Propaganda traced to torture porn

    {grate 2}
    Some of the Internet Movie Database’s keywords for
    “Saw”-in-cyberspace “Untraceable” include: snuff, torture, serial killer and
    shirtless male bondage. At least if super-MILF Diane Lane isn’t your draw,
    you’re not left on the sexual gratification lurch. You get enough of both in
    another crime-thriller knockoff about the dark side of curiosity.

    Told from the perspective of a cop single-mom doing her part
    to stop illegal downloads, the movie comes across like the Motion Picture
    Association of America’s
    “Piracy is Theft” commercials. But instead of asking, “You wouldn’t steal a
    purse, would you?” the question is “You wouldn’t log on to a snuff site if it
    would help kill the victim, would you?” For most of us, sadly, the answer is a
    firm yes. The movie opens with FBI cybercops employing every trick in the
    Gestapo/KGB manual of yesteryear to bust a 12-year-old boy for hacking credit
    cards to buy toys. The kid is whisked away from his family before dawn.
    Everyone gives each other high fives. Dubya would be proud. Immediately after
    little Billy is behind bars, a real criminal emerges.

    Someone is torturing a cat and broadcasting it online with
    streaming video. Agent Marsh and her online dating sidekick Griffin Dowd (Colin
    Hanks) want to shut this sicko down, but can’t because his transmission is —
    dramatic pause — untraceable! Desperate for more computing power, the heroes
    beg their superior for access to the National Security Agency’s big-guns super
    computer.

    But their boss doesn’t mind a few tortured cats, ignoring
    their concerns until a man turns up on the site, tied to a bed frame with the
    Web site’s logo, Killwithme.com, etched on his chest. As they gather around the
    monitor to watch, the victim is injected with a serum that prevents blood from
    clotting. As more people visit the site, the dosage increases until he bleeds
    to death.

    From there the chase is on to catch the killer. Each new
    victim draws more attention from the press and a complicit American audience
    can’t help but watch. As the viewers increase, the victims die, faster and
    faster, while the killer absolves himself of blame. The message is made even
    clearer in an FBI statement to the press, “We are the murder weapon!”

    “Untraceable” fails not for copycatting genre icons or for
    leaving out the gratuitous nudity, but for overreaching political statements.
    The Web site only allows American web-goers, obviously commenting on the amoral
    popularity of shock videos like “Faces of Death” that crowd the Internet. Less
    obvious, but no less pretentious, are the fascist overtones. There’s a strong
    desire to condemn the film’s glorification of belligerent FBI actions, but when
    the audience cheers at the most offensive moments, it’s hard to deny how
    effectively our American police state is portrayed.

    No one who sees this movie is there to hear good
    storytelling. Like the audiences of “Hostel,” “Saw” or any other torture-porn
    entertainment, these people buy tickets to revel in gore. And they get plenty.
    Not quite as inventive as “Saw” tortures, our latest cyber killer (yes, they’ve
    coined a new crime) burns one man alive with heat lamps, boils another in
    sulfuric acid and — most disgusting of all — snares a kitten in a rat trap only
    to watch it slowly die. Lulu the cat was clearly animatronic, but that doesn’t
    mean you can’t cry for her.

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