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Fridge Brilliance:

  • Sweet Pea being the true protagonist of the film. It may initially seem like an Ass Pull, but it's hinted at early into the film--she's implied to be the girl sitting on the bed in the "theater" (in the exact position Baby Doll was in the beginning of the film), rehearses the lobotomy scene as the patient, and is the "star" of the brothel. Like Baby Doll, she isn't supposed to be in the asylum, but unlike Baby Doll, Sweet Pea (who is the remaining survivor of the team alongside Baby Doll) appears to be the only girl who has a place to return to--a family.
    • Sweet Pea is also wearing a blonde pig tail wig, in the same style as Baby Doll when she's up on stage.
    • The deleted scene shows that Sweet Pea's dance is themed on what appears to be a witch-burning, and ends with her wearing angel wings and rising from the flames.
  • The nickname Baby Doll refers to both a toy for kids and a cute girl or woman with youngish looks. In the end, Baby Doll is lobotomized, becoming an Empty Shell Uncanny Valley Girl and the man who wants to play with her does not take well to this and is punished for it.
  • The deleted dance scene causes this to kick in with regards to the specific outfits of the girls in the Fantasy world. Baby Doll costumes the girls in her fantasy based on outfits she sees them wearing in the brothel, with the inspiration for the other girls' costumes coming from their dances:
    • Baby Doll herself wears a schoolgirl outfit, based on the schoolgirl-type dress she first wears when brought to the brothel, and that she wears the first time she dances.
    • Sweet Pea's outfit is basically a more elegant, medieval-style version of her dance costume, complete with the same armored shoulder pad.
    • Rocket's outfit is probably the closest in comparision with her dance costume, as it's basically a less glittery and more streamlined version of her nurse's outfit, although she now has a bandana on her head instead of a nurse's hat.
    • Amber's outfit only has one small indication of its relation to her dance costume in that she's wearing the exact same choker in the fantasy sequence that she is in her French maid costume. My best guess is that the nature of her role in the fantasies, as the one who basically carries the girls around in her vehicles and escorts them from place to place, is comparable to that of a maid, in that she's just "cleaning up" after the girls.
    • Blondie's outfit is the least like her costume in the brothel, but it's based on a very clever pun: Blondie's dance is clearly Indian-inspired, as seen by the Taj Mahal backdrop behind her. Her costume, on the other hand, has Native American touches: the long buckskin-esque fringes and her use of a tomahawk. Now, what is the popular name for Native Americans, especially back in the 1950s? Indians.
  • (Why do we need spoilers in the FRIDGE section?!). I wish I had written this post, I have to give credit to this poster: . Here's a copy of the argument:

So, based a little on Snyder's interview...

I've come to have a higher opinion of this movie (having seen it twice) than when I first saw it. It's actually a pretty bold movie. And the name is perfect - practically the only name that could work, and it works on many levels.

Structurally, there's three levels of the movie. Reality, the Delusion, and the Fantasy.

Reality and the Delusion (the brothel) are tightly connected. The Delusion is a different way of seeing events in Reality - but at least significant events in the Delusion have counterparts in Reality.

We'll get to the Fantasy a bit later.

So what's happening in Reality? My belief is that Blue is pimping out the girls in the asylum, at a minimum to the other orderlies. Dr. Gorski is at least somewhat aware of this, but Blue has something on her that prevents her from taking action - possibly due to lack of proof, and even denial on her part.

The five girls (I believe I saw at least some of the missing three before we enter the Delusion, specifically Rocket, she's pretty distinctive looking) hatch a plot to escape the asylum. It's a simple plot - get the key, start a fire to trigger the automatic mechanisms and create a distraction, and get the heck out of there. The knife's a backup in case something goes wrong, as it probably will.

For each item, the same basic plan takes place. Babydoll distracts the target, while another girl gets the appropriate item. How does Babydoll distract them in Reality? I'm not entirely sure. It may be the equivalent of a lap dance, and it may well be actual sex. It may be different in different cases. So the plan is based on a figurative sucker punch - distract the opponent and then hit 'em when they're not looking.

Her "dance" - her therapy - is extremely seductive, as it's the only weapon she has left. It starts the men drooling over her, and gives her the power to distract them. But when she dances (which I believe in the first case is her therapy, but afterwards isn't), she goes into the Fantasy. Is it her Fantasy? Maybe. But more importantly - it's our Fantasy.

