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Thread: Straw Dogs

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK A Pemberton's Avatar
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    Was it really so nasty,tame by todays standards,It had something to say about men and there attitude to violence,its not an exploitation of violence ,Just viewed again in original length and as British films(it may have been a american vehicle for Peckinpah and Hoffman but look at the quality and the scene stealing ability of the British supporting cast) of the seventies go, its good. The supporting cast make the film, Warner Mckenna,Vaughn Welland and Hoffman is good ,Susan George is .....well Susan George typecast temptress.(nothing wrong with that)

    Straw Dogs makes a powerful statement.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    I've always likened it to Peckinpah's westerns. The peaceful protagonist who must eventually turn to violence to drive away his tormentors and the house siege is akin to Indians attacking a rounded wagon train. I still can't decide on the rape and buggery scene but his wife's acquiescence doesn't sit right however I square it.

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    Love Straw Dogs!! I think the music score is also a fantasic part of the film.



    Always wanted to read Siege of Trencher's Farm, the book the film was based on.

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    Member Country: Australia Darling's Avatar
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    (DB7 @ Feb 13 2006, 06:40 AM)

    I still can't decide on the rape and buggery scene but his wife's acquiescence doesn't sit right however I square it.
    Yes, I agree, but she'd had a relationship with one of the rapists (Del Henney) previously so there was that familiarity/old flame element and I think it was also an immature and selfish response to feeling neglected by her husband who, inexplicably it seemed for a man married to someone so gorgeous, really only wanted to work (not unlike Charles Bronson's character in Twinky). Poor Susan was no intellectual match for either of them! Silly sods those blokes, their loss!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK A Pemberton's Avatar
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    (DB7 @ Feb 12 2006, 10:40 PM)

    I still can't decide on the rape and buggery scene but his wife's acquiescence doesn't sit right however I square it.
    Good point ,there is however a strong sexual undercurrent in the village and although not healthy it somewhat explains the "behaviour " of the Amy Summer character,I see it as partly akin to the villagers(Britt Ekland) in The Wicker Man.

    The film suffered unfairly when it was released on video due to the rape scene being poorly re-edited with part of the buggery scene removed thus giving the wrong impression of the scene.The full version unedited shows what the director must have intended

    Well done to the BBFC for releasing this un-edited version,how strange it is for a film to be censored only to be seen as more damaging than the original release, though the video nasty furore at the time did not help.

    Who needs censors!

  6. #6
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    Must admit for its time the film was breaking for the graphic depiction of sexual and violent material, however the plot was slow and its really only the climax (no pun intended) that the film is famous for. Dog Soldiers although classed as a horror as opposed to Straw Dogs which is a thiller, has a better plot driven narrative.

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    (Ambrosia @ Feb 13 2006, 07:32 PM)

    Must admit for its time the film was breaking for the graphic depiction of sexual and violent material, however the plot was slow and its really only the climax (no pun intended) that the film is famous for. Dog Soldiers although classed as a horror as opposed to Straw Dogs which is a thiller, has a better plot driven narrative.
    I think the plot is intentionally slow,that's how the tension is built to the inevitable climax, a trait that is sadly lacking in a lot of fast paced modern films,in fact isn't it the whole point of the film,hoffmans character doesn't want to be violent but slowly he has to succumb to it.



    As for dog soldiers shall i watch it for a second time or shall i pop straw dogs on again



    (apologies for intentional sarcasm)



    cheers Ollie.

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    (Ambrosia @ Feb 13 2006, 07:32 PM)

    Dog Soldiers although classed as a horror as opposed to Straw Dogs which is a thiller, has a better plot driven narrative.
    Agreed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Germany Wolfgang's Avatar
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    I think in regards to its rape scene, there are many cases where women want to have sex but cannot out of faithfulness to their husbands or sweethearts. However, if she is raped she is then absolved of all responsibility. I think there is that grey area between consensual sex and genuine sexual assault where women can be unfaithful and enjoy guilt free sex and I think that is what we pick up on in this film.

  10. #10
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    (arty-dave @ Feb 14 2006, 01:40 PM)

    Agreed
    Would you like to elucidate ?



    cheers Ollie.

  11. #11
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    Anyone care enlighten on the metaphorical aspects of the film?

    The headstone Frances Hutchins is shown at beginning of film?

    Kids teasing a terrier?

    Strangled cat?

    mathematican?

    shooting of the fowl intercerpted with the rape?

    Here are some of my interpretations:

    American in a foriegn village -Vietnam?

    The car a triumph STAG - stags fight and rutt to mate the female?

    Henry niles - tall and retarted - of mice and men?

    The shoddy builders - Peckinpahs non -western "cowboys"?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Vietnam is certainly one, but I find the connection slender. Also pacifism, and despite Hoffman's abhorrence to physical violence he eventually must defend himself.



    It's a film I've always viewed as a Cornish western. Hoffman is the American settler and the villagers are the Native Americans.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    I think the 'strangled cat' hanging in the wardrobe means that us local yokels can get into your private personal space......so beware!

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB7

    It's a film I've always viewed as a Cornish western. Hoffman is the American settler and the villagers are the Native Americans.
    That's the way I have always looked at it. I have read a couple of books about Peckinpah and the use of metaphors wasn't mentioned, apart from the Vietnam connection. Peckinpah said in an interview I also read that he made it purely 'to do something different'.



    Bats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB7

    It's a film I've always viewed as a Cornish western. Hoffman is the American settler and the villagers are the Native Americans.
    New member here, so I hope you won't mind if I jump right in and say that that's a really eye-opening way to view the film.



    I need to find my copy and watch it again with that in mind.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark O
    I think the 'strangled cat' hanging in the wardrobe means that us local yokels can get into your private personal space......so beware!
    I wonder if it had been called Straw Cats instead would it have featured a strangled dog?

  17. #17
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    This film is wicked!



    After hearing about it from my father, who said it was so violent, I knew I had to see it. In 2002, Freemantle Entertainment released it into a Special Edition. I got it like that from Blockbuster. I was blown away and the farm siege at the end was demanding a rewatch! I later saw the "Vanilla disc" version with just a trailer and I had to smile that I didn't get that one.

  18. #18
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    I've got David down as the villain of the piece in this film, he's not a very nice person he uses his superior mentality and cleverness to humiliate and interrogate his immature and naive wife whenever he feels like it.



    The rape scene is not ambiguous at all Amy IS raped but she does indeed welcome the advance of her old lover because of her husbands passionless attitude towards herself, it is not until the second man becomes involved that the scene changes for the worse.



    David�s persona is one of calm aggression it is not until the end of the film that he can not and will not control the inner demons in himself and revels in his bloodlust which is for him a passage of rites for his own perceived manhood.



    Simon

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Third Man
    I've got David down as the villain of the piece in this film, he's not a very nice person he uses his superior mentality and cleverness to humiliate and interrogate his immature and naive wife whenever he feels like it.


    He also intimidates the vicar and his wife at the drinks party.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rskershaw
    He also intimidates the vicar and his wife at the drinks party.
    Cat killer as well.



    Simon

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