Rated R for a disturbing sexual assault of a young girl, and brief
Fanning stars in Empire Film Group's Hounddog -
I have seen some horrible
movies in my time. It's not hard when you consider that my career
has been mostly spent covering horror and science fiction titles,
and you can be pretty sure that I have seen some horrible things
in my time. I have seen human eyes cut and punctured. I have seen
scenes of torture so horrifying that even war crimes tribunals
might well vomit in anguish if they got footage of it.
I have seen Ulli Lommel
But none of this was
sufficient preparation for a little film from the Empire Film
Group called Hounddog. Perhaps I am just a prude, but watching
a ten year old girl (I'm guessing Dakota Fanning is playing a
ten year old girl) require an eight year old boy to expose himself
in exchange for a kiss is at least approaching a line of decency
that I'd rather not cross. The term "pedophile bait"
occurs to me, but this was not to be the end of the things that
made me cringe.
Oh, no... that particular
honor was to be reserved for partially off camera footage of Dakota
Fanning being raped.
The fact that I had
to say I either of those things in an everyday movie review is
considerable cause for alarm.
And as if it were possible,
things will somehow managed to only get worse after Dakota Fanning's
on camera rape. Why, you ask? The answer is as simple as it is
horrifying: she will be forced to rebuild her life in a truly
"heroic" fashion through the power of the blues.
Yes, you read that
right: a young rape victim is to reassert herself and her place
in the world by singing.
This somehow manages
to be both trite and insulting -- are we seriously supposed to
believe that a rape victim can somehow magically be healed by
singing an Elvis song in blues fashion? Spare me your onslaught
of garbage about metaphors and other pointlessnesses--the fact
remains that this is what is presented and thus that this is what
we are to believe.
I find it irresponsible
in the extreme that anyone could present such ludicrousity in
film and expect the audience to hail it as some kind of sensitive
and thoughtful piece.
And indeed, I am agreed
with roundly; only today I read about AMC theaters pulling the
new movie from over 5,000 theaters because of the rape scene.
Director Kampmeier, meanwhile, attempts to gain a soap box perspective
by claiming she feels a lot of compassion toward these people
that are so angry about the film.
Honey, you just made
me watch a 10-year-old girl get raped on film. Don't preach to
me about compassion.
All in all, Hounddog
is both a waste of time and plastic. Avoid it at all costs. Do
not allow yourself to be snowed by terms like brilliantly poignant
and societies or progression of women, and instead remember that
this is an idiotic film that expects you to believe that all you
have to do is find the mystic song in your heart to heal your
self of even the most horrible atrocities.
I only wish mine could
be healed so simply after wasting ninety minutes on this trash.
Directed by Deborah Kampmeier
Written by Deborah Kampmeier
Starring Oliver Clayton-Luce, Dakota Fanning, Isabelle Fuhrman,
Produced by Raye Dowell
Video Store Guy knows the best movies you've never seen. Check
his Reel Advice Tuesdays on Movieweb (www.movieweb.com)