Hospital Massacre

There’s one last Valentine chocolate in the box and it’s called HOSPITAL MASSACRE, known in some parts as X-RAY; it’s working title was the sublime BE MY VALENTINE…OR ElSE! Directed by BOAZ DAVIDSON (by the way, I’m still broken hearted by the conclusion to BOAZ‘s THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN…how could you, DIANE FRANKLIN !?!), this early eighties shocker has somehow avoided DVD capture though its giant silver MGM VHS box can be spotted hiding out in the back alleys of Amazon.

Kids, we’re talking a 1982 slasher that takes place in a hospital, is centered around a second rate holiday and kicks off with a prologue revealing a unsettled grudge from the past! Sounds like it can’t fail right? Sure it can! HOSPITAL MASSACRE puts the “ail” in fail but it’s just so screwy and peculiar that I can almost forgive it for cutting into my valuable PS3 time. Let’s take a look at the symptoms, shall we?


As if sashaying her way through HEE-HAW and FANTASY ISLAND wasn’t enough to enrapture me, BARBI BENTON (born Barbara Klien) also starred in the uber-incredible DEATHSTALKER. Plus, the gal’s got….er….PIPES!


In H.M.’s opening we learn that when BARBI’s character Suzy was a child, a spurned admirer killed her brother on Valentine’s Day. I thought it fortuitous enough to find BLOODY BIRTHDAY’s super creepy SUSAN HOY playing young Suzy when suddenly up pops the ever-brilliant BILLY JACOBY as the crazed, can’t take a hint psycho. Horror-synchronicity at its finest!


Early in the film an elevator ride is cut short when the doors slide open to show three men in HARRY WARDEN gas masks, a nice playful jab at that other earlier released Valentine horror film!


Poor Suzy just stopped by the hospital to pick up some routine test results but because her stalker switched her X-rays, the doctors, along with their seven foot tall nurses, won’t let her leave! H.M. may think it’s a slasher but it’s really a SNAKE PIT movie at heart. Which is good because SNAKE PIT movies are as campy as they want to be and that’s why I love them. (Slap me five 1985’s HELLHOLE with JUDY LANDERS and RAY SHARKEY and 1990’s COMMITTED with JENNIFER O’NEIL and RON PALILLO!!!)


So what if the surgeon killer is more goofy than scary, the chanting occult soundtrack is wildly inappropriate and the pacing, on occasion gets slower than an IV drip. HOSPITAL MASSACRE has a kooky KAFKA on Quaaludes vibe that should carry lovers of cult film straight on through to the other side. I was a doubter myself until BARBI stumbled into a room with three patients bandaged head to toe that just start convulsing like break dancing marionettes. Like most of the film, it’s surreal, funny and not meant to be taken too seriously. Plus, in HOSPITAL MASSACRE you get a decapitated head in a hat box, that’s a pretty good Valentine gift, right?


I love JACK KETCHUM, he scares the hell out me and once opened, you’d need a crowbar to pry one of his books out of my hands. OFFSPRING, scripted by KETCHUM himself, is based upon the literary sequel to his inaugural terrorizer OFF SEASON. If you’re wondering why we’re being presented with an adaptation of a sequel before its predecessor, as with many movie head scratchers, it involves a behind the scenes legal issue of some sort. No matter, OFFSPRING works just as well as a standalone story. In fact, the skeletal plot shadows the original tale closely. Basically you have a group of civilized folks battling off a tribe of attacking feral cannibals. An ex-cop is brought in to aid the police and a bloody climax takes place in the cave dwelling of the snarly savages.

On the page KETCHUM can convince you of anything, but OFFSPRING, as a film, has a much steeper hill to climb. Even though I have to admit to being vaguely freaked during some scenes (particularly during the first major attack on the film’s happy family) there’s a great deal here that fails to persuade. I like to think of myself as pretty adept at forgiving a film its budgetary restrictions, but the cave here looks borrowed from SIGMUND AND THE SEA MONSTERS and unfortunately (thanks to Aunt John’s tutelage) I now know a bad wig when I see one. Trust me, the wild marauders depicted are truly disturbing in their actions but, much like in the case of the now dated original THE HILLS HAVE EYES, it’s difficult to always take the grunting, blackened-toothed actors in loin clothes seriously.

