Author’s Note: This article is extremely redundant and a self aware exercise in futility.
I hate Twilight pretty much as passionately as anything I’ve ever hated before.
Including Tim D., the teenager who attacked a friend and I as kids and burned my face with a pizza. Including Cliff F., the guy who stole all of our musical equipment in the early 90’s. Including terrorism. I think Twilight dethrones Wayne’s World as my most hated film phenomenon. Which is saying something, because if you’ve been around me when one of those Kim Basinger DirecTV ads comes on with Dana Carvey’s horrible life presence in it, I can barely see through all the hate. Seriously, I hate Dana Carvey with the fury of twelve suns.
That said, my hate for Twilight is a healthy hate. Though I joke about it and exaggerate what I’d like to happen to fans of the material, it’s always had a playful vibe to it because it’s true that there are always things in popular culture that defy logic. Stuff that’s popular for no apparent reason due to its lack of quality, overt manipulation of its audience, and various other mystifying elements. Hating Twilight is easy for an adult, someone who has embraced bullshit in their youthful blindness and come out the other side shaking their head in disgrace. You have to have those love affairs with noxious chaff to become lucid and in possession of better common sense when your decisions and passions carry actual weight. Twilight is a stepping stone for young folks, and that’s fine.
The adults who embrace this dogshit I have no sympathy for. I really feel that anyone over 21 who owns a t-shirt, can recite passages, camped out for the premiere, or makes relationship decisions with Edward Cullen as a barometer is a sad human being. I’ll go as far as to say you’re not really an adult if you’re infatuated with this crap. Once you wash the stink off, you have permission to be considered a grown human being but I’m watching you. Oh, and if you dress up as one of these characters and are over 21, you need to trip and fall into lava. If you dress as ANY character and are over 21, peruse the calendar and if the date isn’t late October… enjoy lava.
This new vampire and zombie infatuation is the new disco. That’s all. When it crashes down, it’ll crash down HARD. The Bay City Rollers [not disco, but still] sold between 200-300 MILLION records after all. Don’t see a lot of folks clamoring for them these days. Don’t see a lot of rabid Monkees fans declaring themselves members of Team Tork or Team Dolenz. This too shall pass…
But my innocent hate might not be so innocent next weekend.
Twilight has blown past The Dark Knight as the highest grossing opener of all time, and looks to place between #4 and #1 of all time when it comes to opening weekends. Granted, there are about four million extra women living in the states than men and this is the rare female film franchise. Titanic was what it was because of the dames. There’s reasons Oprah Winfrey is a hectillionaire and none of them are penises. If you’re a lady and you’re under 21, good on ya. Enjoy what you built. Your dollars and zeal have led to a tonal shift in the cultural landscape. If you’re 35, I hope your holes seal up. In a nice way. Also enjoying this phenomenon: The Mormon Church. Lucifer. Cthulhu.
This kind of success puts New Moon into FILM HISTORY. It’s listed alongside actual movies. This hurts my feeling*.
If New Moon (Devin’s unbiased review) doesn’t drop a massive amount in its second weekend, what does it mean for a guy like me? I mean, can it affect the movie business as anything but some retarded anomaly we all have to endure? The all-time domestic top ten includes a fucking Shrek film. It’s not like the film business is a beacon of what is just in the world. There’s a Saw franchise that keeps suckering in a percentage of society. Film, like life, is a raging cocksucker sometimes.
But what if bean counters consider this phenomenon something more than the deep pocketed abortion that it is?
I mean, I’m trying to make movies. Genre movies. Ones that are good and smart that contribute to the foundations they pay respect to and exist because of. I’m involved in a movie that will be released globally in 2010 that is built on a bedrock of talent, class, and a love of what came before. How does something like that factor into a marketplace where nuance, grace, and a classical approach aren’t rewarded but greeted with puzzlement? Not that my movie [not ‘mine’ in the authorial sense, as I’m a producer only] lives in the same world as New Moon, but our two leading characters are females, albeit multi-dimensional and believable ones. Maybe even examples of the characteristics one would like to see in leading characters. Ones led by logic and real emotion.
I’ve had a lot of those gut check experiences on my little mediocre journey in this career. The movie business seems to have these checkpoints that really try the soul. For example:
I’ve written a zombie screenplay that is without a doubt better than 95% of the zombie films I’ve seen in ten years. But I dare not try and get it made now. Not in this fucked up world where people are buying bullshit like Pride and Prejudice with Zombies at the bookstore and there are hundreds of iPhone apps that add “with zombies” to them in hopes of grabbing the dumbasses who equate ‘zombie’ with ‘good’.
You want products that lower the bar. It makes the good stuff that much better. Even Underworld buries the fuck out of Twilight. So, if nothing else these movies are an apéritif between better meals.
I am fully aware that making fun of Twilight is like beating up the quadriplegic leper that sits in the corner of cafeteria, but each time I think the lunacy has reached critical mass something happens to remind me how very little I actually know. I start to dread a reality where Hollywood does the boneheaded thing it did in the wake of the Tolkien movies, and belch out a steady stream of mediocre fantasy films. And The Lord of the Rings was majestic! Twilight is a billy club to the pubic bone.
By all accounts, the upcoming Daybreakers is a really good flick. I love the trailers and the movie seems to have actually created a world rather than just ejaculate supernal creatures into a Sweet Valley High novel. It will fail. Probably. The only way I see a legit property coming out featuring vampires is by sheer force of talent (Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain poses a chance). Of course, New Moon introduces horribly rendered shirtless werewolves to the mire of vampires. Difference is; werewolves are amazing. And being a glutton for punishment, one of my next projects is a
werewolf one. Times like these make me wish I stayed in school longer and gotten my degree as a Master of Racism.
Or does Twilight not even qualify as horror? Is it some bizarre tween thing that doesn’t even affect the genre?
Either way, it’s a colossus of putrescence that bodes worse for the race than any hadron collider or rogue comet ever could.
So in closing, Twilight still is a goddamn nightmare. It makes me hate the business I’m in. Makes me seethe knowing that taking shortcuts around creativity is rewarded. Makes me loathe how relentlessly our young and impressionable are being gathered and flocked unknowingly into a vampy concentration camp. Makes me want to kung fu Stephenie Meyer right in the nipple.
And yes I am a hypocrite because I have read none of the books, seen none of the movies, and have read Dracula.
I’ll leave you with a great picture composer Christopher Drake (a swell chap) posted on his Facebook page (origin unknown):