More Hate Mail

March 17, 2008
A thought by James Berardinelli

Back by popular demand... more hate mail. As I have previously noted, I get plenty of negative e-mail (as one would suppose from anyone who puts opinions out there the way I do). Every once in a while, I decide to share a few so you, my faithful readers, can vicariously experience the thrill of receiving unsolicited (and sometimes indecipherable) electronic vitriol.

#1: "[Your review of Rob Zombie's Halloween] is the same ole typical sugar coted bubble gum mentallity that I expected from todays candy ass Democratic critics. It's individuals like you that allow these suicidal bombers in this country then slap them on the wrists when they do something wrong. I hope you are a dying breed for the sake of America. Thank GOD we have those genius minds like Zombies still around so the country doesn't completely fold up.. Too bad you focus more on today's pristine society instead of recognizing his unbelievably remarkable talents for creativeness and his boldness for putting something out there that no one else will. Stick with the Disney channel bub. It's where we are headed."

There are leaps of logic, and then there's this guy. Let me make sure I'm interpreting this correctly... I gave a negative review to a pretty bad remake of a horror classic by a guy who hasn't shown any real talent as a filmmaker, and I am therefore on the same level as someone who aids and abets terrorists. Nice to know some people have everything in perspective and can provide a rational analysis.

#2: "Your review of August Rush was probably one of the most inaccurate I've ever read. You are a terrible critic. August Rush was an excellent movie and I don't see how you could write such awful things about it. The storyline was incredible, as were the amazing actors. I think the director did a phenominal job, and Freddie Highmore was excellent. Take my advice, and get a job even you couldn't screw up. Become a garbage man."

Hmmm. August Rush and garbage... Anyone see a connection?

#3: "I think you are absolutely horrible to post such a horrible review of such a higher deserving movie [National Treasure: Book of Secrets]. I think that you are a phony to stuck up in a twisted reality of his true position in the world of reviewing. Let's me point out that if you paid attention to the movie you may like it. I think from your review that you walk around with your eyes closed. This movie was better than most sequals you will find today. Think about the genre of horror, they're kicking a dead horse. and not that I've read any of your other reviews but i'm sure if i did i'd find that you rate them highly. They all are the same!!! This movie goes places and does things!!! If your trying to hurt this movies repuation so badly you have failed, you work for a foolish website as I haven't even heard of you. If you wanted your views heard in the world then go for a big name paper or something... Wait!!! i forgot they only hire people who pay attention to the movies they're reviewing!

The punctuation and grammar leads me to surmise I'm not dealing with an intellectual giant. However, I feel that this individual might be able to have a meaningful dialogue with the Rob Zombie defender (#1). They both have a grip on what makes for a good horror film.

#4: "you're a twat, from your picture you look like a massive geeky loser, wot kind of self respecting adult writes fantasy novels for fun? og, gav and mog? you're a idiot say hello to your Filipino bride for me, you're a terrible writer, no wonder you have to put your shitty books on your website, no-one would ever publish your sub-tolkien horseshit, i hate you and your face, try not to look like such a stereotype, seriously your very existence infuriates me, you are so utterly pathetic, kill yourself lord of the rings is shit and gay"

Clearly from a troll. He's trying to make me think he's about ten years old, but I'm not sure how many ten-year olds would get "Filipino" right. I love decoding e-mails like this and trying to discern what I can about the writer. I'm guessing he's European since (a) "twat" is not commonly used in North America (not that we don't know what it means), and (b), the hyphenated "no-one" is much more common in Europe. I'm still wondering who "Og" is, though. Must be from some other loser's sub-Tolkien horseshit. Only "Gav" and "Mog" are from mine. Too bad about my face, though – there's not a lot I can do about that. This e-mail provides a nice counterpoint to "My Life as a Geek," though.

#5: "in reference to your review [of Judgment Night] on the above site. i know it is a good few years since you wrote this review but you obviosly had your head up your own arse when you wrote it because this film is as good today as the day it was released. it is a underated modern classic and from your review of it i assume that you wouldnt know a good movie if it jumped up and bit you on the bell-end."

Well, better my head up my own arse than up someone else's. I can kind-of, sort-of see someone writing to defend Rob Zombie. I can kind-of, sort-of see someone writing to defend National Treasure: Book of Secrets. But it boggles the mind to think that someone might get this upset about a negative review of Judgment Night. An "underated modern classic?" Really? But there is something we agree on: it's as good today as they day it was released. No doubt about that.