The subject of nudity is still taboo to this day. Why? Not sure. We’re born naked, we enjoy being naked, and if you’ve planned it right, you die naked. Naked naked naked. It’s a good thing, but if you have too much of it the MPAA will slap you with a Restricted rating or worse. Toss in a few boob shots in an otherwise tame movie and you get yourself the harsher rating. To try to combat this, or at least soften the criticisms, the “tasteful nudity” phrase was invented. So yeah, there is a tit over there but it’s totally ok to look at without saying 12 Hail Mary’s because the lighting was soft and no one was stabbing it with a 13inch kitchen knife. And that’s bullshit.
Tasteful nudity is crap. Sure, I appreciate it, but in the same way I appreciate a Renaissance painting compared to an awesome comic book page. The painting is nice and all, but probably pretty boring. Where are the explosions and oversized mammaries? This past weekend I watched Sorority Row and if you listened to Reject Radio you know I was a little disappointed in the lack of female breasts being exposed. True, there were a few sets, but for the most part it was done tastefully. Brief glimpses or the lingering sideboob. There was a shot or two that was a full “Hey what’s up” shot, which I appreciated, but come on – this is a horror movie channeling an 80s slasher about a whole bunch of slutty Sorority girls. It cries out for wanton nudity! In the original House on Sorority Row you get what you want and need – a girl just opening up her shirt and showing off those boobies to a guy. No pretense, no side boob, no quick cut away. Just a nice little breast-hello!
I get that I may sound a little sexist right now, or perhaps a little disgusting to some of you, but shut up. I kid. Sort of. Female nudity is part of the genre equation. Tons of girls now enjoy slasher movies, which is awesome (drop me an email ladies, wink wink) but the target audience for this kind of fare was and always will be the male, aged 18-35. We’ve got tons of money to blow and a lot of desire to see hot naked women. The classics of the genre, from Halloween to Friday the 13th to 95% of any randomly selected slasher featured nudity. It’s part of the teenage condition and these movies all revolve around teenagers. It makes sense. It’s expected. It’s wanted. Give it to us! Also, what’s the deal with stars no longer giving us the goods? Back in the 80s, main characters would bust out of their shirts at the slightest provocation. Now, we get to stare at a half-dozen smoking hot women who remain clothed. Thankfully, they’re not fully clothed, but a little too clothed for my liking.
Slasher movies are about escapism. They’re relatively lighthearted and fun, despite the horrific kills. No one wants slashers to become some facet of reality or even reflect it. We want to watch assholes get bottles shoved into their throats, fence posts punched through abdomens, heats cut off with power tools, and gratuitous amounts of sex and nudity. If you’re going to try to make an 80s slasher movie today, don’t try to class it up. If you want to make smart horror, make smart horror. If you want to make fun, sexy, bloody cinema, you’ve got to quit teasing and show us the goods. While I appreciate what moments of topless beauty we had, anytime I’m not fully rewarded with an extended eyeful in an 80s retread I don’t reach arousal, I reach my boiling point.