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In the various reviews written about Quentin Tarantino’s masterful, menacing and wordy Western, The Hateful Eight has been called many things. "Unruly," "bloody," "entertaining" and "devilishly good" are a few that caught the eye as I scanned the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page. They don’t come close to a new report on the film filed by the media watchdog group, Media Research Center. Wait until you hear this.
The conservative group, which refers to itself as America’s Media Watchdog and carries the label "The Leader in Documenting, Exposing and Neutralizing Liberal Media Bias" (according to its own Web site), is preparing a detailed breakdown on the violence and offensive material found in Tarantino’s latest movie, The Hateful Eight. In a sneak preview of the report to The Hollywood Reporter, Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center, revealed:
[The film includes] 49 acts of brutal violence — shootings, stabbings, a hanging, torture, forced gay oral sex and several incidents where women were shot or beaten. There were 32 separate shootings — including especially graphic headshots.
Needless to say, the Media Research Center didn’t enjoy it. Not one little bit. In fact, you likely won’t see this blurb on the DVD cover of The Hateful Eight when Quentin Tarantino’s movie eventually hits home theater. The MRC, through Dan Gainor, called it:
It's Ten Little Indians for sociopaths and sadists. A snuff film with big-name stars.
Now, the next obvious question has to be, "What did you expect?" Quentin Tarantino doesn’t exactly make romantic comedies – even though he claims to love the genre – or musicals. (Though, now that I’ve said it, a Tarantino musical sounds outstanding.) His titles, alone – from Kill Bill to Death Proof and, yes, The Hateful Eight -- suggest an edge that’s likely going to have a conservative group like the MRC on its heels. Tarantino stirred several pots in the weeks leading up to the release of The Hateful Eight, joining pro-life protests that stood up to controversial police activities. And the MRC brought up with they call the hypocrisy of Tarantino’s off-screen opinions on gun violence, given the amount of gun violence he puts into his own story.
The Weinstein Company did not respond to a request by THR for comment.
Audiences, so far, have been responding well to The Hateful Eight. As THR notes, it has banked north of $42 million, and we reported that the movie broke several individual records at single movie theaters when it screened in 70mm – the format that Quentin Tarantino trumpeted to the masses. Did you see it? Was it more violent than you anticipated? Or do you know what to expect from Tarantino at this stage of the game?