ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



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Entertainment Media Analysis Report

Payback (1999), R
CAP Score: 11, CAP ID: 3.14

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

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"Payback" (R) -- earned the lowest score of all in the CAP database. And the CAP Influence Density (ID) was just as bad: not the worst CAP ID in the database but bad enough. "Payback" was an extremely violent, impudent, and sexual movie. Booze flowed like water and God's name in vain peppered the script like leaves on a fall lawn. Murder -- graphic murder -- gave sights which might be invasive enough that they cannot be unseen by many, especially the impressionable. There was no concern for the sanctity of human life in "Payback."

Repeated occurrences of assault, gunfire with injury and blood, bloody beatings and torture, and kidnapping colored most of the script dark. There were at least were 33 uses of the most foul of foul words, 19 uses of God's name in vain (some with the four letter expletive), and 44 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary. Partial nudity, adult underwear, prostitution, inappropriate touching and dress, and sadomasochism drowned any hope for an intelligent movie. "Basement" surgery to remove bullets, illegal drug usage, death by drug overdose, and crooked cops dissolved all hope of "good movie" status. Multiple murders by gunfire, fire, beating, and explosion topped off the gratuitous nature of this movie, clearly indicating that this was nothing more than an excursion into blood and guts viewing. And viewing of blood and guts you will if you go to this movie: bullet holes in backs and foreheads and ripped up faces.

Now you know about "Payback."

FINDINGS / SCORING: Payback (1999) CAP Thermometers

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost intermediate level points seven times due to graphic and realistic gunshot wounds, graphic basement surgery, bloody injuries, assault by crooked cops, and assault. Wanton Violence/Crime lost maximum level points six times due to graphic attempted murder by firearm, a murder victim with a graphic bullet hole in his head, extreme beating with injuries and blood, and bloody tortures.

Impudence/Hate (I)(1) lost no intermediate level points but lost maximum level points 33 times due to the use of the most foul of the three/four letter word vocabulary.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) lost intermediate level points three times due to a man and a woman in bed together in their underwear and assault by sadomasochism (twice). Sex/Homosexuality lost no maximum level points.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) lost intermediate level points five times due to guzzling booze, drunkenness, the use of heroin, and beer with kids present. Drugs/Alcohol lost maximum level points twice due to drug usage showing the mechanisms of introducing the illegal drug into the body and a death due to drug overdose.

Offense to God (O)(2) lost maximum level points four times due to the use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) lost intermediate level points twice due to murders but lost maximum level points seven times due to multiple graphic murders by fire and explosion a single murder by fire and explosion..

Other examples of entertainment ignominy, each warranting the loss of the minimum point level, included (each may be multiple)

  • 16 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • 44 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • theft
  • physical assaults
  • fraud (by credit card)
  • firearms for control and threat
  • adult underwear
  • partial nudity
  • shower room partial nudity
  • planning of crime/killing/coercion
  • sexual photo
  • tattoos (Lev. 19:28 Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.)
  • vulgar gestures and talk
  • crooked cops
  • sexual innuendo
  • inappropriate touching
  • inappropriate dress
  • alcoholic beverages
  • prostitution and solicitation of it
  • lies
  • gang/hood tactics
  • admission of immoral sex
  • a man and a woman in bed together (dressed)
  • animal attack
  • multiple presentations of assault
  • prize fight brutality
  • necking
  • kidnapping
  • gunfire to intimidate
  • threat of torture to the death

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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