September 21, 2012

Filthy Rant - To knife or not to knife

So, Sir Anthony Hopkins will be hitting the big screens as legendary director Alfie Hitchcock in the not so distant future? Should definitely be something to look forward to, I mean if anyone can nail the role I am sure the savvy Welshman can. Not so sure I am ready to see Daniel-san Ralph Macchio back on the big screen, but that is beside the point. My point, and there is one, is the use of promotional poster. Read on my fiends.

My initial thoughts, and I am sure yours too, is that Hopkins does seem to have the Hitchcock look down in the above teaser poster. Looks good doesn't it? It sums the director up in one clean shot, and manages to promote the 1960 classic Psycho at the same time. You know the film, the one where Janet Leigh gets carved up in the shower with a big old kitchen knife. 

You see this poster, and the knife, and you know that Psycho comes to mind. You will also no doubt visualize the famous shower scene from said movie. So, a seemingly innocent poster will conjure up the on screen murder of a young woman in a shower. Hell, it does for me. Psycho is a true classic and that scene is one of the most iconic in cinema. So why the hell not shove a kitchen knife in the poster?

Why indeed? Now, take a butchers at these two pieces of artwork for the 2010 indie flick, Bereavement. Notice the difference?


The artwork on the left is the original promotional poster for Bereavement, and the one on the right is the Blu-ray/DVD artwork after the censors got ahold of it. If you still haven't noticed, I shall tell you that Martin, the young boy, has had the knife removed from his hand, and placed in the hand of the adult. Apparently a young boy cannot be seen to innocently carry a knife by his side. There is no indication that Martin is going to use the knife for any other reason than to maybe carve a pumpkin with the fellow by his side. The movie is entitled Bereavement; no indication there that murder is involved. Put that against Hitchcock and the Psycho imagery and you might begin to see my point. In the Hitchcock poster he is even holding the knife by the tip, and not the handle! Safety in mind?

Whether or not the Hitchcock poster will remain as is, complete with knife, as I am sure there will be more posters released as the movie approaches releases, remains to be seen. What I will argue is that the independent film has suffered at the hands of the censors quite unnecessarily.

At the end of the day it is just me making an observation, and maybe reading far too much into it. It does however piss me off, as if you have seen Bereavement you will know that the knife in the hand of the boy is right at the very core of the film. Yes, it is a film about killing, murder and the manipulation of a young boy, but is it any worse than a young woman being savagely murdered in the shower by a cross-dressing psychopath with Mommie issues?

Hitchcock is due for release in 2013. Bereavement is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.

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