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Back Seat Producers Season 06 Shows

BSP Episode 195: Sucker Punch

Your producers for this episode are:

  • Tony
  • Tony
  • David
  • Darrell

This episode was recorded: 8/17/11.

2 replies on “BSP Episode 195: Sucker Punch”

Hi guys… longtime/first-time. I always enjoy your reviews/discussions/disections, but this one left me a bit perturbed. I sure wish you had brought a female in on your discussion, because I think you missed a BIG part of what this movie was about.

I think we can all agree that there are three levels to this movie… Level 1: reality, where BabyDoll is institutionalized by the step-father who tried to assualt both her and her sister after their mother’s death. A lobotomy is 5 days out. Level 2: a world where BabyDoll is envisioning the institution as a brothel, where the lobotomy is reimagined as a situation where she is going to be sold to the high roller. All the escape attempt planning is done i nthis level. Level 3: the quest world, where each of the items that BabyDoll and her compatriots need to escape are reimagined as video game levels.

Now here is where I think you all went astray. You need to use the context clues of Levels 2 and 3 to compile what is actually going on in Level 1. And this is that story:

The girls in the asylum are being sexually assaulted, on a regular basis, by Blue and his cronies. Even people other than the orderlies (like the chief guard in level 1, who is the same as the mayor in level 2) are coming in to have at the girls. The Carla Gugino doctor character knows what is going on, but is looking the other way. That room in the end – with the chair and the disgusting stained mattress (reimaged in level 2 as the rotating bed room) is basically a rape room.

You all were close in your assessment of the angels issue – the old guy is the ‘angel’ protecting SweetPea, who never should have been in the institution in the first place. And BabyDoll is the ‘angel’ protecting the other inmates. I don’t think this is so much a martyr fantasy, as it is an investigation of the subconscious… BabyDoll cannot handle the reality of the grimy institution world, so she recontextualizes everything so that she can handle it. She’s not some poor girl getting abused on some stained mattress where hundreds of others have met the same fate, she’s a high-class dancer/call girl. She’s not sneaking around in a dangerous situation stealing item to escape, whe’s on an imaginary quest.

And it is by sacrificing herself (which in the extended sequence is done much better than in the theatrical cut), she breaks open the entire rape ring in the asylum, and saves all the girls, present inmates, and future inhabitants. She also keeps Blue – who we know has arranged, by his own admission, dozens of unnecessary lobotomies for cash – from inflicting upon others the fate she has chosen for herself.

While much of it is implied, because of the PG-13 rating, this is a very rapey movie. and Tony… that scene in the beginning with the step dad? You need to be about as insensitive as an ox to NOT realize the subtext. He was going to attack BabyDoll, but she she resisted he made it clear that he was going to go onto easier prey – the sister. It was crystal clear. just maybe not to a guy.

Poor Zach Snyder. This could have been a good movie if he could have gotten an R rating. But he was forced to be oblique about so many things that a lot of his story was lost.

Keep up the good podcasts, guys. This one missed the mark, but I’ve always found your past work entertaining, and sometimes even enlightening.

Surly, I agree. We didn’t dig nearly deep enough into how the 2nd and 3rd layers obfuscated what was actually happening.

I think we all assumed we understood that but didn’t really talk about it. In the end, after listening through the episode while editing, it became clear that we all weren’t on the same page with some of that.

And I also wasn’t very clear with the point I was trying to get across with the rape subtext of the montage. To me, I only saw and felt that the story represented that BabyDoll thought she was going to be raped. I didn’t ever get the sense that it was ‘real’ only that it was her perception and that she wanted to protect her sister from something that was real or assumed. The problem was that I never got a clear read if it was something that was an actual assault or it was all in her head. Yeah, that might make me an insensitive ox, but I still think the story could have been clearer, considering how literal the dream layers fantasized the rapes and assaults going on in the institution.

I think you did a great job of filling in the blanks of what we missed out on talking about.

I am now very curious to see the extended edition of the flick, as it could have given me a bit more to care about BabyDoll in the beginning. I really did like it in the end, but I’m disappointed that the first half-ish of the movie putted along the way it did.

Thanks for listening, and don’t be a stranger to feedback! We love hearing what everyone thinks of the show.

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