Link Dump

It's been a little while since the last link dump, so let's see what's queued up in my del.icio.us account:
  • Saw V hit theaters this Halloween and seems poised to make the Saw franchise the top-grossing horror franchise of all time (in unadjusted dollars). I have to admit that I lost interest towards the beginning of Saw III, but I don't really get the hatred this series seems to have garnered by critics and horror fans. I think Dellamorte over at CHUD brought up an excellent point a few weeks ago:
    IF YOU GREW UP IN THE 1980'S YOU CAN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SAW FRANCHISE: If you think the Saw films are shit, but have a soft spot for Friday the 13th Part V: The New Blood, or any Nightmare on Elm Street sequel past the third film, or pretty much any of the Halloween sequels, then you can't suggest that the rapid-fire sequels that have been born of the 21st Century deserve to be ridiculed any more than the rapid-fire releases of the 80's.
    Exactly. I actually thought the first Saw was a pretty good movie. The sequels seem to be repetitious and unoriginal, but so what? Weren't most of the the 80s horror movies (especially slashers) repetitious and unoriginal? And didn't they get the same sort of curt dismissal as the current crop of remakes and "torture porn" films? To me, part of the joy of horror movies is that even when they're bad, they're good. Sure, that won't work for everybody, but some movies aren't made for everybody. The other movie series Dellamorte mentions in his post is the High School Musical series, which I have absolutely no interest in... and that's ok. The only thing that does bother me a bit about the Saw series is that studios seem to have ceded Halloween to the series instead of trying to challenge it with new and interesting movies like Trick 'r Treat (or so I've heard, because I can't find this thing anywhere!) There's probably a lot to be said about the state of modern American horror movies, but I don't think it's as clear-cut or simplistic as this sort of discussion usually tends to play out. I suppose the studios are still focused on remakes and reboots, but there are still plenty of interesting American efforts going on (it would perhaps be nice if those movies didn't have so much trouble getting made or distributed though). This seems like fodder for a longer post...
  • A Cartoon-off between XKCD and the New Yorker. Hilarious. I think the New Yorker cartoonist really gave XKCD a run for his money, though it should be noted that XKCD was deprived of one of the key components of its success (the alt tag!)
  • PG Porn - James Gunn, who directed the excellent horror flick, Slither, recently started this series of short films that are basically porn films without the sex. Basically, some typical porn plotline starts up, complete with bad dialogue and stilted acting, then something horrible happens. The first episode, titled Nailing Your Wife, stars Nathan Fillion (of Firefly/Serenity and I suppose I should also mention Dr. Horrible fame) and real-life porn-star Aria Giovanni. It's kinda twisted, but darkly funny. Amusingly, it seems to have caused something of a controversy because some people can't comprehend black comedy.
  • I know it's after the election and all, but this politics by way of D&D post is hilarious, and of course, the Obama/McCain danceoff is amazing.
That's all for now.