Episode 422


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It's all fun and games until someone loses their life this week on Dread Media. First up, Webmaster Michael David Sims swings by to play a game of Would You Rather? with Desmond. Then, Devil Dinosaur Jr. plays some Pranks. Rich the Monster Movie Kid swings by to tell us all about the benefits of X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. Desmond comes back to end the show with a Blood Punch. Like any big sports event, there's some kickass tunes to get your blood pumping: "Damned If You Do" by Alice Cooper, "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis" by Trivium, "Fun and Games" by Pennywise, "X-Ray Eyes" by Blue Oyster Cult, "Not the Same" by Hands & Teeth, and "Arc of Violence" by Black Breath. [ 1:53:26 || 54.7 MB ]

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Like the hosts, this has been sitting in my Netflix instant queue and I watched it after a good recommendation from Dread Media.

I just finished this movie and I respectfully disagree with the hosts' take on Would You Rather?

I hated this movie. I hated it.

First of all...

There's no way that Shepard Lambrick and his gang would be able to get away with this in any kind of real-world setting. Someone would call the cops. How do all these disappearances go un-investigated? Especially since they have done this at least once before. Have they paid off the police? Do the police even exist?

Also...

Why would the doctor try to blaze into the house vigilante style instead of calling the cops? Especially since he would know about the armed guards? I guess this movie takes place in the Tiradesverse, where there are no police.

But what ruined the movie for me was the ending.

Not only does Shepard Lambrick get no comeuppance after sadistically torturing and murdering all those people, but the main protagonist's brother, the one for whom she went through the entire game, has committed suicide when she gets back. By the end, I truly hated the villain and I wanted to see him die in some horrible way. Completely unsatisfying.

The ending is completely and unnecessarily cruel and sadistic. If there was a happy ending, maybe this could have been redeemable. But the way it ended leaves me, as the viewer, with absolutely no satisfaction whatsoever.

There are a lot of problems with the Jigsaw character. For example, pretending to not be a murderer after he puts people in traps where someone has to die. Not Amanda, not Hoffman - Jigsaw. Like murdering two SWAT officers via electrocution in Saw II. No "moral choice" at all, just a straight up murder. Before that, in Saw I, he forces Amanda to murder someone to get out of the reverse bear trap. And the "that's a human being" line in Saw VI might just be the stupidest line in cinematic history.

But for all of the problems with Jigsaw, at least his motivation makes sense. He's crazy and evil, but I understand his motivation from his own sick perspective. We don't get a motivation for Shepard Lambrick at all. He's just a purely evil, sadistic, demonic, mustache-twirling caricature who wants to step on as many kittens as possible.

This movie should have taken place in some sort of post-apocalyptic dystopian future. It would have made a lot more sense in that environment.

But I will say this: Jeffrey Combs is an amazing actor. He just oozes slime and evil. even when he is not given anything to work with - and here he wasn't given anything to work with. His character has no depth. He is completely one-dimensional. But even then, he is just delightful to watch in creating a character you love to hate. He is the best thing about this movie, by far.

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The ending is completely and unnecessarily cruel and sadistic. If there was a happy ending, maybe this could have been redeemable. But the way it ended leaves me, as the viewer, with absolutely no satisfaction whatsoever.

In a world where only the tiniest percent of films actually have endings like this, I find it kind of refreshing. Life ain't pretty. It doesn't end nicely. Not every movie should. Especially horror films.

The movie leaves you outraged, and there are people like Lambrick out there. Not these exact same circumstances, but people who benefit from the misery of others, and they never seem to get their comeuppance either. It's kind of nice to see reality reflected in films sometimes instead of having the big bad hauled away by police cursing the dogooders who uncovered his plot.

It's not a film's job to "satisfy" you. It's to entertain, engage, and maybe even provoke thought. There are a shit-ton of "satisfying" films in the theaters every week featuring all kinds of genre tropes (aliens, superheroes, car crashes, etc.) but they aren't very good.

I prefer the other option every time.

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I understand that there are a lot of bad/evil people who never get their comeuppance in the real world. But that's one of the reasons I watch movies or enjoy fiction generally - as an escape from reality. A prosecutor who fabricates evidence in a murder case and sends someone to prison for decades may never spend a day in prison or even be fired from his job in real life. In a movie, I expect to see the bad guy be punished, either legally or extrajudicially. Even Jason and Freddy are defeated at the end of their movies, and Jigsaw was murdered in Saw III.

Speaking of Jigsaw, the reason I brought him up is because the Jigsaw character is similar to the Shepard Lambrick character - torturing people as part of a sick "game" and having a cult following him.

As for the movie's "job," that is up to the individual viewer/consumer. And for me as a consumer, if didn't do its job. For you, as a consumer, it did. Great. You liked he movie. I hated it because of the ending. Had the ending been different, I probably would have a very different view of the movie.

And, again, Jeffrey Combs is spectacular in his role.

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