Lovers of raw, depraved cinema may find scraps to gnaw on here and I appreciate the sparse approach, especially in terms of the films soundtrack. Still, the lack of credibility remains a major roadblock. The reality is, bringing KETCHUM’s vicious vision unadulterated to the screen is probably not only impossible but also illegal. Where say, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR made up for its cinematic limitations by concentrating on tone and performances, OFFSPRING, by nature, hasn’t quite the same option. Director ANDREW VAN DEN HOUTEN (HEADSPACE) can’t really be faulted for going straight for the jugular but without a believably solid rack to hang his entrails on, it’s an empty gesture. OFFSPRING has disturbing moments for sure (how else can you describe an infant thrown like a football?), but mostly it just feels routinely (and too often, humorously)…off.

Trick ‘R Treat

Believe the hype, ignore the backlash, the long awaited TRICK ‘R TREAT is definitely more treat than trick. Not only standing tall as an unabashed love letter to everybody’s favorite holiday, this movie succeeds as an ode to anthology films, horror comics and a twisted yet less cynical sensibility all but forgotten. If you’re a fan of eighties horror and have been missing the goofy dark fun of films like FRIGHT NIGHT, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS or especially CREEPSHOW, I guarantee you are going to gobble this up. It’s scary without being nauseating, funny without being brain dead and overall works like an injection of candy corn right into your veins. Sometime between now and the 31st of October do yourself a solid and rent or buy this film. If TRICK ‘R TREAT doesn’t get you in the Halloween spirit then frankly, you are a lost cause and deserve whatever egging, or flaming crap filled paper bag you find on your doorstep.

I won’t go into the whys and why nots of this films history. Most of you are probably aware that it missed a chance at a theatrical run and has wound up as a direct to DVD offering instead. Truth is, I’m not sure that modern audiences even deserve this kind of movie anyway. It’s beautifully shot, having no interest in looking sewer doused, characters are not required to be humiliated before death and at no point did I feel like somebody was trying to sell me a cell phone, a pair of jeans or a can of soda. If you’ve been waiting for the scariest movie ever made, keep waiting, this is more about that crisp creepy breeze that blows into town in autumn and the anticipation and excitement that occurs when darkness falls. It’s not a nail-biting ordeal; it’s a joyful, yet sometimes potently subversive salute to the convivial side of the macabre.

Remarkably director/writer MICHAEL DOUGHERTY has captured the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve like a bat in a fishing net, a feat made more impressive when you consider how many have failed at that task before him. Rather than compartmentalize his tales, he allows them to weave and interact and the result is rather innovative in the realm of anthology horror. This is obviously a work of love and it shows and although its final moments could have used a little extra punch, there are few things to complain about here. Maybe I’m suddenly old fashioned or maybe this film just falls right in line with my own tastes, but one thing is for sure, there’s no doubt I’ll to be watching TRICK ‘R TREAT every October (along with my other holiday standbys) till that old grim reaper comes and tears me away.

Children of the Corn (2009)

As notorious as 1984’s CHILDREN OF THE CORN may be, one could hardly call it a cinematic masterpiece. Whatever its shortcomings, and there are many, it remains memorable almost solely due to the genuine, can’t be faked creepiness of its two main stars and no, I’m not referring to LINDA HAMILTON and PETER HORTON. As Isaac, the preternatural preacher, JOHN FRANKLIN (25 at the time) gave off a disturbingly uncanny vibe the likes of which audiences would not witness again (until perhaps just recently with ISABELLE FUHRMAN’s remarkable turn in THE ORPHAN). Isaac’s right hand ginger general Malachi (COURTNEY GAINES) provided an almost equal amount of consternation with a mere glare that could stop a clock.

The Syfy Channel’s 2009 interpretation may have had the intention of adding a darker more hopeless vibe with an assist from original author STEPHEN KING, but the results, thanks to erroneous casting, are an unpopped kernel. It may not seem fair to place all of the blame for this movie’s failure on the lap of child actor PRESTON BAILEY, but without a believable or at least remotely menacing Isaac (BAILEY should be shilling Welch’s grape juice rather than shepherding a cult), the entire effort is pointless. Don’t expect the new-fangled Malachi (DANIEL NEWMAN) to pick up the slack either; the only type of fear he instilled in me was the type that had me scrambling to IMDb to check out his date of birth (thankfully dude is 28). For further evidence, check out the photo below. Now, which Malachi do you want to run away from and which do you want to go paddle boating with in Central Park?

