Heads Up, Ears Down

This blog accurately identifies depictions of violence and cruelty toward animals in films. The purpose is to provide viewers with a reliable guide so that such depictions do not come as unwelcome surprises. Films will be accurately notated, providing a time cue for each incident along with a concise description of the scene and perhaps relevant context surrounding the incident. In order to serve as a useful reference tool, films having no depictions of violence to animals will be included, with an indication that there are no such scenes. This is confirmation that the films have been watched with the stated purpose in mind.


Note that the word depictions figures prominently in the objective. It is a travesty that discussions about cruelty in film usually are derailed by the largely unrelated assertion that no animals really were hurt (true only in some films, dependent upon many factors), and that all this concern is just over a simulation. Not the point, whether true or false. We do not smugly dismiss depictions of five-year-olds being raped because those scenes are only simulations. No, we are appalled that such images are even staged, and we are appropriately horrified that the notion now has been planted into the minds of the weak and cruel.


Depictions of violence or harm to animals are assessed in keeping with our dominant culture, with physical abuse, harmful neglect, and similar mistreatment serving as a base line. This blog does not address extended issues of animal welfare, and as such does not identify scenes of people eating meat or mules pulling plows. The goal is to itemize images that might cause a disturbance in a compassionate household.


These notes provide a heads-up but do not necessarily discourage watching a film because of depicted cruelty. Consuming a piece of art does not make you a supporter of the ideas presented. Your ethical self is created by your public rhetoric and your private actions, not by your willingness to sit through a filmed act of violence.

Baby Cart at the River Styx

Baby Cart at the River Styx (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx/Kozure Ôkami: Sanzu no kawa no ubaguruma). Kenji Misumi, 1972.
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Edition screened: Included in Criterion Blu-ray box set #841, Lone Wolf and Cub, released 2016. Japanese language with English subtitles. Runtime approximately 81 minutes.

Summary: No particular depictions of violence or harm to animals.

This is the second of six films in the original Lone Wolf and Cub series.

Baby Cart in Peril

Baby Cart in Peril (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril/Kozure Ôkami: Shinikazeni mukau ubaguruma). Saito Buichi, 1972.
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Edition screened: Included in Criterion Blu-ray box set #841, Lone Wolf and Cub, released 2016. Japanese language with English subtitles. Runtime approximately 81 minutes.

Summary: No particular depictions of violence or harm to animals.

This is the fourth of six films in the original Lone Wolf and Cub series.

Baby Cart in the Land of Demons

Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons/Kozure Ôkami: Meifumadô). Kenji Misumi, 1973.
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Edition screened: Included in Criterion Blu-ray box set #841, Lone Wolf and Cub, released 2016. Japanese language with English subtitles. Runtime approximately 88 minutes.

Summary: No particular depictions of violence or harm to animals.

This is the fifth of six films in the original Lone Wolf and Cub series.

Baby Cart to Hades

Baby Cart to Hades (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades/Kozure Ôkami: Shinikazeni mukau ubaguruma). Kenji Misumi, 1972.
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Edition screened: Included in Criterion Blu-ray box set #841, Lone Wolf and Cub, released 2016. Japanese language with English subtitles. Runtime approximately 89 minutes.

Summary: No particular depictions of violence or harm to animals.

This is the third of six films in the original Lone Wolf and Cub series.

Baby Rosemary/Hot Lunch

Baby Rosemary/Hot Lunch. John Hayes, 1976-1978.
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Edition screened: Vinegar Syndrome DVD #040 Peekarama: Baby Rosemary/Hot Lunch, released 2014. English language. Cumulative runtime approximately 149 minutes.

Summary: No depictions of violence or harm to animals in either feature.

Baby Rosemary. John Hayes as Howard Perkins, 1976, approximately 78 minutes. 4/5
Hot Lunch. John Hayes as Harold Perkins, 1978, approximately 81 minutes. 2.5/5

Babyface

Babyface. Alex de Renzy, 1977.
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Edition screened: Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray #156, released 2016. English language. Runtime approximately 106 minutes.

