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A Chorus of Thank-Yous for Brutal Truth About ‘8MM’

As a story analyst for a major studio, I was ecstatic to read Kenneth Turan’s review of “8MM” (“ ‘8MM’ Descends Into True Hell on Earth,” Feb. 26). When I finished reading, my first thought was, “I am in love.”

I read approximately a thousand screenplays a year. From my perspective, I am able to create my own set of statistics on the most popular subject matter screenwriters choose to spend six months of their lifetime writing. As a large percentage are male, their favorite topic is the very degradation and abuse toward women that Turan described. (You’d be surprised how many times the degradation is disguised in the more benign romantic comedies.)

The onslaught of images, abuse, hurtful words and misogyny finally led me to reduce my weekly pay by declaring “no more serial killers” to the studio. By eliminating this genre alone, my workload lessened noticeably. But at least I am able to sleep better at night without the constant reminder that the majority of men want me spread-eagled, beaten, dead, raped, drugged or vivisected.

Unless more men like Turan have the courage to speak up and remind women--and men--that they not only do not condone, but are sickened by the continual treatment of women as exemplified by “8MM” and all the “8MMs” before it, we will be forced to believe This Is The Way Men Are. Because, quite frankly, “8MMs” are a dime a dozen.

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KATHERINE FUGATE, Los Angeles

*

I couldn’t agree more with Turan’s review of “8MM” and his assessment that “there are some films whose existence makes the world a worse place to live. . . .” Unfortunately, I read the review on Saturday, after I had already seen the film on Friday.

I, too, feel disgusted and angry, having contributed my $8 to the people who put this garbage on film. Based upon Joel Schumacher’s track record as the worst of the big-name directors (not to mention his destruction of the “Batman” franchise), I suppose I should have known better.

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Being a fan of films in the suspense-thriller genre, I had expected to see potentially disturbing subject matter presented with a modicum of intelligence. What I got, however, was a feeling of disgust and depression. Depressed for helping contribute to the box-office receipts the studio will take in for this kind of drivel.

KEVIN COPE, Los Angeles

*

For a long time, I, along with numerous friends and family members, have believed the movie critics know about as much about movies as Clinton knows about ethics. However, Kenneth Turan changed my mind with his review of “8MM.” He hit the nail on the head so hard that it shattered it.

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This is a movie that not only demoralizes men and women, but humanity in general. It makes us, as a people, look just a little bit lower on the food chain. Who could possibly enjoy such a film? Who could enjoy acting in it?

BARRETT SHERIDAN, Yorba Linda

*

Turan questions why Sony provided millions of dollars to make an “unapologetically sleazy ordeal.” The real question is what the effect will be on audiences who endure what Turan terms the shameless pushing of an envelope that imprisons us in “a thoughtlessly amoral movie culture.”

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Perhaps the answer is provided by Max, a guide in “8MM’s” porno hell, who claims that “if you dance with the devil, the devil doesn’t change, the devil changes you.”

JOHN HOLMSTROM, Hollywood


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