Epic casting fails aside, there’s more wrong here than the Smurf-ification of the children. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s KANDYSE McCLURE (who did KING a disservice once before as Sue Snell in the CARRIE re-blotch) is borderline intolerable as one-note harpy Vicki. Although Vicki’s in-car gang assault does manage to muster up some steam, it’s not nearly strong enough to make up for the fact that most of the kiddie mob scenes resemble poorly staged grade school war reenactments. Worse of all, unless I had a blackout that I’m not aware of, the film just stops with what has to be one of the most anticlimactic closings I have ever witnessed. CORN fans disappointed with the original film’s reveal of “He who walks behind the rows” will find that issue solved by credits rolling speedily past instead.

As a fan of STEPHEN KING’s short story I really wanted to like and was excited for a more a faithful adaptation of his tale. There are some interesting tweaks like having main guy Burton (relatively faultless DAVID ANDERS) suffer from ‘Nam flashbacks, but for the most part I was left mostly depressed about just how weak the pen is when up against lackluster filmmaking. An uncut DVD is just around the corner, but unless it includes an entirely different production amongst its features, I say chase it out of town like an outlander.


FRAYED starts off with a bang, subjecting the viewer to what has to be the most brutal on-camera bludgeoning this side of IRREVERSIBLE. We’re watching a home video of a child’s birthday party and although little Kurt Baker’s behavior has been consistently atrocious throughout the festivities; the murder of his mother with a baseball bat really takes the cake. Needless to say, it’s off to the funny farm with Kurt, where he shall sit in a chair and think about his actions for thirteen years whilst giving kid sis some time to adjust to normalcy before his inevitable homecoming. Yep, the springboard applied here is Slasher Movie 101, harking back to pep-pep HALLOWEEN but don’t get too cozy kids, the playing field may look familiar, but there are curve balls up ahead.

Here is a movie that is well aware of its audience’s expectations and remarkably uses them to its advantage without condescension. You never have to think twice about whether there are real fans of horror driving this rig. The atmosphere is spot on and the scares well orchestrated, even the timing, lax by today’s standards, rings true of a more patient early eighties hack and slash. Perhaps most importantly the masked killer himself is a successful ode, although it should be said that his lumbering stride and rag doll silhouette favors MADMAN more than MYERS.

On the downside FRAYED may be a bit imprudent with showing some of its cards too early in the game, although it hardly alters the level of suspense, I felt I was privy to a particular reveal way before I should have been. That said, FRAYED can afford to be generous with the dispensing of information because as it turns out, it has more than one trick up its sleeve. Some of the performances might leave something to be desired, but the pivotal ones (particularly TONY DOUPE as Kurt’s sheriff father) are right on the money. All lapses considered, this is still a damn sleek looking independent production that follows through on its mission to honor a specific type of film while adding modern flourishes and a more in-depth psychological under current.

The real break down goes like this: the first kill made me wince, an appearance of the killer in a window mid way through the film made me jolt upright and the ultimate conclusion had me thinking: “Holy crap!” If that’s not time well spent I don’t know what is. If you are a classic horror fan I think you will enjoy FRAYED, and if you are a slasher fan, you just might love it.

Home Movie

There is something really wrong with the Poe children (real life siblings AMBER JOY and AUSTIN WILLIAMS): they don’t talk much, they show cruelty towards small animals, and they are getting sent home from school for biting people. Father (NEAR DARK’s ADRIAN PASDAR) thinks religion is the answer while mom (CADY McCLAIN) votes for psychotherapy. Meanwhile, as matters escalate it’s clear to the audience that both parents regardless of their beliefs, really worship at the altar of denial.

HOME MOVIE is one of those found footage films like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, CLOVERFIELD and [REC] that places the viewer smack dab in the action thanks to the notion that some people like filming things more than they like staying alive. It is fascinating in places, frustrating in others and I think one’s enjoyment of it will probably be determined by how tightly they cling to the whole “this is reality” thing.

