Although it isn't sexually stimulating, gore porn, otherwise referred to as gorno or splatter film, has earned its name from its aim at satisfying those hidden desires to see lots of blood, body parts, and outright gore on the silver screen. Yes, there is sometimes nudity, but it is not focused on foreplay so much as carnage.
In this film genre, not only is the body left exposed, but its fragility is revealed in a dramatic way right before the eyes of the audience. You can either shrink away from it in disgust and/or fear or watch with eyes glued to the scene and leave eager to see the next installment in theaters.
For those unfamiliar with the term, perhaps you would recognize some of the movie titles that fall under this genre such as Saw and Hostel. With movies like these upping the game to newer and newer heights of grossness, it's no surprise that this genre has come and gone as audiences finally turn to those movies where fear comes from the unseen and unknown rather than the in-your-face gruesomeness. Instead of yet another addition to the Saw series, we see more pictures like Paranormal Activity steal the spotlight.
Gorno first appeared in movies in the form of Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages in 1916. Directed by D.W. Griffith, this silent film depicts four story-lines that run parallel to one another and reveal mankind's intolerance over 2500 years. It features decapitations and a spear slowing going through a soldier's stomach.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) revamped the splatter film genre. Still, it wasn't until the latter part of that decade when films of this sort really became popular after George A. Romero's Night of The Living Dead (1968) made its way into theaters.
All the earlier works of this genre aimed at shocking and repulsing its audience while keeping it entertaining enough to get them to by those tickets to see them. At the same time, they had a message to convey about society as a whole that could either go unseen amidst the blood and gore or add more depth to what would otherwise just be a show.
It wasn't until the 2000s that the genre earned it's name "torture porn." Each film released, starting in the year 2000 with Scream 3 and Final Destination, contained graphic violence, nudity, and mutilation, amongst other features, while also making a huge profit for its producers. For example, Saw (2004) cost $1.2 million but made over $100 million worldwide while Hostel (2005) cost $5 million and made $80 million with its release.
It's no surprise, then, that these movies inevitably became parts of a series that seemed to go on with no end. Saw alone has seven parts to it. As they continue to add a new part to a movie it seems that the story-line begins to lag behind the gruesome factor that takes center stage.
© 2012 LisaKoski
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