Summary: No depictions of violence or harm to animals. 5/5

Babyface is one of Vinegar Syndrome’s best. The release also includes de Renzy’s short film Parochial Passion Princess (no animal violence).

Bad Day at Black Rock

Bad Day at Black Rock. John Sturges, 1955.
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Edition screened: Warner DVD, released 2005. English language. Runtime approximately 81 minutes.

Summary: Display of a deer carcass.


Details: In this extremely realistic fiction, two men who would kill you in an instant drive into town all smiles with a dead deer strapped to their car,11:14-11:40, as though that were an appropriate inclusion in one day in one’s life.

Bag Boy Lover Boy

Bag Boy Lover Boy. Andres Torres, 2014.
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Edition screened: Severin Blu-ray, released 2017. English language. Runtime approximately 78 minutes.

Summary: No particular depictions of violence or harm to animals.

The Severin Blu-ray also includes two short films featuring, and presumably written and directed by, Bag Boy Lover Boy star Jon Wachter. Got Light? (1:13) is a silent black-and-white comedy about a sexual encounter gone very wrong, and The Never-Starting Story (1:22) is a “nothing happens” movie with amusing director commentary. 

Bal

Bal (Honey). Semih Kaplanoğlu, 2010.
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Edition screened: Included in Artificial Eye box set The Yusef Trilogy, released 2011. Turkish language with English subtitles. Runtime approximately 100 minutes.

Summary: Comparatively minor display of animal carcasses.

Details: Stagnant view of men working the Butchering exhibit at a Turkish heritage festival, 1:21:22-1:21:30.

Although not graphic, this unnecessary inclusion of irrelevant butchering is unfortunate in a film otherwise filled with understated spirituality and magical realism.

Baron Blood

Baron Blood (Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga). Mario Bava, 1972.
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Edition screened: Arrow Blu-ray, released 2013. Original English or Italian language options, and even a German version with English subtitles. Runtime approximately 98 minutes.

Summary: No depictions of violence or harm to animals.

A movie involving witchcraft and spells, seeking out a contemporary witch to help revenge an old witch, a haunted castle, and general terrorizing of the populace . . . with no bloody animals left on front steps. Hard to believe.

The Baron

The Baron. Gareth Tunley, 2013.
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Edition screened: Included on Arrow Blu-ray The Ghoul, released 2017. English language. Runtime approximately 9 minutes.

Summary: No animals or references to animals in the film.


A very amusing short film. Recommended.

Bartholemew, the Strangler

Bartholemew, the Strangler. Gorman Bechard, 1983.
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Edition screened: Included on Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray #185 Psychos in Love, released 2017. English language. Runtime approximately 7 minutes.


Summary: No animals or references to animals in the film.

Basket Case

Basket Case. Frank Henenlotter, 1982.
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Edition screened: Included in Second Sight Blu-ray set Basket Case: The Trilogy, released 2016. English language. Runtime approximately 90 minutes.


Summary: No depictions of violence or harm to animals.

Basket Case 2

Basket Case 2. Frank Henenlotter, 1990.
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Edition screened: Included in Second Sight Blu-ray set Basket Case: The Trilogy, released 2016. English language. Runtime approximately 90 minutes.

Summary: No depictions of violence or harm to animals.

I rather enjoyed BC 2, almost as much as I hated BC3. Basket Case 2 is the Godfather II of Basket Case movies, but with far more JØLT Cola product placement.

Basket Case 3: The Progeny

Basket Case 3: The Progeny. Frank Henenlotter, 1992.
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Edition screened: Included in Second Sight Blu-ray set Basket Case: The Trilogy, released 2016. English language. Runtime approximately 90 minutes.

Summary: No depictions of violence or harm to animals.

Jim O’Doherty as “Little Hal” does a great job delivering about 20 seconds of fast, well-written comedy lines. Carla and Carmen Morrell pack more sexual satisfaction into their 20-second cameo than most under-clothed actresses deliver in an entire movie. But that’s it.  If you’re not interested to limit your viewing of Basket Case 3 to just those 40 seconds, then skip it all together. The remaining 89 minutes and 20 seconds is like sitting through some Steven Spielberg movie shot on a tight budget. And I love the silent H in sitting.