Hollywood’s contempt for “middle America” is no secret. Audiences are repeatedly subjected to its indoctrination, hiding in plain sight, via entire plot themes, one-liners in network comedies, and yes, even seemingly benign horror films. The lesson? Folks, Hollywood’s leftist propaganda is indeed peddled everywhere. Case in point: the recent box-office bomb “Straw Dogs,” now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
[youtube 7krZZabaC_U nolink]
While billed merely as a home-invasion thriller, upon reading the plot description, my liberal propaganda radar was already on high alert. The story? Professional screenwriter David (“X-Men”‘s James Marsden) and his wife Amy (“Blue Crush”‘s Kate Bosworth) leave the confines of Los Angeles and head down south to Amy’s boondocks hometown so they can restore her deceased father’s house and David can focus on his writing.
Hmm, we already know where this is headed. Two enlightened, urban yuppies moving to a tiny Southern town? Forget the usual ‘fish out of water’ comedy hijinks; this is, of course, a liberal’s wet dream: an opportunity to elevate blue-state dwellers while ridiculing the red. Moreover, you know you’re in for a dose of authenticity when Rod Lurie — its writer/producer/director — hails from the middle-America enclave known as… Greenwich, CT.
David and Amy slowly but surely clash with her high school ex-boyfriend, Charlie (“True Blood”‘s Alexander Skarsgard) and his crew of “hillbilly miscreants,” culminating in a (yawn-inducing) home-invasion showdown.
Though the tiresome and wholly unoriginal exercise in liberal condescension towards middle America/the South is nothing new, I’ve yet to see it driven home as stubbornly and viciously as is done in this film. While “Deliverance” focused on a particular group of inbreds and thus doesn’t particularly skewer the South nor country-folk as a whole, “Straw Dogs”‘ theme is much more sinister – that even the run-of-the-mill, ordinary citizens of middle America are narrow-minded simpletons at best and dangerously evil at worst.
Ready to run down how many stereotypes the film manages to work into 110 minutes? Let’s go!
The town is called, wait for it… “Blackwater” (get it? a ‘backwater’ town? clever!).
Red pickup truck with the confederate flag? Check!
Shotguns galore? Check!
Ridiculous hillbilly names like ‘Bic’? Check!
Sexually depraved rapists? Let’s even throw that in! Check!
Our servicemen return from abroad emotionally destroyed and mentally impaired? Check!
They’re stuck on stupid? Check! Discussing the unbearable heat, one of Charlie’s hillbilly friends gnarls “it must be that global warming you educated guys keeping talkin’ ’bout.” And before you say: “But wait, Delgado: the sarcastic slight on global warming (ahem! ‘climate change’) makes him smart, not dumb!”, remember that, in Hollyweird mentality, doubting global warming is prima-facie evidence of woeful ignorance — on par with flat-earth theorists.
Yet viewing this film through unbiased eyes, the left’s guffaws and eye-rolls towards this kind of town is what’s ridiculous. Let’s see: in Blackwater there’s a sense of community, doors go unlocked, people dress up for church on Sunday and respect religion, still address employers and elders as “sir,” when you ask for a Bud Light the bartender insists on a Bud, they live and breathe football, they earn a living through the sweat of their brow, and the men know their cars and their guns? Sign me up! Did the studio intend to make an extended commercial for the “Southern Small Towns” tourism board? ‘Cause that’s what yours truly took from it. For Pete’s sake, the boys’ pickup truck sports a bumper sticker that reads: “Keep honkin’, I’m reloading.” What’s not to love?
But “Straw Dogs” is unique in that it does not merely slam the South; it attacks our notions of manliness. You see, most symbols associated with manliness (V8 engines, combat sports, hunting, guns, a healthy reverence for the Creator, a brave acceptance that sometimes confrontation/war is necessary) are kryptonite to the liberal agenda. At the very least, men who cling to these notions are, in liberals’ minds, Neanderthals who haven’t yet learned women don’t want doors opened for them. The left’s constant aim of gender-bending (boys should play with dolls! the sexes are no different!) is a new but quickly expanding method of theirs.
Folks, as a woman, allow me to demonstrate how David, the film’s modern, enlightened “hero,” is, sadly, a beta male:
David allows a mentally challenged man to be slapped around rather than risk a physical fight with the attacker… BETA!
David rolls into town in a ridiculous two-seater vintage Jag (need we even ruminate whether there was an Obama 08 bumper sticker on there?)… BETA!
When David veers off the road, causing a flat, he’s forced to take the car to a mechanic (oh, dear)… BETA!
David recoils in horror when Amy (who, apparently, has more cojones – and common sense — than her hubby) suggests they keep a gun in the house for protection… BETA!
Yet, as the audience, I’m supposed to be rooting for David? Hollywood’s glorification of the beta-male must have gone right over my head. What would happen in real life? “Au revoir, David! I’m jumping on the back of the pickup truck with Bic and the boys. It’s been real… see ya!”
Now, I’m certainly not saying every man has to be a UFC fighter, a hunter, or a hothead, but c’mon. This notion that the civilized, evolved male is essentially an anti-gun, anti-religion, peacenik, urban-dwelling beta? Try again, Hollywood.
Liberal-kowtowing bonus points? 1) A nod to the Commies: David, who’s writing a screenplay on WW2’s turning-point battle, Stalingrad, informs Charlie, “Ninety percent of Stalingrad was occupied by the Nazis and the Russians still beat ’em. They beat ’em with innovation and they beat ’em with fortitude.” Oh, and you forgot to mention, they lucked out with the help of the blistering winter and German air supply failure. But sure, let’s credit the Soviets with winning Stalingrad through sheer “innovation and fortitude”! 2) A nod to the wonders of federal programs: Amy and David relay that they received a tidy $8,200 from F.E.M.A. to fix up the hurricane-damaged-home’s roof.
The sole shock-moment of this “thriller”? David works on a VAIO laptop. Sony must’ve paid for product placement here – after all, any self-respecting lib would own a Mac.
Skip it, unless you have a pending move to the South… in which case the film might actually reaffirm your decision.