Ultra-violent cyborg movies relieve stressed-out viewers

By Mark Vitale

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Have you ever been in a really bad mood? You know: a failed-a-test, just-broke-up-with-one's-better-half, demolished-your-car-in-a-head-on collision type of bad mood? Sure, everybody's been there at one time or another. The real question is: how does one relax once they've become tense?

A sure way to boost one's spirit when feeling down is by watching unreal, ultra-violent, action movies, and "Robocop" is tough to beat in this category.

The story revolves around a Detroit cop who gets mauled by some bad guys. After being brought back to life as a cyborg, he goes and mauls the bad buys back. Over the course of its two hours, there is very little of this movie that isn't violent. People get doused in toxic waste, shot through the chest, electrocuted, and blown up.

The tension and ultra-violent activity makes audiences feel liberated. After the body has a surge of adrenaline, one usually feels relaxed and somewhat physically exhausted. Watching something violent, like multiple explosions, will cause an adrenaline release which, in turn, helps relax a person.

"Terminator 2: Judgement Day" wins the award for the most destructive explosions. This film has a 10-minute sequence where the world is nuked and the audience sees all of the resulting destruction in gory detail. Cities are blown up, children's skin is fried, and then their charred remains are blown apart, and when the atomic blast is over dozens of piles of blackened skeletons are everywhere.

Even though, in print, this appears to be a disturbing scene, most audiences, including the Academy of Motion Pictures, enjoyed the sequence. After all, "T2" won a special achievement Oscar for technology .

It may seem inhumane to suggest watching a violent movie to make yourself feel better, but its a proven method to say nothing of the massive amount of material available to satisfy anyone's craving. Plus, this is one case where watching is preferable to doing.

"I Like To Watch" is a regular feature of Thursday's alterNation arts section, where Wildcat reporters discuss what some of their favorite movies on video are and why.

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