Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rock Movies I Love: Um....Jennifer's Body


I'll be the first to admit that it is highly unusual for me to be in awe of a Megan Fox movie, but Jennifer's Body is a lot more than that. It's a horror movie, specifically a horror-comedy written by Oscar-winner Diablo Cody, the screenwriter who brought the world the movie Juno. I know! A horror movie review in a rock music blog? Hear me out, tho! Now I've written about horror movies here before - See my blog post about The Phantom of the Paradise. Like The Phantom, Jennifer's Body offers a delicious satire of the music industry in the guise of a horror movie. What The Phantom did with the over-the-top, theatrical outrageousness of 1970's Glam Rock, Jennifer's Body does with the hair-moosed, eye-liner and skinny-jean-wearing, self-important Alt-Emo-Pop Rock bands of the early 21st century. The premise of the movie is simple enough: Struggling indie group Low Shoulder, tired of working in coffee shops during the day and performing in no-count dives at night, offer a human sacrifice to Satan in exchange for international stardom. Who do they sacrifice? Jennifer Check, a beauty queen-cum-high school cheerleader, played by Fox, who is more than willing to be a groupie to the band when they play at a bar in her "shitty" town of Devil's Kettle. But because Jennifer is not a virgin as the sacrifice dictates, she does not die but is transformed into a flesh-eating succubus. Bloody carnage ensues, of course, with Jennifer eviscerating innocent teenage males to sustain her new diet of human flesh while Low Shoulder rises to the top of the album charts. It's up to Jennifer's best friend Needy to save her town's young men, including her boyfriend, from Jen's bloody wrath and save the world from the mind-numbing pop stylings of Low Shoulder, who are now high-voltage rock stars. Viewers are treated to Needy's bloody revenge on the band in crime-scene photos shown during the movie's final credits. (And if you didn't get it the first time - cuz I sure didn't - the movie got it's title from the Hole song of the same name.) What I absolutely love about Jennifer's Body is that it offers commentary on the mindset of today's aspiring musicians. Long, long gone and few and far between do we find musicians as freedom-fighters who use their music to speak out against society's ills. (Bono circa 1979 to 1987) These folks have been replaced by the celebrity musicians who care more about their 5-star, pimp suites. (Bono circa 1987 to Present) In short, it's style vs. substance and style has won time and time again. I totally believe that Fall Out Boy and other disposable musical acts of the past decade - Your Killers, Your Jimmy Eats World, Your Dashboard Confessional, Your Panic At The Disco - sold their souls to the Devil for stardom. How else can you explain their success cuz their music is bland, soulless crap. So I couldn't help but smile when Needy escapes from the mental hospital in order to track down Low Shoulder not only to bring bloody comeuppance to that despicable band but in her twisted, homocidal way save the world from Emo. If you like your horror with blood, guts and a satirical wink - and a brief lesbian make-out scene to keep the fellas interested - I highly recommend Jennifer's Body.

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