February 26, 2008, - 10:04 am

No Surprise that “Signal” Spurred Stabbings

By Debbie Schlussel
As you’ll recall from my movie reviews on Friday, I told you that I walked out on the movie, “The Signal.” What started out as an interesting movie soon degraded into a non-stop, extremely bloody and violent kill-fest. After an hour, I simply couldn’t take any more.
Well–shocker of shockers!–this horrid, pointless movie inspired the stabbings of two people who didn’t know each other or their attacker, at a showing of the movie in Fullerton, California.
I’m not one to always blame pop culture and music when someone who listens to Marilyn Manson turns out to be a Columbine massacre perpetrator. But it’s absurd not to think what people see and hear influences them. If it didn’t, a trillion dollar ad industry might as well close up shop.

In this case, I’m quite confident that this bloody, horribly violent, macabre movie–which almost matches “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” violence and surpasses it in the comedy aspect of making fun of the killing–did help inspire these stabbings at this movie. Yes, the person who did it was probably disturbed already and was apparently intoxicated, but this probably encouraged him and put him over the edge.

Two people were stabbed at a Fullerton movie house during the screening of a horror film on Sunday night. Police are still seraching for the suspect.
The victims, who reportedly did not know each other, were sitting in separate areas of the same theater when they were attacked around 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Theater on Lemon St., Fullerton police Sgt. Eric Halverson said.
The stabbings took place approximately 45 minutes into the showing of “The Signal,” an R-rated suspense/horror film. The suspect, who was described as a white male, fled out of one of the back doors, he said.
“The suspect is still outstanding,” Fullerton police Sgt. Jason Schoen said early Tuesday.
The assailant was described as a heavy set white man in his late to mid 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with black hair. . . .
One of the victims was hospitalized with a stab wound to the arm, which also punctured one of his lungs, but he was expected to survive, Schoen said.
The other victim suffered a non-life threatening stab wound to the arm, he added.
The victims did not know each other or the attacker, he said.
Police believe the attacker may be the same individual who had been kicked out of the theater that same day — an intoxicated man who was very disruptive during a movie, Schoen said. . . .
“We’re not positive.”

Don’t be surprised if the victims of this stabbing sue the makers of “The Signal.” There is free speech, and then there is yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. No “fire” was yelled. But the content of this movie comes pretty close.
It yells that there is “fire” infesting all of America’s minds.
I’d never suggest that anyone limit the First Amendment rights of anyone, including filmmakers. But, if they don’t exercise their own self-restraint, they will pay the consequences.
And sadly, so will the rest of us.

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2 Responses

This is near where I live. A friend of mine and his wife were assaulted by gangbangers there a couple of years ago in the parking lot. Nobody in their right mind goes there at night! I would not doubt the “man” is a gangbanger, too, and he or his parents illegal. It’s just the latest crime at that corner: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1402613.php

PJ on February 26, 2008 at 11:36 am

You’d think the “Academy” would get the hint about the crap-fest that movies have become. The lowest audience ever for their stupid award show, the terrible box office for the hate-America movies and the impressive list of rehab participants amongst Hollywood’s youngest actors are the danger signs for this narcissistic industry. While activist groups protest smoking in movies, Hollywood continued to churn out garbage that debases human life- AND LAUGHS about it. Shame on the entire industry.

JAT on February 26, 2008 at 11:42 am

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