Monday, September 6, 2010

Uncalled for Misogyny

I just Netflix-ed Clash of the Titans. The new one. This one:

On the cover there, our hero is holding up Medusa's head. You can't tell what her face looks like (the snakes obscure it). Which is good since she's dead. Also good because she's a Gorgon. And scary looking.

Or at least she should be.

In the original Clash of the Titans she was appropriately terrifying. Or that's how I remember her. 

In this new version she looks like a beautiful woman until she switches on her turn-you-to-stone powers. And that's a brief on-off switch.

Which means we are watching a group of men pursue a beautiful woman with the intent to decapitate her. 

Add in the fact that we're told she was a rape victim just before this, and instead of Medusa being a terrifying force to be reckoned with, we now are watching a beautiful woman who has already been victimized once by a man, get attacked by a gang of men, and murdered. 

What were they thinking??

Okay, yes, she does take, what, three men with her? But it's self-defense. 

And that reminds me. The men were willing to befriend that weird tree-desert creature - a male creature - but they couldn't try asking Medusa to cooperate? I know that's not really how the myth goes but, hey, practically nothing about this movie goes according to myth so I don't see a problem with that type of re-write.


  1. Lisa and I went to see this on Sunday afternoon at RT. I was thinking the SAME THING when I saw it. Kinda an odd feeling, empathizing with Medusa.

  2. I was just googling "Clash of the Titans: Misogyny" to see if anybody else was ranting about this. My wife and I watched this movie a few days ago, and all I could do was rant at it. I mean, seriously, WTF? One minute, we're hearing about how this version of Medusa is somewhat different from the original conception - rather than simply being an ancient monster and one of three sisters, or even Ovid's willing partner of Posiden, we get a clear-cut victim who was raped by one god ("on the cold floor," no less. Let's not spare those details!) and spurned by another. The next minute, she's a "bitch," and needs to have her head cut off? SERIOUSLY!?!? Then we get zeus, who (again with the rape? really?) tricks the hero's mom into having sex with him (to get even with her husband, of course. Grrr.), as a result of which, her husband kills her (for having sex with, for all she knew, him! GRRR!) and zeus does nothing. The director doesn't make this a a tragic death - we, as viewers, barely know this woman and don't seem to be expected to care. When her husband is later killed, he says "Don't be like them!" Now, he means the Gods, (I guess), but what he doesn't seem to get is that HE already continued the god's cycle of injustice by killing his wife, and Perseus just did the same thing by killing medusa! What little we know about zeus makes his little heart-to-heart with perseus sickening, by the time we get to it, and then he gives his "son" back his agelessly sexy piece of ass back - not because he gives a damn about HER, mind, but because his boy needs an agelessly sexy piece. Family? Still dead. Mommy? still dead. ...oh, and Hades is Mortals' own fault. (Even though Posiden and I go about raping folks with impunity and Hades feeds on hatred and fear of the Gods.) All told, a pretty frustrating film.