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.

Blood Beat

Blood Beat. Fabrice Zaphiratos, 1982.
Edition screened: Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray #191, released 2017. English language. Runtime approximately 86 minutes.

Summary: Desecration of a deer’s body.

1) Dead deer lying (can you guess?) in the back of a pickup, 04:02-04:19.
2) Deer’s body hanging from a tree while a social deviant plays with its entrails, beginning at 06:07. Then some kinfolk buffoons pull up in a bitchin’ mucus car, and they all have family chat around the carcass through 8:04.
3) A final nostalgic look back on the gutted deer hanging from a tree, 57:21-57:27.

Disregarding the hunting porn, Blood Beat remains a total stinker. The extensive documentation of interiors in two rural 1980s houses is very accurate, shockingly so, as though the director gained permission to just set up cameras in real retarderies. This might lend Blood Beat its only social or entertainment value: Hey, you know those fat smelly guys who don’t shave and wear filthy baseball hats 24/7? What do the insides of their houses look like? What kind of furniture do they have, and how do they organize their housewares and store their linens? Here you go.

The VS release also includes a 28-minute Silent Version remix of Blood Beat, plus the well-intentioned short film L.U.N.C.H. by the director’s son, the former retaining all the deer porn of the original, the latter being a completely different and cruelty-free effort.