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Psychopaths 101

Is our society obsessed with psychopaths and horror?

Home | Personality: You must be a real psycho! | Psychopaths | Famous Psychopaths | Distorted Perceptions | Psychotic or Not?

Psychopathy heading our media?

Violence in the media has been a controversial issue for quite some time now. To look at movies from the 1920's and compare them to the films we watch today, you might be shocked at the difference you find. In the old days, a man and woman, even if they were married, slept in two seperate beds and couldn't open mouth kiss. Now two complete strangers can be viewed on the theater screen groping each other without leaving much to the imagination. In Yule Brenner movies, women weren't allowed to show their belly buttons but now you can see women trounce around in their underwear. What's my point? How has the acceptable media changed so drastically and why?
 
In theaters today, the only movies that aren't rated R for violence, offensive content, adult language, and nudity are the ones that either don't do well in the box office or are made for children. And even PG 13 has become quite liberal with their rating. Adult language can be used in a movie and still receive a rating of PG 13. You'll notice that around certain times of the year, specifc genres of movies are released. Around Halloween time many horror movies are released. This year during the Christmas season a movie called Black Christmas, a horror movie, was released into theaters. Are we all so addicted to violence and gore that we need our psychothriller fix during Christmas?
 
I haven't found much information about the evolution of the MPAA ratings, but I can say for certain that they have severly lowered the standards. Movies such as Hostel and the Saw series have no basic plot line except for murder and violence. Hostel featured almost no story line whatsoever and still received a B- on Yahoo!. It also has a sequel coming out in 2007. Our society seems blood hungry. What intrigues us so that we sit in our theater seats and cringe at the violence but are so enraptured that we cannot leave?
 
Some movies make me sick to my stomach to watch. The youth of our nation has become desensatized to the graphic violence that is played over and over and over again, even on public television. The more violent crime trials are shown on television, the more people watch them, the more movies are made about them, the more people wathc those, and so on and so forth until all we know of acceptable behavior is that of what we see. If you were subjected to violent films day in and day out, would it be so wrong to assume that you might develope the same personality and character traits as those villans in the movies? If violence in movies is acceptable, then why isn't it in real life? Think about it, how much different would our society be if violence were excluded from any public viewing? But with the way things are going now, I guess we'll never know.

Examples of Psychotic Media:

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Movie Listing

Based on the semi-documentary novel by Truman Capote, this tale of the real-life crime of the ruthless killing of an innocent Kansas family by two drifters is still an extremely mesmerizing and disturbing film to watch.
 
Silence of the Lambs 1991
Young FBI trainee Clarice Starling is dispatched to enlist the aid of the brilliant psychiatrist--and mass murderer--Dr. Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter in the hope that he may help catch a brutal serial killer. Intrigued, Hannibal doles out tantalizing bits of information to the determined rookie eventually leading to a dark and extremely scary basement confrontation with the serial killer. Excellent portrayals of women who refuse to be victims.

 
Michael Reilly Burke's portrayal of the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy is exceptional. This account begins in 1974 with Bundy as a sympathetic counselor at an emergency hotline center in Seattle as well as a struggling law student. Bundy was handsome, intelligent, and well spoken, but something disturbing lurked just beneath the facade and his sociopathic behavior set forth a series of events that would shock the world. "Ted Bundy" moves from the 1974 Seattle killings to Utah, Colorado, and to his final killing spree in Tallahassee, Florida shortly after he escaped (for the second time) from incarceration and ends with his humiliating demise in the electric chair on January 24th, 1989. Theodore Robert Bundy confessed to killing 28 women, but the actual number Bundy carried with him to his grave. Some say, however, that he is responsible for as many as 33 to 100 murders of young women.
 
The Deliberate Stranger 1986
Mark Harmon plays compulsive killer Ted Bundy, who was responsible for the deaths of at least 30 women from Washington state to Florida over a period of more than a decade.
 
To Catch a Killer 1992
Brian Dennehy stars as John Wayne Gacy, a homicidal monster who tortured and murdered more than two dozen young victims and buried them in the crawlspace beneath his house.
 
Helter Skelter 2000
Based on Vincent Buliosi's book, this movie examines the grisly Tate-La Bianca murders carried out by followers of Charles Manson. The movie focuses on the prespective of the investigation and courtroom prosecution of the Manson gang. Steve Railsback portrays Manson.
 
Dahmer 2002
Writer/director David Jacobson's movie about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed 15 boys and cannibalized their remains, focuses on understanding the deranged mind of Dahmer, rather than his grisly crimes.
 
Ed Gein 2000
Steve Railsback also plays Ed Gein in this movie about a 1950s Wisconsin farmer who was a deeply disturbed serial killer. The Gein case also inspired the movies, Psyco, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Silence of the Lambs.
 
The Boston Strangler 1968
Tony Curtis plays Albert DeSalvo who confessed to a rape and killing spree of 13 women in the early 1960s that terrorized the citizens of Boston. Also stars Henry Fonda.
 
Bonnie and Clyde 1967
Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway play Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who robbed small banks in Texas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression days of the 1930s. At the time it was released it was considered one of the most violent films ever produced by mainstream Hollywood.
 
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 1986
Loosely based on the case of Henry Lee Lucas, a confessed serial killer, is has been described as "a terrifyingly intimate journey into the twisted life of a murderous psychotic."
 
Summer of Sam 1999
Spike Lee's portrayal of the Bronx in the summer of 1977 when the Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) terrorized the city by stalking and killing lovers parked in vehicles on the dark streets with a .44 caliber handgun.
 
Speck 2002
Based on the murders of spree killer Richard Speck, this movie details the murder of eight nursing students in a Chicago dormitory on July 13, 1966.

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