Personally I’m torn, I love this film’s cryptic foreshadowing and its refusal to identify the origin of the evil involved, and yet parts of it feel like a cheat. For example, the parents seem incapable of retaining any knowledge of previous insurrections on the part of their children. If your kids killed the goldfish, moved on to frogs and then graduated to crucifying the cat, wouldn’t it be logical to keep them away from the family dog? On the other hand, this may be the only movie I’ll ever get to see that features ADRIAN PASDAR in a pink bunny suit, so like I said…torn like NATALLIE IMBRUGLIA.

I think there is a strong story here that deserves better than having to slavishly touch base with the whole “fake reality” trope at regular intervals. Those who enjoy pointing out puppet strings can have a field day ripping apart the incongruities that abound. Better time is spent perhaps appreciating the legitimate creep factor and the subtle psychological game play, which is ultimately a great deal more interesting. I have to say as much as I didn’t buy the film’s central conceit; there are certainly scenes that really work fantastically at getting into your brain and staying there like a bad jingle (or an ice cream truck tune).

HOME MOVIE is effective enough to stand out from the crowd, but for maximum enjoyment it might be a good idea to take a leap of faith in regard to its fuzzy logic. It may not be able to convince you that it is “real,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was persuasive enough to have some parents out there locking their bedroom doors at night anyway.

The Orphan (2009)

It’s no secret that I love a good killer kid flick but with the exception of TOM SHANKLAND’s THE CHILDREN (‘08), they have been pretty scarce of late. Kids do show up often in modern horror but for the most part, they have been hollow-eyed window dressing propped up to utter Cassandra-like warnings or just plain ineffectual, weightless ghouls. It’s about damn time somebody stripped the supernatural out of the equation and introduced a killer kid who cuts through the bullshit and gets the job done. The tag line for THE ORPHAN may read “There’s something wrong with Esther,” but for those thirsty for a new horror icon, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Esther at all.

You might think reading this review on a website called Kindertrauma might mean that I was an easy target for THE ORPHAN and that essentially in my case, the filmmakers were preaching to the converted. There may be some truth to that, but let me say that after learning the film was being delivered by DARK CASTLE ENTERTAINMENT I was cautiously un-optimistic. DARK CASTLE has provided snippets of worthy horror but they usually have a chronic ability to screw up their films by trying way too hard. What should be a straight forward affair usually ends up a convoluted heap of kitchen sink half-thoughts resembling a late in the game KATAMARI DAMACY ball. THE ORPHAN carries little baggage besides a water cooler ready, ace up its sleeve, and it is all the better for it. God bless its adherence to the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it simple stupid!) and its highly unfashionable patience.

Taking structural cues from domestic disturbance television flicks and early nineties usurper porn (a shout out to my peeps Peyton Flanders and Hedy Carlson!), THE ORPHAN bravely discards the typical pandering bells and whistles (AUNT JOHN SEZ: Do you mean ta-tas?) used to glamour (in the TRUE BLOOD sense) teenage boys and gets right down to some seriously trashy campadelic partying. That it is able to provide actual acting opportunities to its adult cast in the meantime is just that much more impressive. It’s by no means a seamless masterpiece, and logic is not so much leaped over as jet-packed over, but there’s no way around the fact that you get your money’s worth here.

I don’t care how much cash this baby hauls in or how many knee jerk, dismissive reviews it accumulates, even if it has to gain its reputation in the home market, I assure you that THE ORPHAN is here to stay, be it by go-to punchline, S.N.L. skit or SIMPSONS TREEHOUSE OF HORROR reference, Esther is going to wedge the heal of her Buster Browns into the public consciousness for good. Even if the general public turns their back there is no way the gays are going to drop this ball. Drag queens, practice your Russian accent, October is only a few months away!

P.S. Commit this name to your memory: ISABELLE FUHRMAN!

