Friday, May 25, 2012

Repent.

Fuck Black Death (2010). Fuck it. Imagine if In The Name Of The Rose got lost and wandered into The Wicker Man. The Nicholas Cage Wicker Man. Then you've got Black Death.

Medieval boy band.
 A young priest wants to get laid in the middle of the bubonic plague. He wants to get laid so badly that he agrees to lead Sean Bean and a rag-tag group of knights through the woods to a small village that has not been touched by the plague. While on the road the priest hopes to meet up with his girlfriend who has taken refuge in the forest. The priest then comes across a horse who's standing next to some blood and assumes his girlfriend is dead. The medieval Scooby-Gang makes its way to the village only to find that a WOMAN is in charge. A WOMAN!!! (who somehow seems to have gotten a hold of Stevie Nick's tour wardrobe) Most of the soldiers are suspicious and charmingly refer to her as a whore. The village seems calm and peaceful. But then the villagers drug the soldiers, lock them up and say they'll release them if they renounce Christianity. They don't. I'll save this from becoming a spoilerfic post and stop there. Needless to say there are some twists and turns but it's all for naught.


For a film steeped in Christian, Pagan and Godless lore it never makes up it's stupid mind about what message it's actually sending to its audience. My reading of the film is that it condemns religion as a whole but the characters and the narrative never give us that pay off. The characters are still consumed by the right and wrong of being on their particular side of the religious divide.

The film is suitably full of gloom and doom, there's enough dry ice for a Def Leppard concert but it all comes to naught. No one learns anything. Nothing is changed and the plague succeeds in spreading further. At its worst Black Death propagates the woman as other and woman as evil. Well, unless they're a vessel for flesh and lust. While I'm sure this is not what the filmmakers intended this is certainly how it comes off. If a woman is not sexually available she is a threat, and even if she is sexually available she is derided as a slut and a whore. For a film that insists on putting such emphasis on women as witches etc it never bothers to makes a statement about it. While such remarks and actions can be chalked up to character and period they are never shown to be wrong. Black Death is a nifty example of lazy filmmaking. Given a period rich in history, director Christopher Smith squanders the chance to say or do anything beyond a by the numbers turgid semi-action film.

Neither horrific or action packed, Black Death serves as a bleak and soulless reminder that God is dead.

2 comments:

  1. I do believe that all the reasons you listed are the same reasons I enjoyed this film. -_-

    ReplyDelete
  2. At least we're both observant :D

    ReplyDelete