How did they not know what they were in for? What did they expect from such a title? What did they expect from a poster which depicted a tortured face being stretched into a hellishly colored book? I'm pretty sure an axe murderer was front and center in all the TV spots, too. If the film had presented itself as the heartwarming tale of a lumberjack I would have shared some of their concern. But it hadn't. It was back when movies brought what they advertised. That movie gave us, particularly the young Fangoria readership, exactly what we were expecting. I sometimes think these people bought their tickets with the expectation to make a soap box out of the ordeal. Maybe they even asked for a refund after they had done what they came to do.
The problem isn't that the film wasn't those people's cup of tea. That's okay. Really. The problem was A) they couldn't keep their mouths shut in a fucking movie theater and B) "This is garbage" isn't really an opinion, it's just what attention seekers who have made a profession out of being "offended" like to say.
I take criticism pretty seriously. Even a bad movie—especially a bad movie—can be a flowing font of conversation. I can write about something I disliked as much as something I liked. I can talk for hours about why this worked or why that didn't work in both good and bad movies. I feel like I grow in the process not just as a creative type, but as a person. I would much rather have these conversations with someone whose opinion differs, provided they're capable of intelligently vocalizing their opinion, because then you really learn something about yourself (or the person you're having the conversation with) and sometimes see things in an entirely different way.
This is all to say I shudder whenever I hear the usual complaint: "It was stupid." The italics indicate an obnoxious Valley Girl tone and it's aimed at the kind of person who's capable of buying a ticket and sitting through an entire movie with their eyes glued to the screen of a cellphone. If everything you have to say on any given subject can be communicated within the character limit of a Tweet, you have nothing to say in the first place. These are the people whose mantra is "that's just my opinion," as if that excuses them for being an uninteresting person and running their mouths anyway.
John Waters calls it filth... lovingly of course
Calling something garbage, too, is just as lazy. More so than the other discussed three-word-review, it carries the intent to dismiss the portion of the audience who likes that kind of stuff. "This is garbage" is meant to signify you're above this kind of material and anyone who doesn't agree is a lesser person and that's final. It's as superficial as speaking posh the second you hit two numbers on the Powerball.
what a wonderfully ambitious grade of garbage
The phrase does have the unintended effect of sending me running to get whatever the hell it is that's being called garbage, which includes everything from Troma films to The Human Centipede 2. When that couple walked out of In the Mouth of Madness, I discovered early on in life that I love the kind of stuff the easily offended call garbage. The expression pig in the mud works on more levels than one. Yes, I am a pig and yes, I love to flop around in said mud. At least I don't talk in movie theaters.