Film Corner!

[Trigger warning for rape culture; rape jokes.]

Let us talk about the trailers for the upcoming film Paul (I'm so sorry, Spudsy), which looks like it was created by the top garbage scientists at Garbage Labs by cross-pollinating Encino Man with Mac and Me with garbage. Plus rape jokes!

Video Description: Two British schlubs are traveling across the US in an RV on "a tour of America's most famous UFO hotspots." Sure. Quirky diner. Pictures at Area 51. Big crash at night on a deserted Western highway. Obviously the other driver is a CGI alien named Paul, obviously voiced by Seth Rogen. Paul the Alien needs to get somewhere; it's "a matter of life and death." Sure. ROAD TRIP! Whoooooops the FBI CIA Secret Alien Agency is after them. Agent Jason Bateman looks stern. Butt-probe joke. Paul the Alien wears pants and moons a lady. Paul the Alien also does impressions of other aliens because meta hilarity. Paul the Alien shocks the schlubs with his big wiener and/or balls. Agent Bateman! Must get alien back! Aviator sunglasses! IDs! Paul the Alien doesn't want to endanger the schlubs, but they're "in this together" now. Paul the Alien is a stoner. This montage shows that things definitely happen in the movie. Explosions. Shooting. Yelling. Kissing. Baddies dying in explosive car wrecks. Paul the Alien brings a dead bird back to life just to eat it, because "I'm not gonna eat a DEAD bird, am I?" He belches.

In case one butt-probe joke is NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU, there is yet a second butt-probe joke in this trailer, as well as a scene in which one of the Secret Alien Agency Agents feels up Paul's "spaceman balls," only to have Paul shout in his face, "Get your goddamn hands off my motherfucking junk!" HA HA! "Don't touch my junk," amirite, ladies gentlebros?'

The profundity of my contempt for rape jokes that are supposed to be funny exclusively because they're happening to male characters is vast. VAST.

And the thing about these rape jokes—full-frontal flashing, butt-probing, and ball-molesting—is that part of their "humor" is just rank homophobia. It's not just supposed to be funny-horrifying because male characters are being sexually assaulted, but because they're being sexually assaulted by other male characters. And it's not merely "lol homo" stuff, which would be abhorrent enough, but these "jokes" suggest that the only type of male-male sexuality is aggressive and nonconsensual, which invokes and reinforces the trope of the predatory gay.

None of this is surprising, of course, given that the film was directed by the same guy who helmed the rape promoting Superbad, and written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who aren't averse to rape jokes themselves (e.g. in Shaun of the Dead, Pegg's character tells his mother that his stepfather "touched" him "on several occasions," then admits, "That wasn't true. Made it up. Shouldn't have done. Sorry."), and co-stars Seth Rogen, who executive produced Superbad and starred in Observe and Report, which featured a "hilarious" rape scene right in the trailer.

Still. I expect more.

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