Tuesday, September 2, 2008

09.02.08 “Ginger Snaps” (2000): And I Snap Back

Years ago, when first auditioning for one of my agents, we had an interesting discussion about monologues. “Never do a monologue about a dead dog,” she said, referring to the monologue performed by the actor who had auditioned before me, leaving her disgusted and completely turned off.

Within the first two minutes of “Ginger Snaps,” we encounter a mother and toddler discovering the bloody, dismembered body of their dog. To alleviate any doubts as to what you are seeing, the camera then moves slowly over the bloody, furry pieces (inner and outer) of what remains of the dog.

Now I know what my agent meant. Fictional films that start out with bloody murdered dogs belong in the same amateur trash pile as monologues about dead dogs. Think I’m just being sentimental? Read the screenwriting book, “Save the Cat,” by Blake Snyder. Think I’m being overly critical of an obvious werewolf horror flick? Well, I kind of feel that story trumps all, subtlety is gold, and no one has yet been able to surpass the dark, heart-breaking beauty of John Landis’ 1981 classic, “An American Werewolf in London.”

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