Sex and Nudity In Horror: My Thoughts

Sex and Nudity In Horror: My Thoughts

I've always been one of the belief that when it comes to horror, pretty much anything goes.

There's all kinds -- brutal torture, psychological, thriller, and general gory, to name a few. One thing that draws them all together is the fact that nudity is a common occurrence. For some, nudity is like adding the greatest spice to the stew as many times, if you view a movie in a theatre and a woman bares breasts, you get cat calls and wolf whistles. For others, though, it's enough to drive the movie into the ground. Michael Bay himself is known for walking out of the premier of the Friday the 13th remake because he felt it was too overtly sexual.

Since pretty much the beginning, this has been a bit of an issue with horror as plenty of films have not just incorporated sex and nudity into the story, but in some cases, simply relied upon it as something of a crutch to keep people interested..

A good example would be the many exploitation flicks where the plot focuses on, usually, the negative aspects of it. Movies like Run, Bitch! Run! and Irreversible or the more commonly known, I Spit On Your Grave use rape and revenge as a key tool in moving the story. In each of these films, there is a varying amount of nudity and (forced) sex that gets your heart racing in fear, anger and excitement. I Spit On Your Grave probably takes the award for being the overall most disturbing due to the length of the initial rape scene used to set the movie off. Yes, I consider I Spit On Your Grave to be more disturbing than Irreversible, a movie notorious for its sex and brutality.


To level things out, though, there are many classic films that have used sex in a way that is more subconscious and actually quite clever. Classic films such as Halloween and the original Friday the 13th have had a more underlying social-psychological meaning in regards to their sex scenes. This was the generation of movies that gave birth to the idea that "the virgin is always the sole survivor" because "sex kills". Think about it, in these older films, every time a couple felt amorous, you knew they were going to die. One of the biggest rules in horror movies is "Don't Have Sex" and this is why.

Now, as we can see, there are plenty of reasons why sex and nudity would be used in horror to give the story a hand, though some would feel that there is no need to show the human form to begin with. Personally, I think it's a great thing to explore and, well, none of these films incorporating the two are for the younger audiences, so there's no reason not to be adults about it.

To me, I feel sex and nudity should be appropriate to the story in the same way gore is. Not that they both are required to be used in tandem, but that when they are brought into a movie, there should be a question of "Is this really necessary?" At least in most cases. I won't lie, there are some movies that I feel it just doesn't matter, such as Zombie Women of Satan. This Warren Speed vehicle probably has the most breasts I've seen in a good horror movie by far and while there's no real reason why there is so much nudity, it still maintains itself as a decent flick mostly because, well, they just don't give a fuck and just wanted to have fun. It's not a selling point, it's just Warren, and I'm fine with that.


That takes me to another question -- how comfortable are you with the human form to begin with?


 Truth be told, this is where most of the issues begin in regards to the debate about sex and nudity in horror. Depending on how you feel about it, it can keep your opinions from being objective quite easily. It's like if your biggest fear or pet peeve were put into a movie, that particular scene would make you cringe and wonder why the hell they would do something like that to begin with. As an example, I can't stand fingers and toes and nails being damaged. The video in The Ring depicts a finger being pressed down onto a pin and the nail comes off. I know it's fake, but it gets me every time. EVERY FUCKING TIME!! My first response to the scene was "WHY?! Why would they do this!!" and thus my love/hatred for The Ring took off like a bottle rocket.

It's been my experience that this sort of response is similar in regards to sex and nudity. As if people are literally grossed out or afraid of the human form. Breasts, usually.

Speaking of which, this brings about a concept that I don't think I hear enough talk about -- equal nudity in horror. It's not a very common topic as most people are more worried about breasts and butt cheeks, but one thing I've always felt is there does seem to be a gross lack of equality in the concept of who can bare what in a film. Granted there are movies that cater to the homosexual crowd (or simply those who love lesbians), but there is a fundamental difference.


Very few movies are willing to show the male form or even get picked up to be made. In part, I could see this being due to the misconception that way more men watch horror than females (not quite true), but there is also what I would like to consider the "porn stigma". Many men are insecure about themselves and this doesn't stop just at home, but with many actors as well. It's not just that they won't let men be shown naked, it's also that many men are afraid because they are worried they wouldn't be considered "manly" enough, if you catch my drift.

There have been very few movies I've seen that include men nude as well as women, most notoriously would probably be A Serbian Film, a horror movie revolving around a former porn star. He is shown several times in the film and even uses his "talent" to do in another character. Long story short, it was just fucking bananas (no pun intended...well, maybe just a bit).

I suppose to end this rant, I'll say again, I don't mind sex or nudity in horror as they tend to fit together like a hand in a glove. But sometimes the hand is too big for the glove and vice versa. And unless the idea is for the proverbial Micky Mouse effect (again, Zombie Women of Satan), there needs to be a balance. Otherwise the glove simply wont fit. Will it, O.J.?


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