Pain Box

From time to time, you may see the phrase “Pain Box” turn up in a review and find yourself wondering, “Why are those two words in this review’s title?”

Well, I’m glad you asked.

Let’s talk about what a Pain Box actually is. No, no, not that . While that is a good guess, that box at least unveils some level of eroticism along with the pain and suffering. This box however, doesn’t even draw you in with that promise. This box contains ONLY pain and suffering, in a deceptively happy Yuletide package. I am wiling to concede that both are from the darkest depths of hell however. THAT is a pain box. Any movie from one of those 50 genre specific movie sets that usually cram 50 movies on 10 discs or 100 on 20 discs. You can even get smaller versions that are 10 movies on just two or three discs. I’ve got a lot of those, so anytime I want to bring myself pain, these are always around.

The contents of a Pain Box represent a violation of one of my rules though. See, I have a thing about writing reviews for the internet. I don’t want to be one of those reviewers who just watches dreck and garbage in the hopes of providing amusing commentary in the form of base insults to the hard work of many professionals. Even when it’s something horrible, where the filmmakers completely fell down on the job, I don’t want to be that guy. Two reasons for that A) There are enough other people doing that and doing it better than I can and B) The question “If you hate it, why keep doing it?” always springs to my mind and I keep thinking these guys are faking their outrage. They doth protest too much and all that. I try never to buy anything with a view to reviewing it, because I don’t want to be the sort of person who seems like they’re just complaining to complain.

I do actually like most the things I review, certain movies about Hercules not withstanding, or at least bought them with the hopes of enjoying them. It’s just some of the things I enjoy are stupid, vapid, amazingly unaware of how silly they are, and so on. I like to prod and make fun of the things that don’t work while trying to point out the parts that do. Rarely do I ever sit down and intend to take something to the mat before even watching it. Even my reviews of The Charlie Brown Christmas and ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas were borne out of irritation, insulted intelligence and the ability to see foul manipulation now that I have the cynical eye of an adult. Actually, I formed that cynical eye around age 12, but I’d stopped watching those specials by then anyway. The point is that when I sat down with my bowl of popcorn and the DVD player, I had intended to enjoy those things, it was just after having them wash over me with evil and malice that I struck back. My feeling being that if I didn’t rally the troops and fight back then perhaps no one would. Still though, my walk to hell began, as always, with the best of intentions.

That is why these things are such a violation. I have no illusions as to what I was getting myself into when I buy these foul and wretched things. One look at the cover lets you know what sort of pain and misery you’re in for if you try and watch this. I will buy a Pain Box with the express intention of using at least one of the movies in the set for a review. I don’t deliberately pick the worst one or anything. Often I just pick a movie at random and go with it. I’m usually too scarred afterward to go back for a while after that.

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