In the Fantasy, we, the audience become the dirty old men watching Babydoll. We ourselves are distracted from the Reality, and even the Delusion, of what is happening, just as the dirty men in the movie are. We are distracted from the real plot, from what is really happening, by gratuitous sensation with no meaning. People have complained about the Fantasy sequences not being related to either Reality or the Delusion - but they're not supposed to be. That's the *point*. And that's the second sucker punch of the movie. A movie that has high levels of fanservice, and is directly aimed at the fanboy market, then has the nerve to throw our own fetishization and objectification of women in our own faces. WE are the cook. WE are the mayor. WE are Blue.

That's actually another point in favor of the "The Delusion is Sweetpea's Delusion" argument. The Delusion has meaning, while the Fantasy has none - which is exactly what Sweetpea says about Babydoll's dance.

And that's the third sucker punch of the movie. We go in expecting a light fluffy fun action movie. And we get that - but while we get that we're getting a hefty dose of our own objectification of women smacked in our face. We get exactly what we ask for, and then we're forced to look at exactly what it is we asked for, and why, and what that says about us.

That's why even when we're in the Fantasy, and the girls are dressed outrageously, the direction does not focus on the sexual aspects of the girls. It's up to us to see that, to whatever level we do. If we see fanservice, it's because we're looking for it. Snyder's not calling attention to it, but he's not hiding it either. He's allowing us to either look for it, or not. I mean, come on - even in this thread we've got people claiming that the very same sequences are both fanservice and have a feminist POV. How is that even possible? It's because we are finding what we are looking for.

So yeah, I think it's a pretty bold movie. It's a movie aimed at straight, fanboy males that does it's best to call out the poor attitudes of straight fanboy males. And that's awesome.

But Mecha fighting steam-powered WWI zombie Germans are awesome, too.

  • The train battle is the hardest because it takes away all of their advantages. They can't fully control the environment, there's no room to maneuver, they only have limited time, no air support, no Blondie, etc.
  • The very first scene in the brothel has Sweet Pea complaining that while a helpless mental patient can be sexy, a lobotomized girl isn't, which is exactly Blue's frustration when attempting to rape post-lobotomy Baby Doll. Arguably, Baby Doll took Sweet Pea's comment to heart and submitted to the lobotomy knowing it would ruin Blue's plans for her.
  • The idea they are fighting monsters in the dark by dehumanizing them ("Don't worry, their not human", and other things with families and lives as shown in the preview shorts, but explicitly not shown in the movie FOR A REASON) like they are dehumanized during most of the movie and by the audience of the movie (Based upon the Unfortunate Implications in YMMV, they sadly are).
    • They are also attacking those in the dark to the ultimate end of taking back their own life, which Sweat Pea ultimately does.
  • The Dance = escaping into another world. This is the one thing which is common among all dancers, of all disciplines, in all worlds, who do everything from paid hardcore ballet dancing to random dancing in the street to their favorite song.
  • Calling the social room a "Theater" in reality, while it turns into a real Theater in the brothel.
  • Fantasy as dream for "Baby Doll" or "Sweet Pea" before the plans happen?..maybe?
  • The biggest proof this isn't a sexy movie is that we never see how Baby doll seduces the men and we never see any actual sex. This is for a reason
  • The only time we see Baby Doll in her glittery "show" costume is at the end, when she sacrifices herself to save Sweet Pea. Basically, she's all dressed up for the most important "dance" of her life, and her "audience" is the guards she distracts so Sweet Pea can get away.

Fridge Horror:

  • Since the events of the hallucinations are implied to have happened in the real world (under more realistic context), one can only wonder how Blue killed Amber and Blondie and attempted to rape Baby Doll.
  • What happens if you get killed in the hallucinations?
    • um... Not really a fridge situation. Rocket can give you that answer.
      • Good for Rocket. Sadly, the viewers never find out.
      • "If you die for real, you die in the dream!"
  • Since Sweet Pea has only ever been seen in the fantasy brothel but at the end of the movie it's revealed that a member of the asylum did escape, there's a possibility that she's in the asylum for a reason.
    • From what I understood, Rocket ran away from home & Sweet Pea went to get her. Maybe Rocket had gotten herself into some trouble and they were both incriminated.
    • Actually Sweet Pea seems to be the girl on the stage in the asylum during the opening sequence. Still holds; why was she in there?
    • As the second troper said, she went after Rocket. Given what the 'verse, even the outermost (asylum) version is like, it's entirely possible that sane people might get put in the asylum.
  • The steampunk Zombies in The Trenches retain some of their humanity.
  • The logic of how Pedophilia, incest, sexism of all sorts and various other things are apparently glamorized in the movie. They are shown in the worst possible light.
    • what
    • You mean that they're the actions of the villains? You're not supposed to support them, or agree with them, or sympathise with them. They're the bad guys. They do bad things to good people, and the good people suffering these things are the ones we are supposed to support. Star Wars didn't promote telekinetic stranglings.

Fridge Logic:

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