UPDATE: A little added incentive to go see THE ORPHAN while it’s still in theaters…

The Brood

Oh THE BROOD, how I love thee. Is there any better horror film for Mother’s Day than THE BROOD? Is there any better horror film for any day than THE BROOD? From Kindertrauma’s inception, we’ve always felt a keen bond with this CRONENBERG masterpiece. Here is a film that deals with two of our favorite pet themes, “Tykes in Trouble” and “Kids Who Kill” (albeit mutant kids) and although we’ve mentioned it in numerous posts, we’ve yet to really stop and give it the proper attention it deserves. Why? Because I have been way too scared to. THE BROOD, like much of CRONENBERG’s work, is just so damn interesting on so many levels that it has always attracted absolutely fascinating discussions from minds much sharper than my own. How could little old me objectively examine something so grand when my gut instinct is to just bow down and kiss its feet? I guess I’m just going to have to man up because we need a proper THE BROOD post up in here and it’s not going to write itself. So here goes kids, I’m throwing my propeller beanie into the ring…

ART HINDLE plays Frank Carveth a guy with many an issue, the least of which is the fact that he seems to own only one pair of corduroys. Frank discovers wounds on his young daughter Candace’s back and suspects that they came courtesy of his strange, estranged and partially deranged ginger-ex Nola (perfectly cast hand grenade in a housecoat SAMANTHA EGGAR.) At the time Nola is undergoing unconventional therapy in a safe trap house called the Somafree Clinic, and any question as to whether this treatment will be beneficial is answered by the fact that Nola’s Doctor, Hal Raglan, is portrayed by a tightly coiled ham sandwich named OLIVER REED. We follow Frank as he learns that there is a hideous side effect to Raglan’s cutting edge work. Raglan’s patients’ pain, once drudged to the surface, manifest into physical form. In Nola’s case, troll like beast children are spawned and are set out into the world to express her rage mostly by smashing people on her shit-list in the face with blunt objects.

It might all sound a tad silly, but in CRONENBERG’s hands (or should I say through his mind?) it ends up saying more about the human condition (and family dysfunction in particular) than all the hand wringing dramas you can think of combined. Inspired by CRONENBERG’s own strenuous divorce, there is real venomous acrimony here. Some (including the director himself) claim THE BROOD is his answer to KRAMER VS. KRAMER, and if it is, than his “answer” is a smack of a wooden meat mallet to each Kramer’s skull with perhaps an extra little whack for the Mrs. As worthy as THE BROOD’s concepts about how the mind affects the body are, the larger truth unearthed involves how abuse lingers from generation to generation in a family like an unshakable hereditary disease. Now that I think about it, maybe both ideas are as compatible as broken vases and black eyes.

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. While doing a little background reading on THE BROOD (yes, I was wearing bifocals) I came across, I’m sure a very well meaning person, who was outraged by a particular scene in the film. In the scene (which was built to disturb and therefore must be considered successful) a woman is savagely (and some say hilariously) bludgeoned to death in front of a group of young school children. The disgruntled viewer was upset that such a scene would ever be filmed with children present. I personally assume that precautions were taken like, I don’t know, telling the kids that they were filming a movie or perhaps editing things in such a way, but something about this person’s indignant tone stuck in my craw. It seems to me that a lot of adults spend a lot of time worrying about what children witness on television or in movies (as well they should), but not so much time worrying about what behavior they witness in their own homes. This might sound off topic, but I think that it is partially what THE BROOD is about, the lingering effects of witnessing domestic abuse (physical, verbal and psychological) and the curse of absorbing your elders’ insecurities and prejudices (not to mention, rage). Violence on the T.V. is scary (check out this site called kindertrauma…) but sometimes mom and dad and grandma and grandpa leave real lasting wounds that you can’t simply turn off with the flick of a switch.

Was that a soapbox I just stepped off of? I apologize, but as I said I cannot even pretend to critique THE BROOD; the movie is just too damn awesome and over my head. In order to leave on a positive note though, I will add this, the score, (the first of many done for CRONENBERG by HOWARD SHORE) is so incredibly perfect that it makes you want to slap someone.

Little Otik

Little Otik

Perhaps the one thing your Aunt John knows even less about than birthing babies is the actual desire to have one in the first place. Really, the last thing I need is someone else to ruin my figure, or a write a tell-all book about my disdain for wire hangers. Despite my intrinsic lack of maternal yearnings, I found myself drawn into the dilemma of the childless Czech couple in surrealist director’s JAN SVANKMAJER’s LITTLE OTIK. After the hopelessly impotent Karel (JAN HARTL) fails at impregnating his barren wife Bozena (VERONIKA ZILKOVA, a dead-ringer for HOPE DAVIS if there ever was one), he carves her a baby boy from a gnarled tree root. Bozena is instantly smitten with her psychotic-looking PINOCCHIO, which she names Otik, and begins mothering it as if it were a real child.

