20 Ways Edgy, Transgressive Movies Have Changed (or Remained the Same): Then vs. Now
Some time ago, in a classic Cracked article, we discussed old terrifying movies making current terrifying movies look quaint by comparison. This led us to return to the subject under a new light: by comparing edgy and transgressive old-timey movies (most of them really old-timey) to current movies known for similar, erm, transgressions. In a word, old-timey people were friggin’ wild – and so were their movies. For movie buffs this is a well-known subject, as you cannot talk about Marvel movies without nerds bringing up that every single interesting thing about them was already there in the staircase scene in Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin. Yeah, sure, whatever, but classic Soviet cinema didn’t have CGI, Chad.
In any case, the snobs do have a point. For pretty much everything that we now consider edgy in recent or current movies was already there in really really old movies. To begin to see this, consider the Hays Code, the reason old movies seem prudish or even “boring” to us. First, they’re not, and we challenge any ADHD-ridden zoomer to endure the first five minutes of Casablanca and then not be absolutely engaged in that absolute roller coaster. But second, even if they were, they became that for a reason: the party-poopers always twisting themselves to find new awesome stuff to whine about. Before the Hays Code, however, movies were badass, and they explicitly dealt with crime, violence, sex, and drugs. They didn’t have CGI, but hey, nobody’s perfect. Let us compare, then, edgy and transgressive movies, then and now.