say he is: he wouldn't want to make a film about such suffering, pain and cruelty without these things disgusting the audience. That's very different, of course, than the film being disgusting in a negative way. And if Roth says 'disgusting' there's his Barnum-and-Bailey hyping of the film to take into account too... he's certainly not taking an uninformed pot-shot at the film from some morally questionable viewpoint.

She calls the film unreasonably violent and misogynist. I question how misogynist the first film was, and certainly the second, as I have yet to see it - but I'm sure that Hostel, part one, is not unreasonably violent at all. In fact, I think it was rather reasonably violent. What's unreasonable about torture and murder being painful, visceral and stomach churning? Would she rather it was dressed up like mass murder in less searching and responsible films - The Matrix, Die Hard 2, Lake Placid?

Finally, Ms. Finke says she will support the induglence of a creative vision but not necessarily like it - which, of course is fine. The problem is her blind condemnation of this vision and it's fruits without any evidence or genuine knowledge]

So, of course, I had to reply. Here's my reply:

If you haven't seen it, you simply cannot say it is disgusting.

You can say that you expect it to be disgusting, even that you'd bet your life on it being disgusting, but you cannot say that it IS disgusting.

How a film about torture can be described as 'unreasonably violent' I'll never know; and, of course, violence and torture are as valid a subject matter for a film as anything else.

'Torture porn' - please.

I'd love to see your comments after you've seen Hostel 2. I've no doubt they'd be the same but at least then you'd have something substantial to base your case upon. And should your case still not be based upon the film, you'll have given us another good flash of your true colours.

I suspect the film itself will never play much of a part in forming your opinion.

And, so far, that's that. Please do add any further comments you have by e-mailing them to Ms. Finke (nikkifinke at and why not add me to the cc field? (brendonconnelly at


Anonymous said...

why would you paraphrase her comments?

what kind of insecure morons would deman you censor her?

and why would you?

Brendon said...

I did it so that I could prove a point: they'd rather I had the opportunity to warp her words than she be allowed to speak for herself.

I didn't warp her words, but paraphrasing them certainly gave me the opportunity. And those asking for this thought they were acting in her defense!

Very confusing.