Little Otik

Director SVANKMAJER skillfully sets up the action to first seem that Bozena is so far removed from reality that she really thinks her swaddled root is a living and breathing baby. Alas, Bozena is not completely bonkers, though her later actions speak otherwise; Otik is quite the animate object with an even bigger appetite to match. Without spoiling too much, let’s just say he successfully moves from the bottle stage to solids in record time.

Little Otik

Providing a perfect foil to the harried parents with the killer (tree) tyke is the downstairs neighbor girl Alzbetka (KRISTINA ADAMCOVA). The parallels between Alzbetka and THE BAD SEED’s Rhoda Penmark, on the surface, are somewhat obvious: the tow-headed plats, the expressionless affect, and the precocious ingenuity needed to dispatch a pesky pedophile. What differentiates Alzbetka from Rhoda is her subtle transformation from one-note creep to full-fledged Mother Hen. When his parents abandon Oztik, Alzbetka, just short of strapping on one of those BabyBjörns that bother me so, picks up the slack and steps in as the ‘tween surrogate mother figure. As she is cleaning out her mother’s refrigerator, ADAMCOVA steals the movie out from everyone, when the third and final act becomes, more or less, her story.

Little Otik

Known for the animated shorts MEAT LOVE and FLORA, which both make cameos in the film, director SVANKMAJER brings his passion for food, signature animation style, and eye for disconcerting close-ups to LITTLE OTIK. Despite its lengthy run-time (2 hrs. 6 min.), the hypnotic visuals speed the movie along. The next time one of your mid-to-late thirties gal pals starts kvetching about her biological clock, sit her down and make her watch this film. Motherhood is really not for everyone, and it is not without its consequences.

*Special thanks to Reader Tara S. for bringing this gem to our attention!

The Children (2008)

Effective killer kid movies are hard to come by. Their shock value has diminished severely since the days of THE BAD SEED and truth be told, few movies are willing to take the sub-genre to the extremes needed to be successful. One false move by the director and you’re looking at a campy joke. One false line reading by a kid actor and you’ve permanently lost your audience. 2008’s THE CHILDREN (not to be confused with the unintentionally hilarious shocker from 1980) is a film by director TOM SHANKLAND that routinely impresses by not shying away from the disturbing nature of its subject matter.

Taking place over a snowy Christmas holiday two families meet for seasonal festivities. Tension is patiently doled out as we slowly find that the children of these families are beginning to act more and more feral due to an unnamed virus. The madness that blankets the children is of the cold and icy variety and the film highlights this visually with its grey bleakness. As we progress the general static atmosphere becomes more and more frequently punctured by migraine inducing blasts of vivid imagery, harsh primary colors and shrill sound. In some instances these frenzied collisions of tone are annoying as hell, but they also provide a pitch perfect arena that could believably incubate domestic insanity.

There is a balancing act evident throughout the film’s running time of which director SHANKLAND is dutifully aware. Most of us would like to believe if we were confronted by a homicidal child we could more than hold our own, but in THE CHILDREN confusion and chaos reign supreme. The adult victims are slow to the realization that their beloved offspring have gone batty and even upon realization, struggle to accept that they will have to use violence themselves in order to survive. A great deal of the film’s success in building a believable groundwork for its action that is derived by keeping both the audience and the film’s characters partially in the dark. As things escalate the parents’ natural instinct to scapegoat rather than implicate their own children muddy the waters even further. Refreshingly, we are also presented with a teenage character who seems to be the sole heir to clarity when the dominoes begin to fall.

There is something about killer kid movies that will always strike the funny bone. Watching perfect little angels behaving badly is innately amusing. THE CHILDREN is smart enough to follow the lead of WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? by demanding that the audience think hard about when violence is necessary and allowing them to appreciate the parents’ dilemma rather than dwell on heroics. The end result may not scare the crap out of you, but be prepared for plenty of creeps due to some severely haunting images and a couple of flinches thanks to some convincing gore. If nothing else, if you have ever wondered what it would be like if somebody made a killer kid flick and not only took its subject matter seriously, but didn’t back down in fear of stepping on sensitive toes, you now have your answer.