I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Jared is someone in the comic I like to characterize as keeping his lunacy just below the surface. He’s the guy who could snap at any moment, but he treats it like it’s common knowledge. It could all be a front, but you’re never quite sure. He’s kind of like Creed from The Office with the creepiness factor dialed down.

I kind of wanted to leave it open to interpretation in this strip as to whether Jared regularly packs heat when he goes to the theater or if this really was an accessory to his viewing of Punsiher: War Zone.

Truthfully, I just wanted another excuse to draw The Punisher’s death’s head symbol. It’s just so damn imposing. Probably one of the top 5 design choices in comics, if you ask me.

Reviews are starting to surface for Punisher: War Zone and the consensus is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s shot very well, but it’s violence and tone is repulsive. Read this review from Roger Ebert. It expertly describes what makes the movie difficult to endure, but it actually makes me want to see it more!

I feel a little bit guilty about this because I think the movie is pandering to it’s audience by making the violence so graphic and I’ve been totally suckered by it. Essentially, Punisher: War Zone is torture porn for the action movie crowd. For someone like myself who has been a vocal critic of films like Saw and Hostel, it’s completely hypocritical for me to be so excited about Punisher: War Zone.

I was sent a promotional link that I’m reluctant to share because it is VERY, VERY graphic and I try to keep things PG-13 around here. But I’ve pretty much endorsed the film anyway and the clip does a very good job of illustrating my point. What I’m linking to is basically the reddest of red band trailers. You will see people shot in the face, people whose head’s are blown clean from their bodies and critic blurbs that use four-letter words. In other words, if you are very young or you are accessing the site from work, THIS CLIP IS NOT FOR YOU!

If you’re old enough to vote and have a cast-iron stomach, you can the red, red, red band trailer for Punisher: War Zone here.

Punisher: War Zone was produced by Lionsgate and their name has been increasingly associated in my mind with producing schlockly, degrading, violent, lewd and offensive movies. They’ve made it their job to provoke people and some of it appeals to the lowest common denominator. There are high points. They producedBill Mahr’s Religulous andOliver Stone’sW. ealier in the year. But they also produced the aforementioned Saw and Hostel films as well as Transporter 3, Good Luck Chuck, Bratz: The Movie, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector,Employee of the Month and Alone in the Dark.

I’m skewing things a little bit to bolster my argument. Actually, if you look over their history of films since they were formed in 1998, the studio has some Oscar and indiepedigree. Affliction, Buffalo 66, Gods and Monsters, Amores Perros, American Psycho, Requiem for a Dream, Shadow of the Vampire, Monster’s Ball, Fahrenheit 9/11, Crash. All I’m saying is in the last few years, they’y seem to be producing more dreck. Certainly other studios do the same, it just seems more pronounced to me with Lionsgate. Maybe it’s neither here nor there, but it’s something I’ve noticed.

To that end, I’ll probably see Punisher: War Zone on Saturday night. I would go tonight, but we’ll be out celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday. I’m really looking forward to taking a two year-old to a nice resturant an hour past his bedtime. Should be fun!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll see you here Monday!

↓ Transcript
Okay! I'm ready to see Punisher: War Zone!

You CAN'T be serious.

You're going to wear a Punisher t-shirt to a Punisher movie?

Be fair. Why is it lame for me to wear a Punisher t-shirt, but you still get to take your gun?

I already told you.

I hate waiting in line for popcorn.