Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Do You Do This?

A friend asked me to recommend a film this weekend. I told her I really liked The Devil's Rejects, but warned her it could be disturbing. (Turns out I did not have to worry about that as she sent me one of the most out-of-left-field texts I have ever received, and if I wonder if I should be the one disturbed.) She then asked for other recommendations, and I mentioned the film pictured here, Cannibal Holocaust.

I gave the usual warnings. Sexual violence. Real animal cruelty. I figured it was a safe recommendation after the text I got, but you never know. It seems like, however, whenever someone asks for my recommendations I have to throw in a caveat. When I write my reviews for Film Threat I often have to do the same thing. It comes from a time I just would recommend a film and then have someone flip out on me.

How do you recommend something like Cannibal Holocaust without seeming like a total maniac? I'm not sure you can ... at least not with most people.

The friend I recommended it to said she may work her way up to that one and asked if I had anything in between the two films. (She has since watched The Devil's Rejects again and liked it even more the second time. Should I be worried?)

I recommended I Stand Alone to a few friends. Most of them thought my warnings weren't stern enough, though they all agreed it was a good film. (It's actually a great film that ranks up there as one of the best of all time.) It seems like its a no-win situation. Hell, I've lost friends over film recommendations (Amateur Porn Star Killer comes to mind).
So how do you remedy that?

You don't.

I learned the hard way that no matter what you say about a film, no matter what warnings you give, the end reaction is on the shoulders of each individual viewer. As a critic and friend, you can only tell people what's in the movie, why you like it, and why they might like it. You'll either come off as a prick or a breath of fresh air. My experience, though, shows that you'll usually be the prick. But it all becomes worth it when you get a text like the one I received. You make someone's day and turn them onto a film you love. It doesn't get much better than that.


  1. Cannibal Holocaust is just all kinds of wrong. All kinds. I'll pray for you. When are you going to blog about your love for all things Cuba Gooding, Jr? Oh, and when are you going to admit to loving Michael Mann's movie adaptation of Miami Vice? Bastard.

  2. I have never seen Miami Vice and will love Cuba only when he is in the same position as the woman on the pole.