Last night Hounddog had it's premiere in New York and as a result of that and the various press releases issued by the Empire Film Group and its distribution arm, Hannover House the media is once again back on the false trail of "Freedom of Expression" and censorship. All but a few.
MSNBC called the film a flea bitten mangy mutt of a film. In particular the reviewer saw through the thick liberalist haze that clouds the true issue of exploitation.
All of this is fine, the movie has been worked and reworked to tighten the final edit. In the many quotes and comments attributed, in the past day or two, to the writer/director Deborah Kampmeier she mentions that a man cried that had never cried before when he saw the movie, she talks about the movie not being a statement about anything political, about her not expecting it to be controversial. Kampmeier also talked about death threats and calling down to District Attorney Ben David's office with hopes he would review the film and place his blessing upon it, which he did, in order to quiet those calling for an investigation that was never actually done. According to Kampmeier, it was she that sought out what was legal and what was illegal and not the public. Of course we asked for an investigation in June, Kampmeier called for her legal aid 5 months after that in November.
All fine and good. But I believe the Blue Line can take exception to that part about, "D.A. did a full investigation" In order to do a "full" investigation the prosecutor's office would have called in law enforcement, you know, professional investigators. I also take exception to the part about people, concerned that the filmmakers may have been exploiting the children in the cast, not caring about "real"rape. First of all the pregnant 10 year-old story is not true. The girl was 15 and we covered that story from the beginning, I even went to the house where the crime took place. We asked people to go to the trial to show support for the victim. The community that I'm familiar with was outraged, who wouldn't be?
When the following statement was issued by Kampmeier to the New York Times
and no one calls bull shit, someone has smoke in their eyes. This movie is most certainly about a 9 year old girl that is a victim of incest, rape, projects and acts out in violent sexual ways and runs around in her underwear squirming and wiggling like Elvis the pelvis. Maybe to those attempting to rationalize their exploitation of children, sure, it's about anything but...
All of this is evident in the selection of the movie poster, reworked since Sundance to illustrate the film's subject to the movie going public. The public familiar with two other movies, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and Funny Games, both movies about sexually promiscuous girls that end up terrorized and sadistically abused by a "slasher." It is the posters of these two movies that are the template for the new and improved Hounddog poster.
This poster is to suggest an unconscious familiarity to taboo subject material. The poster by itself, with no slasher film predecessors, is simply Dakota, Dakota's rape movie everyone heard about a couple of years ago. But to those inclined to watch sadistic sexually exploitive movies, this Hounddog poster will recall subliminally the imagery of the prior horror films, identical in design and composition.
I am not amused and I certainly find it insulting to those of us that think for a living.