Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Horror Show

homecoming2Best Halloween viewing to commemorate the deaths of 103 Americans in Iraq during October 2006?

Hands down it's got to be Joe Dante's zombie movie Homecoming, a primal scream at what may go down in history as America's most hideously wanton war:
"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what a fucking mess we're in," (Dante) continues. "It's been happening steadily for the past four years, and nobody said peep. The New York Times and all these people that abetted the lies and crap that went into making and selling this war-—now that they see the guy is a little weak, they're kicking him with their toe to make sure he doesn't bite back. It's cowardly. This pitiful zombie movie, this fucking B movie, is the only thing anybody's done about this issue that's killed 2,000 Americans and untold numbers of Iraqis? It's fucking sick."
After all the whining on the Right about Hollywood's liberal bias, you'd think we'd have seen movies like this coming out a dime a dozen, but we haven't. Why? Because, as is the case with many Republicans, Hollywood is motivated by the profit margin, and making anti-war statements, especially in today's political climate, is self-immolation. Dante himself recognized it:
"You can't do theatrical political movies; people don't go to them. You can't do them on television, because you've got sponsors," he says. "Michael Moore's last picture made a lot of money, but he was vilified for it so much he's practically in hiding."

Dante hopes Homecoming functions as a wake-up call—not so much for politicians but for filmmakers. "If this spurs other people into making more and better versions, it will have done its job. I want to see more discussion," he says. "Nobody is doing anything about what's going on now—compared to the '70s, when they were making movies about the issues of the day. This elephant in the room, this Iraq war story, is not being dramatized."
The movie itself veers wildly between satire and tears; the scene in the diner between an older couple and a dead soldier they call out of the rain is unexpectedly touching. I can't think of any movie more fitting for the day, and the election season, than one about the dire necessity of voting these bastards out of office, even if one has to come back from the dead to do it.

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